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ANC reiterates call for Cultural Boycott of Israel

03 April 2018

At its 54th National Conference, the African National Congress reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the struggle of the Palestinian people and expressed its disappointment at the State of Israel's lack of commitment towards a peaceful resolution. To this end, the conference resolved to immediately and unconditionally downgrade the South African Embassy in Israeli to a liaison office. The position of the ANC has always been that of supporting the cause for the total emancipation of the Palestinian people, in the context of a Two-State solution. We have been witnessing unacceptable violations of children's rights, human rights and international law by the Israeli government. Further, we have been witnessing increased Israeli racism against Africans.

The cultural aspect of the boycott is critical in advancing the cause to ensure that we isolate what is clearly an apartheid government of Israel. It is therefore with deep concern that the African National Congress has learnt of the recent visit to Israel of Mr Nkosinathi Maphumulo, popularly known as Black Coffee, and we wish to open engagements on this issue broadly with the creative sector, with view of ensuring that South Africa continues to play a critical role in helping to resolve the crisis of the Palestinian occupation. In solidarity with the people of Palestine, we will continue highlighting shortcomings wherever they rear their head with regard to the role of South Africans in undermining the cause of the emancipation of the people of Palestine. We await an opportunity to engage Black Coffee and the creative sector at large, with a view to finding each other on this and other matters, as a way of creating common cause between all South Africans in rallying behind Palestine.

We call on all artists to have an appreciation of the role played by the international anti-apartheid solidarity movement in the successful international isolation of apartheid South Africa. The people of Palestine are in a just cause for self determination and we urge our artists not to form part of the the normalization of Israeli's suppression of the Palestinian people in their quest for self determination and statehood that mirrors our very own struggle. The South African artistic community, having themselves experienced discrimination and oppression, must therefore continue to pledge solidarity with others who are oppressed.

Issued by Cde Lindiwe Zulu
Chairperson of the International Relations Committee
on behalf of the African National Congress

Pule Mabe
National Spokesperson