In historic decision, South Africa’s ANC makes support for Israel boycott its official policy
For the first time ever, the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party in South Africa, today made the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel part of its official policy.
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of BDS South Africa said the decision “by the ANC’s National Conference, its highest decision making body, is by far the most authoritative endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.”
In a press release sent out by email, BDS South Africa explained:
In October 2012, the ANC’s International Solidarity Conference (ISC) declared its full support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.
Today, Lindiwe Zulu (member of the ANC’s International Relations Sub-Committee and special advisor to President Jacob Zuma) announced at the ANC’s 53rd National Conference plenary session, the ANC’s official endorsement, as captured in Resolution 39 (b), of the ANC’s October International Solidarity Conference (ISC) and all its resolutions, which includes a resolution on BDS. Giving muscle to resolution 39 (b), the ANC has committed to set up a steering committee to implement these ISC resolutions.
In addition, the ANC adopted resolution 35 (g) that specifically called for “all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel to engage with the Palestinian people to reach a just solution.”
Solidarity with Africans mistreated by Israel
BDS South Africa also applauded the ANC National Conference for passing a resolution that “abhors the recent Israeli state-sponsored xenophobic attacks and deportation of Africans” and to “request that this matter should be escalated to the African Union.”
Growing solidarity in South Africa
Recently high-level South African church leaders, shocked at what they saw then they visited Palestine, also expressed support for the boycott.
In August, South Africa’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim advised his country’s citizens not to travel to Israel “because of the treatment and policies of Israel towards the Palestinian people.”
Prior to October’s decision at the ANC’s International Solidarity Conference – that set the stage for today’s vote at the National Conference – more than 150 former anti-Apartheid activists from around the world signed a statement calling on the ANC to support the boycott.
Today, those voices and those of solidarity groups in South Africa, proved to be more effective than the appeals of the once mighty anti-Palestinian groups.
The Electronic Intifada