Palestine Conference in Johannesburg Calls for True, Meaningful Liberation

The Fifth Global Convention of Solidarity with Palestine was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from December 3 to 5. (Photo: via Salaamedia TW Page)

By Ahmed Jazbhay

A conference, under the title ‘Nelson Mandela and Palestine: Confronting Racism till Liberation’, was held in Johannesburg from December 3-5.

The conference coincided with the 10th anniversary of Madiba’s passing.

Mandela’s now-famous quote that “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” was echoed by many speakers during the joint opening session. 

Addressing delegates, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Chief Mandla Mandela, said the occasion was entrenched in an unshakable belief that Palestinians have the absolute right to the land of their forefathers using all available means, including the armed resistance.

Delegates discussed everyday mechanisms to challenge the crimes of the settler colonizers all over Historic Palestine; how to reinforce international solidarity in the wake of the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation; and the responsibility of international law and human rights bodies and how to challenge the restrictions of mainstream and social media on Palestinian content.

Conference participants were unanimous in their assertion that Palestine has been suffering under the triple bondage of imperialism, racism, and Zionist settler colonialism for 75 years and therefore the armed struggle currently being waged by the Resistance in Gaza is justified as per international law.

Of particular importance was the clarion call for true and meaningful liberation for Palestine from the Jordanian River to the Mediterranean Sea, a call that embodies the one-state solution called for by indigenous Palestinians and the inalienable right of return for over the seven million refugees and their descendants displaced during the 1948 Nakba.

Chief Mandela called upon President Cyril Ramaphosa to abandon the two-state delusion in favor of a single democratic state for all indigenous peoples of Palestine.

“We want to call on His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa to abandon the thoughts of a Bantustan-type solution to Palestine, abandon separate development, racism and apartheid in occupied Palestine”, he said.

He added that they would not rest “until victory falls on the people of Palestine”. “Palestine shall be free from the river to the sea”. 

Heart-wrenching testimony was provided by the parents of martyr Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian, was kidnapped and burnt alive in Jerusalem on the morning of July 2, 2014.

One of the highlights of the conference was the attendance of senior members of the Palestinian Resistance Movement, Hamas. The delegation included politburo member Bassem Naim, Hamas representative in Iran, Khaled Qaddoumi and Hamas representative in East, Central and Southern Africa, Emad Saber.

Media Review Network members had the privilege of holding fruitful discussions with members of the Resistance on the sidelines of the conference, especially related to present Zionist genocide on the besieged Gaza Strip. The exchange confirmed that the Palestinian Resistance efforts against the Zionist oppressor seem to be in excellent and capable hands, despite the immense human suffering being endured on the ground.

Indeed, Palestinians fully understand the cost of liberation at all levels. 

“I am filled with pride and glory to be a son of the heroic Gaza City, which has openly declared its willingness to sacrifice and for martyrdom for our sincere national objectives, and, indeed, for the salvation of humanity from the brutal Zionist entity,” Dr. Naim said.

He added that the current situation in Gaza has two faces. First, there is the face of courage – the legendary resilience of the Palestinian people, steadfast in their determination to sacrifice and stick to their land and homeland. 

Palestinian fighters support the people’s strong desire for justice and liberation, bravely facing the Zionist-American military machine and inflicting significant losses upon them. 

The other face is the somber humanitarian catastrophe being sadistically executed on Gaza by the Zionist forces over the past 60 days.

Dr. Naim also explained that the October 7 operation remains a critical and distinguishing revolutionary breakthrough in the history of the Palestinian struggle against the Zionist settler occupation and carries the potential for its defeat.

“It is a testament that a besieged people with limited resources managed to defeat a regional state with a massive army, huge intelligence-gathering capacity, and some of the most sophisticated military and surveillance technology in the world,” Dr. Naim said.

– Ahmed Jazbhay is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of South Africa, and also a Researcher at Media Review Network. He focuses on the decoloniZation of knowledge and decolonial struggles. Ahmed holds a PhD from the University of Johannesburg”. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

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