As South Africa marks 20 years of democracy, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) will be hosting a public seminar titled “Reflections of 20 Years of International Solidarity with Palestine”. The seminar (which is open to the public) is being hosted as part of and in support of the United Nations’ recent declaration of 2014 as the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”.
Speakers and participants at the seminar include several South African and Palestinian Government Ministers, senior South African and Palestinian officials, academics, religious leaders, Palestinian solidarity groups, human rights organizations (including BDS South Africa) and other members of civil society.
In the invitation for the upcoming seminar, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said: “this seminar provides an opportunity for South Africans to join the international community in focusing attention on the fact that the question of Palestine remains unresolved and that the Palestinian people have yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the [United Nations] General Assembly, namely, the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced [by Israel].”
PUBLIC SEMINAR ON PALESTINE HOSTED BY S.AFRICA’S
DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS & COOPERATION
TITLE: “Reflections of 20 Years of International Solidarity with Palestine”
DATE: Friday, 02 May 2014
VENUE: The Pepper Club Hotel, Cape Town
SPEAKERS: Marius Fransman (Deputy Foreign Affairs of Minister and ANC Western Cape Chairperson); Ebrahim Ebrahim (Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister); Riyad al-Malki (Palestinian Foreign Minister and Member of the PLO); Hargreaves Tisetso Magama (Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation); Muhammed Desai (Coordinator of BDS South Africa) and others.
RSVP: Should you and members of your organisation wish to participate in this event, kindly RSVP with Mr Chuma Mapokgole at [email protected]
FACEBOOK: Click here for the FaceBook link.
In the 1980s during the struggle against Apartheid the ANC and the larger South African liberation struggle received assistance, friendship and solidarity from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) led by Yasser Arafat. Israel, on the other hand, was a staunch supporter and ally of Apartheid South Africa. The relations between Apartheid South Africa and Israel collapsed when South Africa became a democracy in 1994. For the last 20 years, South Africa, led by the ANC, has backed, supported and – in a sense- are repaying the people of Palestine in their struggle against Israeli Apartheid just as how the Palestinians supported and backed our struggle against South African Apartheid. Nelson Mandela said in 1999: “The long-standing fraternal bonds between our two liberation movements are now translating into relations between two governments…we are proud as a government, and as the overwhelming majority of South Africans to be part of an international consensus taking root that the time has come to resolve the problems of Palestine.”