LIVE BLOG – Palestine Chronicle at the Global Anti-Apartheid Conference on Palestine

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor. (Photo: Nurah Tape, Palestine Chronicle)

The Global Anti-Apartheid Conference on Palestine is taking place in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa from May 10 – 12, 2024

The conference aims “to set the basis for the mobilisation of a Global Anti-Apartheid Movement to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people, and to work to dismantle Israeli apartheid from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. This will see an intensification of the mobilisation, organisation and coordination for global action against Israeli apartheid.”

Palestine Chronicle editor Nurah Tape is covering the full duration of the conference. Stay updated on all events below.

Sunday, May 12, 13:30 (GMT +2)

BOLIVIAN Representative, Former Foreign Minister: “Palestine is all of us.
Today we see a failure of the United Nations.
The freedom of Palestine is the freedom of all of us.”

The conference concluded with a reading of the Conference Declaration.

Sunday, May 12, 13:10 (GMT +2)

DECLAN KEARNEY, Chairperson of Sinn Fein: “We share a common humanity. We see (in Palestine) a centuries-old spirit of resistance.”

Sunday, May 12, 12:30 (GMT +2)

TÜRKIYE’S FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER, Ahmet Davutoğlu: “We are all Palestinian!”

“This war is not between Hamas and Israel. This war is not between Palestine and Israel. This war is between Israel and humanity as a whole!”

Sunday, May 12, 10:45 (GMT +2)

Day 3 of the Global Anti-Apartheid Conference on Palestine

Presentation and Discussion of Action Plan underway

Saturday, May 11, 4:15 pm (GMT +2)

REPORT-BACK on discussion workshops: Workshop leaders report on the various workshops. Workshops included a focus on boycotts, divestment and sanctions; interfaith activities and campaigns; and actions in the legal spheres.

Saturday, May 11, 11:05 am (GMT +2)

ROSHAN DADOO, Activist and former South African cabinet minister: “The anti-apartheid movement wasn’t just about South Africa.” She mentioned Namibia and Angola and their struggles.

Saturday, May 11, 11:45 am (GMT +2)

ALI ABUNIMAH, Palestinian-American journalist, co-founder of Electronic Intifada: “South Africa is leading the global stage in challenging Israel.

We cannot be led to despair by the hypocrisy of the so-called civilized world.

The real struggle to decolonize the world is only just beginning. We see it in Africa now with Niger and other countries. And the same must be done with the so-called neo-colonialism, the American command setting up bases in Africa. And the same must happen in the Middle East.

This is decolonization in action.
The role of armed resistance is legitimate, and it is part of the struggle.
We’re in the South Africa moment. The momentum is such that it is unstoppable.”

Saturday, May 11, 11:35 am (GMT +2)

ZANE DANGOR, South Africa’s DIRCO Director-General: “Look at who is not a state party to the ICC and ask yourself why? The apex powers, including the US, are not. If you investigate why, it’s that for those powers the use of force for them is a diplomatic tool and they want to use that force without any form of accountability.”

“They want to engage unfettered without any form of accountability. It’s no surprise then when they write to the ICC and threaten prosecutors.”

“The ICJ will not liberate Palestine, but engaging in those spaces, we were fully aware that we may not be successful but what we wanted to do was… provide the Palestinian narrative and hold Israel accountable.”

“The time for Palestinian freedom is now. This is Palestine’s South Africa moment. Let’s seize it.”

Saturday, May 11, 11:07 am (GMT +2)

RAJI SOURANI, human rights lawyer and the director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights: “They managed to displace 2 million people. This is the most ethical army in the world. Their target: civilians, residential areas, hospitals, bakeries, electricity plants and above all that, women and children.

Why? For a simple reason. They are doing self-defense, just as simple as that. And the entire West from Biden, US Administration, UK, Germany, and Western Europe fully understand Israel’s right to self-defense.

They show their unwavering legal, political support of Israel in its rights to self-defense.”

RAJI SOURANI: At the UN Conference Against Racism in 2001, “South Africa showed that Israel is the new brand of apartheid.”

“The ICJ is not going to liberate Palestine, the ICC will not liberate Palestine.

Those who are playing the blood, those who are suffering starvation, those who are resisting, will liberate Palestine.”

“We will not give up, we are on the right side of history.

We will defend our dignity and our freedom, we will get it!”

Saturday, May 11, 10:45 am (GMT +2)

REVEREND FRANK CHIKANE: Opens Day 2 of the conference with a warm welcome.

REPRESENTATIVE OF NAMIBIAN PRESIDENT: “It is not enough to just speak out without any tangible changes to the situation (in Gaza). But speaking out and meeting is just as important. The question is: will it meet the desired outcomes? ”

REP OF NAMIBIAN PRESIDENT: “Human rights equals legitimate resistance. Legitimate resistance equals human rights.”

“A two-state solution sounds like a further displacement of Palestinian people from their land. Something Namibian people know all too well.”

Friday, May 10, 05:40 pm (GMT +2)

NA’EEM JEENAH, South African academic and activist: “The 7th of October changed everything about how we understand solidarity, how we must understand solidarity.”

NA’EEM JEENAH: “Our cause is one cause … The core of solidarity networks should be networks of oppressed peoples.”

NA’EEM JEENAH: Cautioned about the notion of peaceful resistance. “Non-violence should not be fetishized.”

“When the moment calls for a strong response, there should be a strong response.”

NA’EEM JEENAH: To the Palestinians present here: “This conference is here to honor you, we honor your families, we honor your martyrs…”

Day 1 of the Global Anti-Apartheid Conference on Palestine has concluded.

Friday, May 10, 05:15 pm (GMT +2)

STEVEN FRIEDMAN, South African academic: “The struggle for Palestine is entering a new phase.”

STEVEN FRIEDMAN: “Zionists are not proud to be Jewish at all, they’re deeply ashamed to be Jewish.”

STEVEN FRIEDMAN: It was only after (South Africa’s) Sharpeville (massacre) that the international campaign against South Africa took off. I think we are entering the phase now where because of the genocide it would be assumed that decent people don’t want anything to do with the Israeli state.

STEVEN FRIEDMAN: “We need to talk concretely about how Palestinian lives are being destroyed by apartheid Israel…You can only do that if you talk about how the system dehumanizes people.”

STEVEN FRIEDMAN: “The role of Jewish people is very important…Jewish anti-Zionism is going to become an increasingly important factor. ”

Friday, May 10, 05:00 pm (GMT +2)

FARAZ AL QAWASMI, from Hebron (Al-Khalil), works with imprisoned Palestinians:  Around 9,000 Palestinians are in Israeli jails, who have their basic rights denied.

“My own brother was arrested after Oct 7. He was released recently, he lost 30 kilos in that time.”

OFFICIAL HASHTAG: The official hashtag for the conference is #palestineafrica2024

Friday, May 10, 04:45 pm (GMT +2)

ALI ABDULLAH, Masafer Yatta village, occupied West Bank: “When you go to the court you are facing a judge who is a settler.”

ALI ABDULLAH: “Settlers have taken advantage of the situation in Gaza, shooting with intent to kill, burning homes.”

SAMIHA, Resident of Massafer Yatta: “What is the fault of a Palestinian mother who has to live in fear 24 hours a day?”

SAMIHA: “Our land is in their (Israeli) hands, our rights are in their hands.”

Friday, May 10, 04:30 pm (GMT +2)

AHMAD NASRALLAH, Gaza High Court Judge: Left Gaza recently. “I hardly skipped death when I left…the massacres are unprecedented.”

AHMAD NASRALLAH: “These martyrs are human beings who have rights. I call upon you to work closely to bring to book the occupation leaders who have killed” the over 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

Friday, May 10, 04:15 pm (GMT +2)

MOHANNAD AL-QAISI, occupied West Bank resident, member of Olive Tree Campaign: “After October 7, harassment has gotten worse.”

MOHANNAD AL-QAISI: “When I was 13, a sniper shot my friend.” Mohannad went on to study psychology in an attempt to help others with their experience of living under Israeli occupation.

