NGO welcomes ANC support for anti-Israel boycott
Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions SA (BDS) welcomed the position adopted by the ANC's International Solidarity Conference to support the international boycott against Israel.
There had been widespread support for the position from international delegates, with the exception of a delegate from Germany, who argued that Israel could not be compared to apartheid South Africa, BDS said.
"The ANC chairperson, Baleka Mbete, strongly responded, saying that she has been to Palestine herself and that the Israeli regime is not only comparable but 'far worse than apartheid South Africa'," BDS said.
"Ms Mbete received a resounding round of applause from delegates for articulating this position."
Former Dutch anti-apartheid activist Adri Nieuwhof presented a statement on behalf of more than 150 activists, calling on the African National Congress to support the boycott campaign.
Representatives from more than 35 organisations, in nine countries, supported the statement, BDS said.
"On the occasion of the third ANC International Solidarity Conference, we call on the ANC to support the Palestinian people in their fight for freedom, justice and equality...," BDS said in its statement.
"We call on the ANC to support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanction as expression of the party's solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people to enjoy their rights," it said.
A representative from the Palestinian Liberation Organisation welcomed the statement, and stressed the plight of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.
As a result, the conference included in its declaration a demand for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners.