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The following is a statement from South Africa, supported by a wide range of voices and institutions, condemning the celebration of Occupation apartheid:
We fought apartheid; we see no reason to celebrate it in Israel now!
We, South Africans who faced the might of unjust and brutal apartheid machinery in South Africa and fought against it with all our strength, with the objective to live in a just, democratic society, refuse today to celebrate the existence of an Apartheid state in the Middle East. While Israel and its apologists around the world will, with pomp and ceremony, loudly proclaim the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel this month, we who have lived with and struggled against oppression and colonialism will, instead, remember 6 decades of catastrophe for the Palestinian people. 60 years ago, 750,000 Palestinians were brutally expelled from their homeland, suffering persecution, massacres, and torture. They and their descendants remain refugees. This is no reason to celebrate.
When we think of the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, we also remember the Deir Yassin massacre of 1948.
When we think of South Africa's Bantustan policy, we remember the bantustanisation of Palestine by the Israelis.
When we think of our heroes who languished on Robben Island and elsewhere, we remember the 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.
When we think of the massive land theft perpetrated against the people of South Africa, we remember that the theft of Palestinian land continues with the building of illegal Israeli settlements and the Apartheid Wall.
When we think of the Group Areas Act and other such apartheid legislation, we remember that 93% of the land in Israel is reserved for Jewish use only.
When we think of Black people being systematically dispossessed in South Africa, we remember that Israel uses ethnic and racial dispossession to strike at the heart of Palestinian life.
When we think of how the SADF troops persecuted our people in the townships, we remember that attacks from tanks, fighter jets and helicopter gunships are the daily experience of Palestinians in the Occupied Territory.
When we think of the SADF attacks against our neighbouring states, we remember that Israel deliberately destabilises the Middle East region and threatens international peace and security, including with its 100s of nuclear warheads.
We who have fought against Apartheid and vowed not to allow it to happen again can not allow Israel to continue perpetrating apartheid, colonialism and occupation against the indigenous people of Palestine.
We dare not allow Israel to continue violating international law with impunity.
We will not stand by while Israel continues to starve and bomb the people of Gaza.
We who fought all our lives for South Africa to be a state for all its people demand that millions of Palestinian refugees must be accorded the right to return to the homes from where they were expelled.
Apartheid was a gross violation of human rights. It was so in South Africa and it is so with regard to Israel's persecution of the Palestinians!
Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
The Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign is a coalition of Palestinian non governmental organizations and popular committees that mobilize and coordinate efforts on local, national and international levels. These efforts are focused upon stopping and dismantling the Apartheid Wall, and resisting Israeli occupation and colonization.
A call for a coordinated, popular, and grassroots effort to tear down the Wall came out of Jerusalem on the 2nd of October 2002, from the office of the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network (PENGON). From this moment the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign was born. The Campaign initiated its work on three levels: acting as the voice of communities locally; mobilization and coordination nationally; and additionally as part of the global struggle against colonization, war and racism.
Since its inception the Campaign has been the main national grassroots body mobilizing and organizing resistance against the Apartheid Wall. This growing responsibility, and the need for people from affected communities to be more involved in decision-making, necessitated a change in the Campaign’s structure. Now the Campaign is working as an independent body with its own board. It presently coordinates the work of 54 popular committees in communities which will be (and are being) destroyed by the Wall.
Read more about the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign through the following sections:
* Campaign Goals
* Campaign Strategies
* Campaign Structure
* Campaign Activities
The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign’s mission is to Stop the Wall. The Campaign goals are:
1. The immediate cessation of the building of the Wall.
2. The dismantling of all parts of the Wall and its related zones already built.
3. The return of lands confiscated for the path of the Wall.
4. The compensation of damages and lost income due to the destruction of land and property in addition to the restitution of land.
These calls are firmly grounded in the context of the struggle against Israeli Colonization, Apartheid and Occupation, and for Palestinian rights and self-determination. None of the above demands can be compromised in the Campaign’s work.
