On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November, ICATU organized a virtual symposium in solidarity with Palestinian Arab people against the racist procedures of the Zionist entity’s authorities. Delegates from 17 countries participated and also WFTU, ALO and OATUU.
On behalf of WFTU intervened Mike Shingange from South Africa, president of NEHAWU.
NEHAWU President Mike Shingange ICATU speech representing WFTU in solidarity with the Palestinian People
Leadership of the International Conference on Arab Trade Unions – acknowledging the presence of General Secretary Comrade Jamal Kadri
All participants present in this crucial Symposium convened in solidarity with the people of Palestine who are being crucified and butchered daily for fighting for their right to selfdetermination.
Chair, allow me to firstly appreciate this virtual gathering put together by the Secretariat of the ICATU in cooperation with the PGFTU, as we join the millions of progressive citizens of the world in commemorating the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine on the 29th of November. International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People gives us all (as a universal network) an opportunity to concentrate on how the subject of Palestine stays uncertain and that the Palestinian public still can’t seem to achieve their natural rights as characterised by the General Assembly. More particularly, the privilege to self-assurance without outside resistance, the privilege to public freedom and sway, and the option to come back to their homes and property, from which they have been uprooted. On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the WFTU, representing 105 million workers in 133 countries, reiterates its firm internationalist support and solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people.
As we mark this day, we must emphasise the important solidarity role we all have to play in placing pressure on our governments to move beyond symbolic gestures of showing solidarity into meaningful actions. This effort is most important in Western societies, especially in the United States, which has served as a shield and benefactor for Israel for too many years. In the South, civil society organisations should further reach out and educate people on the rights of the Palestinian people and ensure that our governments do not succumb to Western and corporate pressures.
The world should move from condemning and rejecting Israeli settlements to taking actual and serious steps to make Israel realise that there is a price for its settlement policy and its racist measures. The world must stop being hypocritical and call Israel out for what it is, an apartheid colonial state that murders children and women, steals the land of the indigenous people of Palestine, as well as controls US Foreign Policy and mainstream international media to spread lies and distortions about the reality of the horror in the Middle East.
This solidarity comes in light of the continued Israeli occupation and current plans for the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, continued imprisonment of innocent children and people, and the continued killing of the Palestinians. As we speak, more than 120 Palestinians have been murdered and 850 injured by Israeli air strikes, while Israel has deployed ground forces near the Israeli border.
It is the responsibility of citizens of the world to isolate Israel through an intensive boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign until it complies with international law. Similar to the global BDS movement that was detrimental in leading to the collapse of the apartheid South African regime, we urge people of conscience to join us in our call for BDS towards a liberated Palestine until accountability and justice has been achieved and the right of return and reparation has been implemented. The imbalance of power in this struggle can only be countered through a powerful international solidarity movement that takes the BDS movement as its guide.
The only way to redeem the blood of those who have been barbarically killed since the 1948 Nakba is to make sure that their surviving families live in a just society where all citizens are equal regardless of gender, colour, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation background, or religion. Archbishop Tutu reminds us that “in choosing to be neutral in situations of injustice, we will have chosen the side of the oppressor”.
We also want to encourage the ICATU to continue its struggle and become even stronger, and we want to continue working together in an anti-imperialist line. The Arab unions must not become servants of the imperialist plans for the new Middle East.
The world class-oriented trade union movement stands by the side of the Palestinian workers and People. We reiterate our permanent solidarity with their struggle for freedom, return and recognition of their independent Palestinian State on the basis of 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We express our full, firm and long-standing class solidarity with the people of Palestine and their struggle for an independent homeland. We actively reject the genocide against our Palestinian brothers and sisters perpetrated by the imperialist criminal government of Israel.
- Recognition of the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and east Jerusalem as its capital
- The end of the settlements and the withdrawal of all settlers who have settled across the borders of 1967.
- The demolition of the separation wall in Jerusalem.
- All the Palestinian refugees to be granted the right to return to their homes, based on the relevant decisions of the UN.
- The elimination of any exclusion against the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza strip.
- The immediate release of imprisoned Palestinians and other political prisoners kept in the Israeli prisons.
- The withdrawal of the Israeli army from all the occupied territories of the 1967, including the Golan Heights and the Sheba area of Southern Lebanon.
We will not be silenced until the people of Palestine are free and have realised their right to self-determination!
My dear brothers and sisters from the ICATU and PGFTU, thank you once again for the invitation.
Long Live The People of Palestine Long Live!!