Christmas is that time of year when people celebrate faith and family. It is a moment when Christians the world over remember and rejoice at the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ.
During this festive season let us also remember that as much as the kingdom of Jesus was spiritual, his mission was also to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, identify with the downtrodden and marginalised, and struggle for the deliverance of the oppressed.
Israel’s regime of occupation and Apartheid has been particularly difficult for Christian Palestinians who have had their churches and holy sites firebombed by Israeli-settlers,
The Joburg Boxing Club, Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture & Recreation (DSACR), Embassy of the State of Palestine, Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (AKF) and BDS South Africa together with several local South African boxing clubs are hosting an Amateur Boxing Tournament under the theme “Free Palestine”.
The “Free Palestine” boxing tournament takes place tomorrow (Saturday, 19 November 2016) at the Orlando Communal Hall in Soweto (Johannesburg). The tournament starts at 07h30 with formal proceedings, speeches and photo opportunities at 11h00.
The “Free Palestine” boxing tournament is being held in the spirit of international solidarity between Palestinians and South Africans. The tournament is being dedicated, in particular, to the friendship between the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat of the PLO, and President Nelson Mandela.
Representatives of the National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P) had a successful meeting this week (Wednesday 23 November) at the South African Parliament. The NC4P delegation was led by our Chairperson, Reverend Edwin Arrison and included members from affiliate organizations including a student rep, clergy and representatives from BDS South Africa, South African Jews for a Free Palestine, the Muslim Judicial Council, ANC YL, UCT PSF, YCL, Al Quds Foundation, Kairos Southern Africa and others.
The NC4P met with members of parliament belonging to the the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation as well as members from the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, Portfolio Committee on Minerals and the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development.
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization, BDS South Africa, is encouraged by and welcomes the call by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on International Relations for action against SA’s Ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngombane.
In a statement released this past Friday (21 October) titled “Alleged Conduct of Ambassadors Should be Acted Upon”, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation said:
“The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Siphosezwe Masango, has called upon the Minister Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to investigate the veracity of the allegations
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa welcomes the election of Parks Tau as president of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG).
Parks Tau, the former Mayor of Johannesburg, current president of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), ANC Regional Chairperson as well as close friend of the Palestinian struggle was this past weekend elected president of the UCLG – the umbrella body for, or the “UN” of, local governments around the world. The election took place at the 5th UCLG Congress World Summit in Columbia’s capital city, Bogotá, where Tau won by an overwhelming majority of 103 votes to 42.
A senior United Nations official, Wilfried Lemke (the UN special adviser on sport for development and peace) has written to FIFA to reiterate that the UN regards Israeli settlements – and by extension Israeli football teams that play in them – to be “without validity” and “illegal under international law”.
Israel has six soccer clubs in illegal Jewish-only settlements on unlawfully occupied Palestinian land. FIFA laws prohibit using another country’s land without consent. For this and other reasons activists are calling on FIFA to expel and give Israeli settlements the red card. South African FIFA official, Tokyo Sexwale, is currently part of a FIFA investigation into whether these teams should be allowed to participate in international football.
South Africa’s Ambassador to Tel Aviv, Sisa Ngombane, at a press conference broadcast live from OR Tambo International Airport to welcome human rights activist, Leigh Ann Naidoo, conducted himself in a deeply disrespectful, imposing, unprofessional and exceptionally distasteful manner (“SA Ambassador to Israel loses the Plot”, 7 October 2016).
Naidoo, along with 12 other women, were en route to the Israeli blockaded Palestinian Gaza Strip when their boat was unlawfully intercepted by Israel. They were subsequently detained and deported.
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa is, together with other activists, shocked by the conduct of Ngombane. We are even more concerned by the biased pro-Israeli views expressed by Ngombane.
Recently the Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, spoke at a fundraising event of the pro-Israeli lobby group, the Israel United Appeal – United Communal Fund (IUA-UCF). Last week, in a media briefing, the Public Protector defended her relations with the IUA-UCF.
Click here to watch a video recording or see below for a full transcript with Thuli Madonsela, at the press conference, speaking on her support of and defending her relations with the IUA-UCF.Below, with the transcript, is a detailed paragraph by paragraph response by BDS South Africa.
BDS SUCCESS: CHILE STUDENTS VOTE TO BOYCOTT AND END TIES WITH ISRAELI UNIVERSITIES
By an overwhelming majority, students at one of Latin America’soldest and most prestigious universities have voted to back the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
With 37 votes in favor, two against and 20 abstentions the student federation at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, elected from the institution’s 25 000-strong student body, approved a motion for the termination of agreements with two Israeli institutions. The move has been hailed by various quarters.
