Solidarity with Palestine

Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) to intensify campaign in solidarity with Palestine

Statement by COSATU

The Congress of South African Trade Unions held a joint meeting of its Political and Socio-economic Commissions (CEC sub-committees) on August 5, 2014. It resolved to intensify its campaign of solidarity with the people of Palestine and against the brutal military rampage against the people of Gaza by the Israel apartheid state which has left around 1900 Palestinians dead.

The meeting agreed to urgently step up its solidarity campaign and to coordinate it more effectively with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions, South Africa and many other civil society groups. We shall continue to demand the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to South Africa and the recall of the South African ambassador to Israel.

The main thrust of the campaign must now be to organize an economic, trade, investment and cultural boycott that bites. Lists are to be drawn up of all the Israeli companies operating in South Africa, and all Israeli-made products so that we can mobilize a mass movement to boycott them.

In order to hit the Israel economy where it hurts, we are also urging all our affiliates to use their investment and provident funds more effectively to support this campaign and target international companies propping up the regime by supplying Israel with goods and services, particularly those supplying finance, arms and infrastructure that enable it to operate in the Palestine occupied territories. That is the only language the Israeli rulers will understand.

We note and welcome the several countries and organizations all over the world that have taken steps to isolate the apartheid state of Israel and concretely supported the Palestine people’s struggle to end Israel’s colonial expansionism. We particularly applaud the solidarity action taken by Latin American governments.

Our campaign is to end apartheid and occupation now. There will be no peace in the Middle East unless the world acts with decisiveness, not just for piecemeal ceasefires, but to end the occupation and colonialism by the state of Israel.

The Special Central Executive Committee of COSATU next week will make further announcements on developing this program of action towards building a more sustainable and effective momentum in support of the Palestinian people’s struggles.

We shall be drawing on the experience of the international anti-apartheid campaign and studying similar campaigns against Israel in other countries to learn lessons on the best way to put pressure on the Israeli apartheid regime to stop its carnage

We urge all members and supporters to attend the mass rally in Cape Town on Saturday August 9, and all other rallies across the country.

Stop the Israeli apartheid state’s war against the people of Gaza!

Forward to a free and independent Palestine!

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)

Congress of South African Trade Unions, August 5, 2014