27 January 2017
The Palestine solidarity and human rights organization BDS South Africa welcomes the launch of of the “Internationalist Calendar” by the Johannesburg Region of the South African Students Congress (SASCO).
The calendar, features images of South Africa’s Oliver Tambo, Palestine’s Leila Khaled, Cuba’s Fidel Castro and former President Nelson Mandela. It also carries messages in support of the people of Cuba, Western Sahara, Swaziland and Palestine.
A statement released on the FaceBook page of SASCO Johannesburg reads:
“We note that it is the 100th Anniversary of President Oliver Tambo, we have developed an internationalist calendar as a symbol to appreciate the great diplomatic skills of President Tambo…we need not ignore the events that happen in other countries, especially in developing countries, emerging economies, and countries where the people are oppressed by the venomous system of colonialism in all its manifestations.
With regards to the oppressed people, we unapologetically support the call made by the entire Mass Democratic Movements (MDM) to support the people of Palestine against the Israeli occupation and the confiscation of the land of the Palestinians. We note that there is an increase of pro-Israel organizations such as: “South African Friends of Israel”, “Defend, Embrace, Invest and Support Israel” (DEISI) and others which have been spotted on campuses recruiting students to participate in propaganda trips to Israel. These trips are nothing more than “sanction busting trips “, like those organized in the 1980s to break the boycott of the apartheid regime in our country.
As President Tambo famously said: “We pledge the solidarity and support of the ANC and the fighting people of South Africa to SWAPO, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and all peoples fighting against fascism, racism, and imperialism”. The call to Boycott, Divest and impose Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid-Israel remains a clarion call that needs to be in the minds and hearts of all revolutionaries, most especially the members of SASCO. This means that we cannot be found supporting any formations that seek to embrace colonialism. We remind all members and students at large that SASCO has endorsed the Palestinian led civil society call to boycott, divest, and impose sanctions (BDS) against Israel, we therefore have no business supporting, embracing, let alone defending an apartheid regime such as Israel.
We are warning members of SASCO that would want to be party to this Israel project, should they defy and cross the picket line, they will get expelled from the organization. SASCO in the region will be participating in the 13th annual International Israeli Apartheid Week, between the 6th -12th March 2017. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies and serves to garner support for the growing non-violent BDS campaign.” (Click here for the full statement released by SASCO Johannesburg on the launch of their Internatioanlist Calendar)
ISSUED BY KWARA KEKANA ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA
Kwara Kekana, BDS South Africa Spokesperson: 0740543826
Onwabile Lubhelwana, SASCO Johannesburg Regional Chairperson: 082 056 3886
Bhekithemba Mbatha, SASCO Johannesburg Regional Secretary: 072 141 4598