Press release, Gaza Freedom March delegates, 4 January 2010
The following declaration was issued on 1 January 2010:
Gaza Freedom Marchers approved today a declaration aimed at accelerating the global campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli Apartheid.
Roughly 1,400 activists from 43 countries converged in Cairo on their way to Gaza to join with Palestinians marching to break Israel's illegal siege. They were prevented from entering Gaza by the Egyptian authorities.
As a result, the Freedom Marchers remained in Cairo. They staged a series of nonviolent actions aimed at pressuring the international community to end the siege as one step in the larger struggle to secure justice for Palestinians throughout historic Palestine.
This declaration arose from those actions: We, international delegates meeting in Cairo during the Gaza Freedom March 2009 in collective response to an initiative from the South African delegation, state:
In view of:
* Israel's ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians through the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza;
* the illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements;
* the new Wall under construction by Egypt and the US which will tighten even further the siege of Gaza;
* the contempt for Palestinian democracy shown by Israel, the US, Canada, the EU and others after the Palestinian elections of 2006;
* the war crimes committed by Israel during the invasion of Gaza one year ago;
* the continuing discrimination and repression faced by Palestinians within Israel;
* and the continuing exile of millions of Palestinian refugees;
* all of which oppressive acts are based ultimately on the Zionist ideology which underpins Israel;
* in the knowledge that our own governments have given Israel direct economic, financial, military and diplomatic support and allowed it to behave with impunity;
* and mindful of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007)
We reaffirm our commitment to:
Ending the Occupation
Equal Rights for All within historic Palestine
The full Right of Return for Palestinian refugees
We therefore reaffirm our commitment to the United Palestinian call of July 2005 for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to compel Israel to comply with international law.
To that end, we call for and wish to help initiate a global mass, democratic anti-apartheid movement to work in full consultation with Palestinian civil society to implement the Palestinian call for BDS.
Mindful of the many strong similarities between apartheid Israel and the former apartheid regime in South Africa, we propose:
1) An international speaking tour in the first six months of 2010 by Palestinian and South African trade unionists and civil society activists, to be joined by trade unionists and activists committed to this program within the countries toured, to take mass education on BDS directly to the trade union membership and wider public internationally;
2) Participation in the Israeli Apartheid Week in March 2010;
3) A systematic unified approach to the boycott of Israeli products, involving consumers, workers and their unions in the retail, warehousing and transportation sectors;
4) Developing the academic, cultural and sports boycott;
5) Campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the occupation and/or the Israeli military industries;
6) Legal actions targeting the external recruitment of soldiers to serve in the Israeli military, and the prosecution of Israeli government war criminals; coordination of Citizen's Arrest Bureaux to identify, campaign and seek to prosecute Israeli war criminals; support for the Goldstone report and the implementation of its recommendations;
7) Campaigns against charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).
We appeal to organizations and individuals committed to this declaration to sign it and work with us to make it a reality.
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