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What South Africa Can Teach to the Palestinians: Reflections on a Palestinian Youth Organization Delegation to Johannesburg

What South Africa Can Teach to the Palestinians: Reflections on a Palestinian Youth Organization Delegation to Johannesburg
In April 2019, a Palestinian youth movement. In cooperation with the Middle for Africa and the Middle East, a delegation of 20 Palestinian youth organizations was held in Johannesburg, S. Africa. (Pictures delivered)

According to the Palestinian Youth Movement

Between April 1 and April 11, 2019, the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), in collaboration with the Middle for Africa and the Middle East (AMEC), hosted 20 representatives of Palestinian youth organizations in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The delegation was guided by three goals: firstly, deepening the widespread wrestle between the Palestinians and the South Africans; secondly, to research how we, as Palestinians, can study from the historic achievements of the South African battle; and thirdly, to strengthen the relationship between the new era of Palestinian populations coming from totally different relationships and ideological backgrounds in the direction of a unified nationwide liberation challenge.

The intensive research program included lectures, seminar discussions, visits to historic landmark sites and conferences with South African political figures, group leaders and youth actors.

Our delegation consisted of Palestinians domestically, each from 1948 to historic Palestine and West Financial institution and Gaza; Palestinian refugees from Lebanon and Syria; and the Palestinians dwelling in exile in the United States, Europe and the Arab region. As well as to geographical variety, the representatives also represented numerous socio-cultural backgrounds, political ideologies, and organizational experiences that happen worldwide in Palestinian political and social life.

Combining Palestinian youth with such numerous backgrounds has turn out to be a important function of PYM programming over the past decade, striving to overcome the fragmentation that affects our roles in new generations of nationwide wrestle. The South African delegation was another example of how PYM's political rules are deeply concerned in follow.

The topicality of the delegation cannot be overestimated. For greater than a decade, the delegation arrived at a international campaign for justice in Palestine, when the battle in South Africa held a boycott, sale and punishment towards apartheid. We find that the boycott efforts have long been a part of the traditional, even the 1936 Arab overviews of Palestine and the Third World. Nevertheless, over the previous decade, main BDS positive aspects have been noticed, as modeled for South Africa. The delegation was at the similar time as the South African Government's determination to decrease its delegation in Tel Aviv.

Just three years in the past, in Ramallah, Palestinians introduced Nelson Mandela, a gifted six-meter South African leader of the metropolis of Johannesburg. Ramallah Mayor Musa Hadid introduced during the statue ceremony that Ramallah will send a "clear message to the colonial and host Israel: we are much closer to freedom than you think." In many ways, Palestine and South Africa reported on the objective of the delegation to turn out to be acquainted with the investigation, the assortment of data.

The delegation was held for nearly a quarter of a century since both the Oslo Agreements and South Africa's transfer away from Apartheid. This time behind us provides us enough distance to assess the present Palestinian national state of affairs behind a nation whose history and ongoing struggles are in many ways alongside the Palestinian wrestle. We are investigating why the Palestinian and South African battles led to dramatic situations since the early 1990s.

Furthermore, the delegation gave in-depth and important reflections on the moral precept of solidarity and the mechanisms by which the Palestinians themselves might revive the nationwide framework and internationalization. The delegation mentioned with its individuals and dedicated itself to the use of experience

Why South Africa?

PYM chose South Africa for 3 causes: first, because the apartheid framework was seen in driving a Palestinian international solidarity motion and utilizing different types of repression, together with colonial colonialism and racial capitalism; secondly, as a result of the widespread battles between the two battles have long been historical past; and thirdly, because the coexistence and totally different outcomes of the negotiation processes of the 1990s are in each contexts

Apartheid framework: Over the final 10 years, activists and researchers have more and more assessed the Palestinian circumstances with a comparative lens with South Africa, and is equated with the Palestinian Zionist occupation and the South African apartheid system. Since the starting of 2005, the BDS motion has mobilized apartheid analogy to promote the movement of Palestinian rights and modeled its techniques after the international wrestle towards apartheids: boycotts, company investments and Israeli sanctions.

Furthermore, the use of worldwide regulation and human rights regulation as a software for selling justice in Palestine has grown as a part of BDS. The Rome Statute of the Worldwide Felony Courtroom of 2002, which made apartheid an internationally convicted offense, is one example of this.

Dimensions Past Apartheid: As well as to the apartheid framework, the delegation discussed different dimensions of South Africa. Africa's history and wrestle each during and after the colonial and Apartheid period. We are investigating the wrestle of South Africa inside settling colonialism – by way of which seizure of land and the destruction and elimination of indigenous peoples constitute a driving order of oppressive order.

