22 January 2008 - ANC hates Israel, but Kasrils resolution fails
A month ago, South Africa's intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils arrived at the ANC's Polokwane conference determined to pass a resolution calling for the ruling party to adopt an official policy of boycotting Israel. The ANC's resolutions, just published on the party's website, indicate a severe and irrational level of hostility towards Israel (see below). However, Kasrils's resolution did not pass:
66. The 60th Anniversary of the Palestinian catastrophe, known as the Nakba, which resulted in the dispossession of Palestinian lands and their birthright through a systematic policy of colonial expansion, ethnic cleansing and military occupation of the most brutal kind, which as South Africans we readily recognise from our own experience of apartheid.
67. Our support for the numerous United Nations (UN) resolutions as well as submissions of our government to the International Court of Justice which recognised the illegality of the Israel occupation, the illegal settlements, the building of the apartheid wall, the system of road blocks, seizure of land, detentions without trial, extra-judicial killings and the imprisonment of over 10,000 Palestinians including women and children;
68. That given our own experience in our liberation struggle, we South Africans know the force of an international solidarity campaign in bringing to bear on an oppressive regime to force it into real negotiations and a just solution. Resolves:
69. To intensify our solidarity efforts supporting a just solution, including the strengthening of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state, which will help to bring peace to the region and an end to the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis.
70. To become a leading part of the world-wide movement, which includes South African civil society, supporting the struggle and campaigns led by the Palestinian people.
71. To continue to support the efforts by our government to encourage an inclusive peaceful process of a negotiated settlement between the concerned parties.
72. To lead efforts to strengthen and coordinate a broad-based Palestinian Solidarity movement.
73. To also support the ANC efforts in engaging with all parties in Israel and Palestine to find an amicable resolution towards the settlement of the Palestinian question and peace in the Middle East."
Meanwhile, the team over at It's Almost Supernatura has put together this excellent post on Human Rights Watch's attack on South African foreign policy.