Editor’s Note: The following statement was released today by the Palestinian BDS National Committee. Mondoweiss occasionally publishes press releases and statements from organizations in an effort to draw attention to overlooked issues.
Former Latin American Presidents Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Ernesto Samper (Colombia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), José Mujica (Ecuador), and Fernando Lugo (Paraguay) are among the over 320 public figures from Latin America who signed a statement released yesterday calling for sanctions against Israel as a response to Israel’s planned de jure annexation of occupied Palestinian territory and to its ongoing de facto annexation and apartheid.
Other prominent signatories include Brazilian singers Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso, and Argentinian Nobel Peace Prize-winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.
The statement is part of a South African initiative to unify Global South support from Africa, Asia and Latin America for the Palestinian civil society call for sanctions in response to Israel’s planned formal annexation.
In June, South African signatories to the same statement were made public. Some prominent South African endorsers of the statement include former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe; former Mozambican government Minister Oscar Monteiro; former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay; General Secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions Zwelinzima Vavi; Deputy Secretary General of the ANC Jessie Duarte; Minister of Higher Education and Secretary of the South African Communist Party Blade Nzimande; General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa Irvin Jim; and former Commissioner at SA Human Rights Commission Pregs Govender.
The statement says:
The increasing severity of Israel’s violations and its impunity obliges us to respond to the call issued by the overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society organisations. […] We endorse the Palestinian call for banning arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel; suspending free trade agreements with Israel; prohibiting trade with illegal Israeli settlements and accountability from individuals and corporate actors complicit in Israel’s occupation and apartheid regime. We commit to working within the framework of our respective national structures to advocate for implementing these measures.
The statement also calls for the reactivation of the UN Special Committee against Apartheid, last functional during the era of apartheid in South Africa, with the aim of putting an end to Israel’s apartheid policies targeting the Palestinian people.
Brazil’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Celso Amorim, a signatory to the statement, said:
The proposed annexation of Palestinian territory by Israel is not only an offense against international law and a threat to peace, it is an attack against women and men who fought against colonialism and apartheid. The voice of the South must be heard!
In a related initiative, the South African civil society in solidarity with Palestine will hold an online rally this Saturday, July 4, with Noura Erakat, Palestinian human rights attorney and professor; BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti; ANC MP Mandla Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela; Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi; South African activist Phakamile Hlubi Majola; Celso Amorim, former Foreign and Defense Minister of Brazil; Karol Cariola, Chilean Deputy; and others.