The Palestinian statehood bid is indeed a form of diplomatic resistance in a larger struggle. COSATU backs the Palestinian right to self determination and efforts to reach a viable state for, by and of all the people of Palestine – including the majority who find themselves in the diaspora and refugee camps.
Whether the United Nations (UN) will grant statehood or not, the crucial question to COSATU is whether the Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians will end. A state under occupation and continued Israeli aggression, amounts to nothing more than a Bantustan, and does not automatically translate into freedom and self-rule for Palestinians. As our Palestinian comrades have constantly said, recognition at the UN is only part of the broader struggle. Until Palestinians are completely free, solidarity with the Palestinian people and resistance to Israeli oppression must continue.
COSATU reaffirms its support for the following basic principles articulated by Palestinian political and civil society organisations and several long standing UN Resolutions:
1. Ending the Israeli occupation and colonisation of all Palestinian lands and dismantling the Israeli Apartheid Wall;
2. Recognising the fundamental rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality;
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties;
4. An immediate end to Israel’s illegal settlements, and blockade on Gaza; and
6. An end to Israel’s discriminatory and racist policies.
In line with this, we call for the intensification of the struggle, particularly the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. As our own anti-apartheid struggle has demonstrated, this is an effective, non-violent form of resistance that can bring an end to injustice and contribute immensely to liberation.
What has also been embarrassingly exposed during the Palestinian bid for statehood is the USA’s hypocrisy and double standards. The USA claims to support democracy in the Middle East by using its military power purportedly to enforce UN resolutions. However, this same USA has used its veto power at the UN Security Council forty-one (41) times in defence of the Apartheid State of Israel and against Palestinian rights, thus effectively frustrating the enforcement of UN resolutions.
Unlike the SA Jewish Board of Deputies we welcome the strong South African government stance on the issue. South Africans, and the democratic South African government, have a moral duty to stand with the Palestinian people and all other just struggles around the world.
Please contact Bongani Masuku for further details and media enquiries.
Bongani Masuku (International Relations Secretary)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
Tel: +27 11 339-4911/24
Fax: +27 11 339-5080/6940
Mobile: +27 79 499 6419