Palestinian civil society led mobilization, demanding UN investigation into Israel’s apartheid and imposition of lawful, targeted sanctions draw to a close with this video message by Jessie Duarte, Deputy Secretary-General of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa; Claudia Mix, Member of Parliament from Chile; Elamaram Kareem, Member of Parliament and leader of the CPI-M in Rajya Sabha from India; and Nora Cortiñas, co-founder of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina coming together in video calling upon the UNGA to take action against Israeli apartheid.
This week saw mobilization across the world with 450+ unions, movements and political parties around the world, including from India, call upon the UN to investigate Israel’s apartheid and impose lawful, targeted sanction on it. Thousands of people participated in a Twitterstorm last Thursday, highlighting state and corporate complicity with Israel’s apartheid regime. Groups shared information and resources to learn about apartheid.
Decades of people’s movement followed by UN’s recognition of the crime of apartheid and imposition of sanctions ended apartheid regime in South Africa. Inspired by this, Palestinian civil society has been calling for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. Indeed leading figures from around the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have since long drawn parallels between the apartheid regime in South Africa and Palestine.
In May, Israel announced its plans to formally annex parts of the occupied West Bank. In reality, this simply means turning its de facto annexation into de jure. This move has drawn strong criticism from around the world. 47 leading UN human rights experts have called this the “a vision of a 21st century apartheid”. Palestinian civil society called for effective measures by states to stop Israel’s illegal annexation.
Responding to the Palestinian civil society call, South African civil society launched an effort which groups across Asia, Africa and Latin America joined and continue to work on. As part of this effort, a statement building upon Palestinian civil society demands of opening UN mechanism to investigate Israel’s apartheid, lawful and targeted sanctions, ending trade ties and supporting the ICC probe into Israel’s war crimes was launched. This received huge support from MPs, diplomats, political and civil society leaders including 7 ex-presidents from Latin America and 2 ex-presidents from South Africa.
Key signatories from this statement have now come together to send the message to the ongoing UNGA that it must investigate Israel’s apartheid and impose sanctions on it. This Global South effort is driven by solidarity for Palestinian liberation struggle, and also by the shared history of anti colonial struggles in the region. And it will continue to make interventions until the key demands are met.
From India, CPI-M leader in Rajya Sabha, Elamaram Kareem, talks about military and security ties between India and Israel, and how that makes India complicit in Israel’s occupation, apartheid and colonialism. Indian movements have long supported the Palestinian liberation struggle, and a key message from a leader of this stature, who also recently stood against undemocratic and anti farmer legislations pushed through the Indian parliament goes on to reflect the interconnectedness of struggles.