This year, November 29th, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, holds immense significance, now more than ever. The Israeli genocidal attack on Gaza has reportedly resulted in over 15,000 Palestinian deaths, including more than 6,150 children, and forced the displacement of 1.7 million Palestinians. The recent bombing has devastated healthcare, with 26 hospitals out of service, and destroyed all crucial infrastructure. Israel has used starvation as a weapon and deprived the entire population of food, water, fuel, and even the most basic medical supplies. This planned and accelerated genocide is a result of 75 years of impunity that the international community has awarded to Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism.
The last weeks have shown the full extent of the complicity of Western powers, who have given Apartheid Israel unfettered military and diplomatic support. Only global popular mobilization and a decisive stand of the Global South can ensure that Gaza will not become a model for a new world order where “might is right” and extreme violence can be perpetrated against anyone that opposes Western domination and interests.
We therefore celebrate that throughout the world, including in Africa, people have risen in unprecedented numbers in solidarity to stop the unmasked genocide committed by the USA-Israel axis in Gaza. These global protests and demonstrations have brought to light the long-standing reality of Israeli settler colonialism and its enduring atrocities that have plagued the region for decades. Their unwavering commitment serves as a testament to the power of unity, reminding us that the fight against oppression and for human rights and the dignity of all peoples is a universal cause.
During these last few weeks, the solidarity movement for Palestine in Africa has seen a marked increase in diverse and powerful actions, from widespread protests and marches demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and lifting the siege to calls for holding those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity accountable at the International Criminal Court. Artistic and cultural expressions have flourished, harnessing the transformative power of art to amplify support for the Palestinian struggle against genocide and apartheid. Moreover, significant boycott campaigns have targeted complicit Israeli companies and those supporting Israeli apartheid and occupation, aiming to exert economic and political pressure. The establishment of new networks to oppose the genocide in Gaza and dismantle its apartheid regime underscores a growing, continent-wide commitment to the cause. These concerted efforts culminated in political moves, such as Chad severing ties with Israel and the South African Parliament’s vote demanding the suspension of diplomatic ties with Israel. This underscores Africa’s profound and enduring commitment to justice and human rights, and how deeply Africa’s own history of anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggles and our fight for self-determination are intertwined with the Palestinian cause.
This collective history of overcoming oppression and seeking self-rule provides a powerful parallel to the ongoing Palestinian quest for liberation, self-determination, justice and dignity.
In front of this unfolding genocide, it is urgent for our people to rise, organize and pressure our governments and institutions to end all ties of complicity with Apartheid Israel and fully support the Palestinian people in their struggle.
We uphold the charter of the African Union, which commits the Union and its members to oppose Zionism, colonialism and apartheid. We remind governments of this commitment to challenging oppressive ideologies and practices that deny basic human rights and dignity.
Yet, solidarity cannot only be a political statement but has to be translated into meaningful action. Despite some positive shifts in stance, most African governments continue to maintain business-as-usual relations with Israeli Apartheid, often expressing their opposition only in muted tones. Trade exchanges, including an ever increasing export of Israeli military technology to Africa, persist. Israeli arms and military training, tested against the Palestinian people, are fuelling war and civil wars on our continent, also killing our own people. Israel’s agribusiness corporations take foot across our continent, contributing to the resource theft, displacement and other plights that our rural communities and environment suffer.
We refuse to finance the Apartheid regime, we refuse to consume products that support it, we refuse to entertain it. This historical moment demands strong-willed individuals who say no to genocide, no to colonialism, and no to supporting the oppressor. It calls for a resounding yes to the right of the Palestinian people to live in freedom, justice and dignity. This stance is not just a political position but a moral imperative, urging individuals and nations alike to stand firmly against injustice and for the basic human rights of all people.
In response to the call from BDS movement and under the banner Unite now to stop #GazaGenocide and start dismantling apartheid!, the Pan-African Palestine Solidarity Network reaffirms its commitment today to escalate popular mobilization and pressure on governments to:
- Ensure a permanent ceasefire, unrestricted entry of humanitarian aid and an end of the siege on Gaza is guaranteed.
- Impose sanctions on Apartheid Israel, starting from an end to all military and security relations, and cut diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel.
- Ensure the United Nations, the African Union and other multilateral bodies impose lawful sanctions on Israel to end the genocide and dismantle apartheid.
- Ensure those perpetrating and enabling Israel’s genocide, apartheid and war crimes are held accountable in front of the International Criminal Court and other fora.
- Build effective popular campaigns of economic, cultural, academic and sports boycott.
Power to Africa!
Freedom for Palestine!