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Joburg hosting Global Anti-apartheid Conference on Palestine

Alameen Templeton

Ireland’s Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney is travelling to Johannesburg to address a ‘Global Anti-Apartheid Conference on Palestine’, taking place between today and Sunday.

The conference is set to be addressed by President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and attended by Palestinian representatives and 200 leaders representing political parties and religious organisations from across the world.

It is billed as bringing together an international host of anti-Israel activists “towards a global movement to dismantle Israel’s settler colonialism and apartheid”.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Kearney said:

“The future of Palestine demands that the world finally acts decisively in support of the Palestinian people’s fundamental national and human rights.

“This conference will focus on developing an organised, global movement to dismantle Israel’s systems of oppression, occupation and apartheid in Palestine.

“The seven-month genocidal onslaught against the people of Gaza demonstrates the pressing need for coordinated action.

“We must bring an end to Israel’s apartheid systems and help to deliver peace, justice and freedom for Palestine and its people.”

Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor is scheduled to open the event.

The Jewish News Service (JNS) notes: “Pandor has drawn criticism from the South African Jewish community for repeated incitement against Israel as well as threats to arrest South Africans who have served with the Israel Defense Forces should they return to the country.”

It’s describing the meeting as a “global, anti-israel conference”.

A “concept note” posted to the event website says: “The unprecedented collective efforts of the global solidarity movement have been inspiring. Yet, we have not reached the point where we can stop the U.S.-Israeli genocidal war, achieve justice for the indigenous people of Palestine, and dismantle Israel’s regime of Zionist occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid, as was done to the apartheid regime in South Africa.”

The JNS adds: “The speakers’ schedule comprises a who’s who of the world’s most notorious anti-Israel antagonists, including Mustafa Barghouti, general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative party and a BDS leader; Zaher Birawi, a senior Hamas official living in the United Kingdom; and Ali Abunimah, founder of the anti-Israel Electronic Intifada website.”

The SA Zionist Federation is very upset. Spokesman Rowan Polovin is alarmed. He notes the UN’s 2001 “World Conference on Racism” unleashed massive sanctions against “israel”.

“That discredited conference launched the global antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has worked tirelessly to delegitimize and demonize the world’s only Jewish state through the insidious ‘apartheid’ slander,” said Polovin.

“This new conference doubles down on that bigoted strategy while going even further by disingenuously trying to link Israel to the abhorrent crime of genocide.”

Unfortunately for Polovin, that link has already been made everywhere around the world; the conference merely wishes to decide what to do about it.

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