Saturday, October 27, 2012

Regional Groups in Spain Unite for Palestinian Rights and Boycott of Israel

Plans for next years conference to include accommodation
for large crowds as support for boycott, divest and 
sanctions of Israel grows across Spain.
"Yesterday South Africa, Today Palestine" brought together for the first time all the BDS regional groups in Spain order to exchange information and coordinate BDS at the state level.  

BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions against Israel) groups from Catalonia, Madrid, Basque Country, Andalucía and more made Barcelona their destination from October 19-21.

Workshops on the commercial boycott, the academic boycott, the cultural and sports boycott as well as the industrial boycott through trade unions drew unexpectedly large crowds.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Rafeef Ziadah and Ilan Pappé were guest speakers.  Videos of their speeches in English can be viewed at  Pappé reiterated the importance of the cultural and academic boycott.   He also emphasized that a two-state solution gives 80% of the territory to Israel, denies the right of return, and gives no real independence to the Palestinians if they are condemned to a system of Bantustans. International Law and the Russell Tribunal were addressed by David Bondia and Sabrina Senouci.  Military relations between Spain and Israel was presented by Spanish expert Alejandro Pozo.

"Roadmap to apartheid" was screened, and emphasis was made on the clear link between South Africa's and Palestine's apartheid and the need for educating the public on its existence.  

The three goals or demands of the movement are:

  • End the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall.
  • Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
  • Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

    • Read the Declaration from the Conference:

"Declaration from the First Spanish State Conference on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the state of Israel”

The Conference, held in Barcelona between the 19th-21st October 2012, takes on the call from Palestinian civil society to join the campaign of international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel and calls on civil society of the Spanish state to do the same.
Regional groups in Spain unite, and show an outpouring 
of support for boycott, divest, and sanctions of Israel.
At the first Spanish State Conference for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), the meeting of more than 500 activists and 50 organisations from civil society of the state of Spain reaffirmed our commitment to the struggle of the Palestinian people and our stance against Israeli apartheid: “Yesterday South Africa, today Palestine” We affirmed the advance of the BDS campaign as central to all the actions and activities of solidarity with the Palestinian people. To this end, the Conference decided in its conclusions to work towards a BDS campaign that transcends the Palestinian solidarity movement. With these objectives in mind, we communicate our intention to coordinate with the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), that heads and drives the international movement in support of the BDS campaign.
The BDS campaign arose from the Palestinian people themselves in 2005. Amongst the demands of their call are the end of the occupation of all Arab territories occupied by Israel in 1967, the right of return of all refugees and equality of rights for all citizens of Israel.
We affirm the necessity to support this non-violent campaign to put an end to the systematic violation of the human rights and International Law on the part of Israel. These violations have again been brought to light by the recent hijacking of the last Gaza Flotilla in international waters. We therefore demand that our government guarantees freedom of passage in Mediterranean waters, puts an end to the blockade of Gaza and brings about the immediate release of those that are, as of today, being held captive by Israel.
As organisations from civil society and activists for the internationalist cause, we hereby call on international civil society (and all people of good will) to join this Palestinian people’s movement,based in the principals of justice, freedom and equality, to put an end to the state of Israel’s impunity.
Barcelona, 21st October 2012