MOHANNAD AL-QAISI: Shared his experiences of collective punishment, and how Israeli soldiers raid towns during the middle of the night. “In the camp where I live, the snipers will shoot anyone.”

MOHANNAD AL-QAISI: “Standing here in South Africa and getting your support means a lot to the Palestinians. I don’t stand here as a victim, I’m a freedom fighter.”

SHIREEN HILAL, occupied West Bank: Shared the experiences of her family in Gaza. “We should not rest until this is over. We owe the people of Gaza, the children of Gaza, the heroic Gazans…We cannot stop resisting.”

Friday, May 10, 04:00 pm (GMT +2)

RONNIE KASRILS, South Africa’s former Minister of Intelligence: “This conference has to be focused on stopping this genocide.”

RONNIE KASRILS: “We’ve got to break Zionist Israel…The key is clear politics, policy, unity.”

Friday, May 10, 03:15 pm (GMT +2)

LAMIS DEEK, Palestinian-American Activist and lawyer: “Palestinian refugees and demand for return is a force of peace. Palestinian resistance is a force of peace.”

LAMIS DEEK: “We are the only colonized people not being allowed to exist by name.”

LAMIS DEEK: Our demands call for “liberation from all institutions of zionist supremacy, wherever they may be.”

LAMIS DEEK: “The Zionists have given us a formula, they’re very predictable in what they do…We are in a place of power. It’s important that we understand our capacity and our power. Power only concedes to power.”

Friday, May 10, 02:15 pm (GMT +2)

DECLAN KEARNEY, Chairperson of Sinn Fein: “The Palestinian and Irish freedom fighters share a special bond. Our commitment is absolute and unbreakable.”

DECLAN KEARNEY: “History did not commence on October 7… Israel has laid bare the moral hypocrisy of Western powers.”

SALEH HIJAZI, Amnesty International and BDS movement: “Let us grow this movement together and end decades of oppression, and usher in a time of liberation.”

Friday, May 10, 02:00 pm (GMT +2)

IBRAHIM ZAYAT, International Union of Muslim Scholars: “We call on all leaders present to amplify the call for a free Palestine.”

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, Palestinian Legislative Council: “What is happening in Gaza is a terrible crime no one should live with…How many wars can the world allow this Israeli fascist regime to commit” against the Palestinian people?

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: “We’ve woken the people of the world against genocide and injustice …and hypocrisy of international governments.”

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: “Israel initiated this war but Israel will not be the one who decides how it ends.”

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: “We will not leave our land.”

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: “This is not anti-semitic as they claim, it is against Zionism…against white supremacy.”

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: “We will not submit, we will not surrender…till we achieve our freedom, our justice, our full humanity and our dignity. We will overcome because you are with us. We will see freedom in Palestine in our lifetime.”

Friday, May 10, 12:00 pm (GMT +2)

PALESTINE CHRONICLE CORRESPONDENT: The Global Anti-Apartheid Conference on Palestine has kicked off with a moment of silence for the more than 34,000 Palestinians who have been killed in Israel’s ongoing genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip.

REVEREND FRANK CHIKANE: “This conference must make sure that we mobilize the world … and free the people of Palestine.”

ARCHBISHOP THABO MAKGOBA: “Such an unjust system can only be sustained by violence… Israel maintains an apartheid-like grip on the Palestinian people only by extreme violence.”

MINISTER NALEDI PANDOR: “Progressive forces need to push for the inalienable right of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.”

MINISTER NALEDI PANDOR: “There can never be peace if the Palestinian people are not free …We should be ashamed that 35,000 people have been killed in Gaza.”

MINISTER NALEDI PANDOR: “The International Criminal Court (ICC) must prioritize the case against Israel.”

DR MUNTHER ISAAC: In a symbolic gesture, the Reverend Munther Isaac of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem places a keffiyah around the shoulders of Minister Naledi Pandor at the Global Anti-Apartheid Conference on Palestine.

DR KENNETH MTATA, World Council of Churches representative: “What is happening to the Palestinian people challenges the moral integrity of the churches.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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