In order to achieve these goals and to support the communities in their struggle to safeguard their lands, existence, and future, the Campaign:
* Mobilizes and coordinates local and national efforts to support communities in their resistance to the Wall.
* Supports people’s steadfastness in their lands despite the devastating effects of the Wall.
* Raises awareness on the international level about the implications of the Wall on Palestinian towns, and mobilizes solidarity for the communities affected by the Wall, through coordination with international organizations and movements.
* Mobilizes the Arab world community, civil society organizations and unions to increase political solidarity and support within the Arab world for the Palestinian struggle in general, and for the community struggle against the Wall.
* Calls for international boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. This is seen as the most effective way to force Israel to comply with the ICJ decision.
* Links the Palestinian struggle against the Wall and Occupation to the world-wide struggles against war, globalization, and colonization.
* Activate international organizations, movements and actors to support the Campaign.
* Popular Committees: the Campaign includes committees that are representatives of affected communities on two levels: the district level and the local village/city level. The committees' work includes organizing mobilization and resistance and collecting data. These committees are the basis of grassroots mobilizing, and representatives of their villages’ demands and struggle.
* General Assembly: the Campaign’s general assembly is constituted of 21 non-governmental organizations and popular committees*. The general assembly decides on the vision, goals, and main strategies of the Campaign, in addition to its by-laws and financial administration.
* Coordinating Committee: consists of 7 members elected from the general assembly: the regional coordinators, representatives of the member NGOs, and the Campaign coordinator. This body decides the action plans and implementation of strategies and work plans, and supervises the Campaign’s work.
* Head Office: the Campaign office located in Ramallah, implements all Campaign work under the supervision of the coordinating committee.
* Hosting Organization: the hosting of the Campaign rotates yearly between member organizations; the hosting organization provides the Campaign with all logistics needed for work. This year the campaign is hosted by the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC).
*Popular Committees of Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqiliya, Ramallah, North-West Jerusalem, East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jordan Valley; Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC), Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange (PACE), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Farmers Union, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), Ma’an Development Center (MA’AN), , YMCA/YWCA, Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid, Land Research Center (LRC), Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ).
The Campaign’s activities depend on mobilizing various resources and organizations to achieve the Campaign goals. The activities can be broken down into the following areas:
Grassroots mobilization forms the fundamental part of the Campaign activities and includes:
* Popular meetings in affected communities
* Supporting popular organizing committees against the Wall
* facilitating and support for community activities against the Wall
* Calling for and coordinating the community activities against the wall
* Information dissemination exposing the occupation’s plans and actions
* Coordination of the exchange of experiences between communities to encourage solidarity between people in different locations
As an expression of the needs of the people, the Popular Committees are formed by the communities to organize and to defend their lands and homes from confiscation and destruction. Inside the committees the hardship and challenges posed by the Apartheid Wall are discussed and political expression of the people is built.
The committees form the space where people can meet, organize, strategize and mobilize. The activities and decisions of the 50+ committees are supported and coordinated through the Campaign’s Head Office and Regional Coordinators.
These committees are the basis of the grassroots mobilizing and the link between the Campaign and the people that allows the communities to obtain and provide Campaign information, communicate needs and priorities to the Campaign, and seek support both in mobilization and in safeguarding their lands.
Palestinian grassroots mobilization is taking place in many forms. Now that lands are inaccessible and movement virtually barred in the areas where the Wall is complete, information events such as presentations, meetings and exhibitions gain even more importance for empowering people with the necessary information, updates and tools to take action. Demonstrations held on land stolen by the Occupation forces, and other forms of protests, are expressions of the people’s determination and resilience to resisting the Israeli Occupation and Apartheid Wall.
