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Tuesday, 02 December 2014 12:15

BDS South Africa meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

The Palestine solidarity and human rights organisation BDS South Africa met earlier today with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Johnny Makhathini Diplomatic Guesthouse in Pretoria/Tshwane.

Discussions included the growing BDS movement in South Africa and upcoming boycott of Israel campaigns. The President and other senior officials that formed part of the Palestinian delegation acknowledged the work of BDS South Africa and presented members of BDS South Africa with the Palestinian “Path To Freedom” gold medallion as an token of gratitude.

President Abbas indicated that during his two day State Visit to South Africa he raised with President Jacob Zuma the move by several European Union countries to issue guidelines against doing business with Israeli settlements.

Kwara Kekana of BDS South Africa commented: “We look forward to the South African Government issuing similar guidelines against doing business with the Israeli settlements or companies involved the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This has been a consistent call from BDS South African and now with the Palestinian President’s support we trust that the South African government will speed up the issuing of such guidelines against Israel. Given our friendly relations as a country and nation to the Palestinian people we trust that the South African Government Guidelines will be stronger than those issued by the EU."

In 2012, the UN Special rapporteur for human rights issued a report calling for the boycott of Israeli settlements, Israeli settlement goods as well as a boycott of international companies involved in the Israeli settlements or Occupied Palestinian Territories. Since then several European Union countries have issued guidelines to their companies and citizens not to trade or have dealings with Israeli settlements. The boycott against Israeli settlements forms part of the larger Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel movement.

Recently, in a move towards government sanctions against Israeli settlements, South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, called for a boycott of "goods manufactured in the Israeli occupied territory [and] for companies that do business in the Israeli occupied territories ... to not be allowed to do business with the State.”


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