The Global Anti-Apartheid Movement - a worldwide movement in solidarity with Palestinians who are grappling with Israel's apartheid regime - will be launched at the first global anti-apartheid conference expected to be held in South Africa in May next year.
Reverend Frank Chikane and other members of the South African Anti-Apartheid Steering Committee, together with their partners in Palestine, addressed the media on Tuesday about the launch of the Global Anti-Apartheid Movement.
“The dismantlement of apartheid in South Africa is today a vital milestone in the global struggle against racism, discrimination and colonial oppression, but it remains ‘incomplete’, as Mandela said, without fully abolishing apartheid everywhere around the world, starting in Palestine,“ said Rev Chikane.
The Steering Committee members are Rev Frank Chikane (Chair), Rev Edwin Arrison, Usuf Chikte, Mohammed Dangor, Na’eem Jeenah, Shaheen Khan, Jo Bluen, Dudu Mahlangu-Masango, Lesego Masisi, Firoza Mayat, Rev Mzwandile Molo, Marthie Momberg, Rev Moss Ntlha, Imam Rashid Omar, Fazel Randera
The press conference also announced the Patrons of the First Global Anti-Apartheid Conference for Palestine, including Maulana Abdul Khaliq Allie, Brigalia Bam, Alan Boesak, Steven Friedman, Janet Jobson, Pallo Jordan, Ronnie Kasrils, Zwelivelile (Mandla) Mandela, Thabo Makgoba, Abdul Minty, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Elinor Sisulu, Bishop Zipho Siwa, Yasmin Sooka, Salim Vally, Shaeera Kalla, Ela Gandhi, Mohammed Dangor, Mongane Wally Serote, Barbara Masekela.
Chikane emphasised that this launch of a Global Anti-Apartheid Movement was was set in motion last year and was not solely a response to recent events in Gaza.
The origins of this movement can be traced back to the inaugural Palestinian National Conference Against Apartheid in 2022, organised by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Anti-Apartheid Department and the Anti-Apartheid Committee in the National Council.
This pivotal conference saw collaborations with organisations such as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement, the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council, the Palestinian NGO Network, and the Palestinian Ministry of Justice.
The conference culminated in a consensus call for a unified global front to dismantle Israel’s regime of settler colonialism and apartheid.
“What happened with the occupation is that the Israeli government has now imposed a system that is basically racist. That defines who is a citizen of Israel and does not allow people in the occupied areas to determine their own future and live the way they want to live.
“There was the Oslo Accords that did the two-state solution, but that has been negated.
“The issue here is that everyone has the right to life, and in that space, people have been denied their rights of movement, of going back to their homes; they are being denied their rights completely. They are being evicted based on old laws, which are straight-forward discriminatory apartheid laws,” Chikane said.
He said this international conference would be the first concrete step in the strategy towards the launch of a Global Anti-Apartheid Movement in support of the struggle of Palestinians against Israel’s apartheid regime.
The objective of the conference is to set the course and support the mobilisation, organisation, and coordination for global action against Israeli apartheid. It aims to, among other things, develop political, legal, public diplomacy, and media plans based on the unified anti-apartheid call to further isolate Israel’s regime of oppression and hold it accountable.
The conference would also define the action plan for a global front, which would include supporting bodies at global, regional, and grassroots levels.
Reiterating the primary objective of the conference, Chikane emphasised the mobilisation of the Global Anti-Apartheid Movement to advocate for Palestinian rights and challenge Israel's apartheid practices across the region, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
The conference's timing is intended to align with the commemoration of Nakba on May 15, amplifying the significance and urgency of the cause.