NGO and National Mobilization
Mobilizing governmental and non-governmental organizations is carried out on two levels. Firstly, the political level, where the Campaign is lobbying for organizations to work together in creating and promoting policies against the Apartheid Wall, ensuring that all Palestinian institutions are engaged in the same goals within a unified national framework. Second, the affected communities’ needs level: encouraging organizations to support and respond to people’s needs for resisting colonization of their lands. At the same time, ensuring that none of the projects implemented under this framework help, or in any way maintain, the situation created by the Apartheid Wall. That is, none of them should engage in compensating or providing substitutes for what the Wall has damaged in these communities, as this remains exclusively the responsibility of the Occupation which created it.
Research and Documentation.
The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign from its inception has placed substantial energy into information collection and dissemination. The Campaign has a variety of publications that are tools of mobilization, and also documentation of the destruction of Palestinian communities. These publications are a form of resistance and advocacy which make a strong contribution to debates around tackling the challenges presented by the Apartheid Wall and the occupation.
Campaign publications include:
* Books (provided with maps): The Campaign was the first in Palestine (and internationally) to publish a booklet on the Wall, which came out in November 2002. In June 2003, the Campaign produced a major publication in English and Arabic (translated later into Italian), that is still regarded as the main point of reference for information about the Wall. Currently, the second print of the report, with new updates, is under preparation, in addition to a report about the Wall in and around Jerusalem.
* Presentations: The PowerPoint presentations include data, pictures from affected communities, and maps. The Campaign uses presentations at its meetings in Palestinian communities. These presentations are used for exploring and analysing the Occupation’s plans and the goals to which the construction of the Wall is aiming. They are an important tool for mobilizing on both national and international levels.
* Fact sheets: They include all data and information from our research regarding the Wall’s route and length, considering the implications on villages that it has affected (or is going to affect).
* Newsletter: the Campaign publishes a quarterly newsletter, with updated information about communities affected by the Wall, as well as analysis and emerging issues.
* Website: in addition to the English site www.StopTheWall.org, the Campaign has launched its Arabic, Spanish and Italian sites. Work is underway for the launch of the German and French sites. The Campaign’s website functions as the gateway for the Arab and international world. It brings out the voices of the Palestinian people, enables links and coordination with solidarity groups, and also acts as an activist resource.
* Photo exhibits: the Campaign organizes exhibits at various national and international events as another source of information and activism against the Wall. Campaign exhibits include pictures, maps, fact sheets, and case studies.
International Outreach and Solidarity
The Campaign gives great importance to the strengthening of an international movement that supports the Palestinian struggle against the Apartheid Wall and Palestinian rights. It also coordinates within international networks against war and colonialism.
The Campaign believes that international outreach and mobilization is one main strategy in its call to impose immediate and effective sanctions and boycott against Israeli Apartheid, which is an important way to support the Palestinian struggle against the Apartheid Wall and Israeli Occupation.
The Campaign’s international advocacy targets a variety of groups, organizations, decision makers, politicians, and individuals, in different parts of the world, creating greater global awareness of the issue and mobilizing against the Wall and the Occupation.
For outreach purposes, the Campaign:
1. Prepares material in the form of reports and fact sheets, as well as a number of versions of Wall Power Point presentations and exhibits in different forums.
2. The Campaign’s website www.stopthewall.org serves as a regular source of information and interaction for solidarity groups and the Campaign.
3. Is in regular contact and coordination with media, international organizations, and solidarity groups.
4. Participates in international events and activities.
5. Organizes speaking tours for Campaign members and activists from affected communities meeting with different target groups: solidarity groups, churches, trade unions, universities, and political parties.
6. Organizes visiting tours for international delegations to affected communities, exploring realities on the ground.
The National and International Week against the Apartheid Wall (9th to 16th of November)
The week was launched by the Campaign two years ago to focus resistance, international mobilization, and attention against the Apartheid Wall.
Originally posted by manson_322
well, I have a question for people on ATS ....
why do people deny that Israel is imposing apartheid on Palestine ....