SACP supports Palestinian people’s struggle against annexation by the U.S-backed apartheid Israeli regime
Statement by the South African Communist Party
Sunday, 24 May 2020
The South African Communist Party (SACP) unwaveringly stands with the people of Palestine in their struggle for the fundamental right to self-determination. The SACP fully supports the intensification of the just cause to end the apartheid Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Our next step is to upgrade our programme of action focusing more on strengthening international solidarity, democratic and peaceful activities in support of the oppressed Palestinian people.
In the same vein, the SACP calls upon the African Union to demonstrably express active solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine, by adopting and implementing a programme of action to support their just struggle for democratic national sovereignty. The programme should include the objectives of the global Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement against the apartheid regime of Israel. As a starting point, imports of Israeli products produced from occupied Palestinian territories should completely be prohibited on our continent, as a sign of continental unity and clear message of solidarity with the oppressed and expropriated people of Palestine.
The SACP is appealing to all democratic governments of the world to protect and cherish the fundamental right to life, by assisting the Palestinian authority with health-care and personal protective equipment, medicine and treatment, as well as other forms of active and material support in the fight to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
The inhumane Trump administration of the United States (U.S.) used the Covid-19 global public health emergency as an opportunity to forge the so-called deal of the century concluded with the apartheid regime of Israel at the expense of the marginalised Palestinian people. The visit by the U.S. secretary of state to Israel on Wednesday, 13 May 2020, included a focus on imposing the U.S–Israeli collusive agenda on the Palestinian people and furtherance of destabilisation in the Middle East, including targeting of Iran, among others.
The U.S–Israeli agenda entails a plan to annex one-third of the West Bank and, between now and July 2020, the Jordan Valley, a fertile strip of Palestinian land stretching from the north of the Dead Sea along the eastern perimeter of the West Bank. The Jordan Valley borders Jordan. The expansion of the U.S. imperialist-backed colonial type occupation and apartheid domination of Palestine by Israel is destined for locking out and achieving control of access to Palestine.
Unveiled on 28 January 2020 in a White House press briefing by the dramatic, right-wing populist U.S. president Donald Trump and his counterpart, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the “deal of the century” is nothing but a U.S. imperialist-backed Israeli apartheid Fraud of the Century. Its real aim is to deepen the colonial type subjugation, oppression and exploitation of the Palestinian people, expropriation of their land, and its occupation by Israel. This is the complete opposite of the purported “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People”. The world’s voices and actions for the reinstatement of Palestine’s sovereignty and its people’s right to self-determination must be deepened and widened.
It is high time that the United Nations applied real pressure on these international criminals and forced them to abide by international law! Peaceful resolution to the Palestinian question must also be bound up with justice. This requires safeguarding the right of return for all Palestinians who were forced out of their land, reparations for land occupation and lost property, and international prosecution of the leaders and operatives of successive apartheid Israeli regimes for the crime against humanity.
Over the decades, the people of Palestine have genuinely abided by all international agreements and well-meaning compromises for the peaceful resolution of the conflict caused by Israel. On the other hand, successive Israeli apartheid regimes have relentlessly violated all the international agreements, additionally intensifying illegal construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. The wanton violation of human rights by Israel, also characterised by the arrest and torture of children in complete disregard of numerous United Nations resolutions, must strongly be condemned by all peace-loving people of the world.
The U.S. remains the chief automatic supporter and enabler of the injustice committed by Israel against the people of Palestine. The imperialist regime of the U.S. used its Security Council veto power 43 times for a half-century, between 1967 and 2017, in support of the Israeli injustice perpetrated against the Palestinian people. The injustice includes actions that resulted in the murder of Palestinians. The U.S. has also protected Israel from international accountability. In addition, the imperialist regime has armed Israel militarily and otherwise against Palestinians and other states. The U.S., therefore, is not part of a solution to the crisis. It is a major Israel ally and part and parcel of the primary problem in the subjugation of Palestinians.
Fact sheet on annexation plan
Embassy of the State of Palestine, City of Tshwane, South Africa
1. Annexation is an illegal act in international law. It is the unilateral act of seizing land from a state and a flagrant violation of peremptory norms of international law, including International Humanitarian Law, the United Nations Charter and the Rome Statute.
2. Israel has continually broken international law and has never been held accountable. This current annexation agenda is openly supported by the United States of America, who crafted the so-called "peace plan" or Deal of the Century.
3. Israel has just formed a coalition government that is committed to concluding the formal annexation of Palestinian territory by July this year.
4. It will destroy the viability of the two-state formula on pre-1967 borders.
5. It is setting the stage for future permanent conflict and suffering characterized by the imposition of an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people.
6. Bilateral engagement will no longer be acceptable or applicable.
Impact of the annexation of the Jordan Valley
The Jordan Valley makes up the eastern border of Palestine, from the eastern foothills of the West Bank to the border of Jordan. Approximately 70 000 Palestinians live in this area. The Israeli Occupation established 90 military sites and 36 settlements here.
7. Palestine will lose its eastern border with Jordan and will be completely surrounded by Israel.
8. Palestinians will lose 29 per cent of the total area of the West Bank.
9. A total of 50 per cent of the total agricultural land will be lost.
10. There will be a 60 per cent loss of income from produce.
11. 170 million cubic litres of water will be lost.
12. Palestine will lose one of its most important stone quarries.
13. There will be no access to the Dead Sea minerals and salts.
14. This annexation will cause another Nakba/Catastrophe. In 1948, over 700 000 Palestinians were forced out of their homeland and became refugees, losing their homes and right to return. Tens of thousands of Palestinians also lost their lives. We commemorate Nakba Day on 15 May every year, to remember this painful tragedy.
15. The annexation will leave Palestine as a Bantustan with disconnected territories and no connection to the outside world.
16. For over 50 years the condemnation of Israel has been nothing but an exercise in literature.
17. Even the UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk called this 21st century apartheid and said that the United Nations and its member states could no longer offer criticism without consequences.
18. The State of Palestine will adopt all multilateral means to end this act of aggression.
19. We are calling for all nations to honour their political and legal obligations regarding the annexation and take tangible action to uphold international law, the UN Charter and all UN Resolutions.
20. There is a small window of opportunity for responsible States to take tangible action, individually and collectively, to prevent Israel's destructive agenda from progressing, and to salvage the prospect of a peaceful solution based on two states.
The militantly spirited Cde Leila Khaled addressed a packed hall, of mostly women, in Damascus, Syria, on March 8, International Women’s Day. Her address took place at a time when US-backed, Turkish aggression in Idlib had intensified and a few days after one of Israel’s regular missile attacks on Damascus. The opening remarks, accordingly, were a tribute to the bravery of the martyrs of Syria and the military prowess of the Syrian Arab Army. She expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the government and people of Syria who consistently, unconditionally and indiscriminately, supported the Palestinian people; and congratulated them on their resolute stance against imperialist aggression.
The audience listened attentively as Cde Khaled outlined the role of women in the struggle for a free Palestine. She noted that women had been active participants in a war that spans generations and that was dual in character, fighting for national liberation and gender emancipation. Melancholy filled the air as those present identified with her narration of the suffering experienced by women arising from their own detention and torture; and as parents that had to witness the detention, torture, maiming, and death of their children. And a quiet spirit of defiance was re-enforced when she called women the rocks of the revolution and the olive trees that would preserve the Palestinian culture, history and economy.
Cde Khaled then strongly critiqued the disunity among Palestinian liberation forces and among Arabs in general. She was particularly angered by the general silence of the Arab League, which appears to have grown tired of the Palestinian struggle. With very few exceptions, particularly Syria, Iran and Lebanon; Arab countries have failed to move beyond declarations and statements, having taken no concrete steps to denounce the actions of the Israeli government. Instead they have chosen to advance a Zionist agenda to control West Asia by freezing the membership of Syria, a country that had supported the people of Palestine with its blood. At that point she also commended South Africa for its consistent support.
Cde Khaled then proceeded to call out Turkey’s President Erdogan, a self-appointed sultan and liar who imprisoned his own soldiers for mutiny when they refused to fight the Syrians. She chastised him for claiming to be fighting terrorism and supporting the Palestinian cause, while having military relations with Israel and disrespecting the Syrian government by sponsoring terrorism in their country.
She highlighted the importance of a unified voice against Trump’s New Deal and condemned some members of the League for even considering it, calling their implicit collaboration with Israel an abomination. The normalisation of relations with Israel should be criminalised, she argued. She emphasised that Trump was a businessman, who allowed his material interests to dominate, even in politics; and denounced the decision of the US to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem. While the Palestinian people were willing to negotiate, they are not willing to consider a proposal that is lacking in substance, especially under conditions of continued detention, torture, and destruction. Accordingly, she argued that the Palestinians are not beggars and will continue to take forward their struggle for freedom.
She motivated that Syria’s defeat of US and Zionist imperialism demonstrates that victory by the Palestinians is possible, for they share a common enemy. But that victory could only be achieved through maximum unity and visionary planning. Cde Khaled illustrated how Vietnam was able to defeat the mighty US through being united. She also highlighted that US and Zionist imperialists planned for centuries, while they only plan for a decade at a time. She called on all present to never tire in advancing acts of resistance in a unified and visionary manner, for victory is certain.
· Cde Reneva Fourie is a member of the 14th Congress Central Committee currently based in Syria.
About Cde Leila Khaled