In May this year students at the University of Chile law school backed the BDS boycott of Israel in a landslide referendum. In Argentina and Brazil hundreds of professors and researchers and over a dozen colleges have also pledged to boycott Israeli institutions. (Read more)
The Movement for Black Lives, which produced the recent policy platform, is a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people across the USA. Click here for more info. (Read more)
PRESS RELEASES; SIGN & SHARE: PETITION CALLING ON FIFA TO GIVE ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS THE RED CARD
Israel has set up six soccer clubs in illegal Israeli settlements on illegally occupied Palestinian land. FIFA laws prohibit using another country’s land without consent, and South African FIFA official, Tokyo Sexwale, is part of a FIFA investigation as to whether these teams should be allowed to participate in international football.
VIDEO: CELEBRATING 11 YEARS OF THE SUCCESSFUL BDS BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL
We are humbled. Thank you to all our friends, comrades and partner organizations who joined us this part weekend at the opening of our new Johannesburg offices and event to mark the 11th anniversary of the international non-violent BDS boycott of Israel movement (launched by Palestinians on 9 July 2005).
The Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel movement has achieved major and significant victories in the last decade. Last year a UN report documented that BDS was a major factor behind a 46% drop in Israel’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
VIDEO: HILLARY CLINTON ATTACKS SOUTH AFRICAN INSPIRED BDS BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL MOVEMENT
United States presidential contender Hillary Clinton has attacked the South African inspired, non-violent, citizen-led, Palestinian-headed, international BDS boycott of Israel movement. Speaking at the pro-Israeli lobby American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) she said: “we have to be united in fighting back against BDS”. >>> Click here for video <<<
Even though BDS is increasingly supported by progressive Israelis and members of the Jewish community (who are critical of Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid policies) Clinton has tried to falsely suggest that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is anti-Semitic. (Read more)
Following Israeli pressure, some European governments including the UK and France are trying to introduce anti-democratic legislation and taking other repressive measures to undermine the BDS movement. In addition Israel has openly boasted that it is spying on international BDS activists and has imposed an effective travel ban on one of the foremost BDS leaders, Omar Barghouti. However, Israel’s repression is backfiring with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and several Governments across the world coming out in support of the #RightToBoycott Israel – In France, one activist was arrested simply for wearing a BDS t-shirt. (Read more)
In 2014, the African Union condemned: “The continued [Israeli] occupation of Palestinian lands and the Judaization campaign aimed at changing all Islamic and Christian features of the Holy City”. The AU also subsequently called on member states to boycott Israeli settlement goods and products.
Palestinians have written to the South African music band, Die Antwoord, urging the them to respect the international boycott of Israel and “stand with the oppressed, not the oppressor” (click here for the Palestinain letter).
The call for Die Antwoord to cancel their Israeli gig has also been supported by Israeli peace and justice activists belonging to the organisation “Boycott From Within” (click here for the Israeli letter). Meanwhile, BDS South Africa has requested a meeting with the music group (click here). (Read more)
G4S Security, the world’s largest security firm, announced last month its plans to end all business with Israel within the next 12 to 24 months. The company has been the focus of a global (including South African) BDS boycott due to – among other – its involvement in the Israeli prison system, torture centres, detention facilities, Israeli settlements and Israeli Separation Wall.
This week as we commemorate Palestinian Prisoner Day (17 April), we – particularly as South Africans – are painfully reminded of the over 7000 Palestinian political prisoners, including more than 600 held without trial, 400 children, (Read more)
We recap some highlights from the recent 12th #IsraeliApartheidWeek campaign held in South Africa exactly a month ago between 7 and 13 March. The week long annual initiative included successful sports events, comedy shows, music concerts, protests, public lectures, seminars and much more.
Dr Uri Davis, of Jewish origin, grew up in the Israeli town of Kfar Shmariyahu and is today an Associate Professor at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, Palestine.
Davis is an anthropologist who holds a PhD in Philosophical Anthropology, ……(Read more)
The banks include Israel’s Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank, and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank…. (Read more)
WATCH: 2015 BDS SOUTH AFRICA HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO
Click here to watch a short “2015 BDS South Africa Highlights” video. The video features, among others, South Africa’s most famous puppet, Chester Missing.