We are also investigating the wrestle towards racist colonialism and racial capitalism, which works by way of the extraction of pure assets and the exploitation of native labor

If we, as Palestinians, attempt to imagine and implement the relevant liberalization strategies in our own context, we’d like to understand these techniques, how have they got been formally in South Africa and the stays of those residues right now. By going to battlefields and assembly places with South Africans, we started to see the differences between the Palestinian context and the South African context, which are indispensable for planning our release technique. We requested particularly questions on how and why the Zionist colony doesn’t trust the Palestinian workforce and the way this poses challenges to us as Palestinians. In the battle towards Apartheids, South Africans might use their work to make the Apartheid system economically unimaginable.

Joint Battle: To review the similarities and differences between the two struggles, the delegation sought to understand the history of solidarity, empathy and customary wrestle between Palestine and South Africa. Both reasons had reciprocal forms of help. Nelson Mandela took the lead in the post-Apartheid authorities to take the lead in sustaining his dedication and friendship with Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), as he once recognized Arafat as a comrade and stated that the Palestinian wrestle was comparable to that of South Africa, both in search of self-determination. . These widespread battles gave extra attention to the proven fact that our delegations made big discussions with South African fighters. By understanding how deeply the two struggles with one another have been tied to loyalty and common sense, we additionally discovered the robust relationship between the Israeli and South African Apartheid authorities.

The Negotiating Processes of the 1990s: We most critically needed to research the success and limitations of the South African negotiation course of and the institution and effectiveness of the Fact and Reconciliation Commission. We needed to understand the opportunities that led to the negotiations, the material actuality that it had led, and whether or not the negotiations really led to the real liberation of individuals and the nation at the finish of the Apartheid system.

The young individuals undoubtedly asked what the variations between South African and Palestinian circumstances have been on the eve of the negotiations and how these two processes have been quite totally different. We discovered that the management of the African Nationwide Congress got here to the negotiating table, not because of decisive victory, but because the worldwide composition of power changed with the fall of the Soviet Union, and the assets out there for resistance have been decreased. movement.

Each reasons are why PLO began the negotiation process at the similar time. As the Palestinian Solidarity Committee, Dr. Salim Valley, was summarized: “We didn’t have a revolution. We had a negotiated answer. “

There are, nevertheless, a few variations between these two instances, including the improve in worldwide strain on the South African Apartheid system, which was not as strict as the Palestinians at the moment. In addition, it turned clear to us that Mandela successfully negotiated the launch of all political prisoners and the return of all exiled leaders earlier than they sat in the official negotiating tables.

Classes from South Africa

Considered one of our largest implementations was the means through which apartheid narration is one story, masking South Africa's in depth history of racial colonialism, colonial colonialism and racial capitalism. The beginning of the Apartheid's historical past is marked in 1948 when the South African National Celebration (the Ethnic Nationalist Social gathering of Afrikaner) came to energy. This largely signifies that the apartheid system was, actually, the consolidation of the legal guidelines of the colonial powers of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands

The aim of those laws was to decrease the majority inhabitants of the nation as a low cost labor reserve. their land, enslaving and exploiting them for manufacturing and victory, and dividing them into certain areas of the race (later referred to as Bantustans) to control their movement. This historical past of colonization dates back to 1652 and 1806, when the Dutch and British colonialism created social, political and financial circumstances of exploitation that form what we now name the era of Apartheid, which began in 1948.

We’ve got also discovered the ways colonialism triggered gender-based violence and the shaping of gender roles and household relationships in the history of South Africa. Due to the management and subjugation of low cost labor, the rules of the Apartheid system restricted the motion of black South African men and stored them systematically out of their families.

Black South African males faced colonial and apartheid state powers in mines, labor rooms, and prisons that forcefully turned to those extra weak than them by means of the patriarchal system: South African ladies. Likewise, the state's numerous methods of sexual and gender-based violence towards ladies's organs, which we examined extra deeply in the Constitutional Ladies's Ladies's Prison.

We heard from ladies in the struggle towards apartheids about their experiences navigating the premises of the patriarchal motion. The persistence of gender-based violence to this present day – the document highs of gender-based violence in Johannesburg – is a direct consequence of the colonial heritage that has gone unpaid as part of a nationwide liberation motion. This was a highly effective lesson from the indivisibility of social liberation and nationwide liberation to us as Palestinians and makes us more critical on this relationship once we revive our personal wrestle.

After seeing the Johannesburg circumstances and talking to the area people organizations, it emerged that the negotiations on the closure of Apartheid in South Africa in 1994 did not ensure the redistribution of land and wealth. They didn’t take into consideration the inequalities that had existed for 3 centuries of colonialism and 5 many years of de jure apartheid. Actually, energy remained largely indivisible, which is why, throughout the "post-apartheid" interval, Whites retains its historic power in South Africa, regardless of the growing Black political and financial elite and growing Black center class.

Although the battle in South Africa consisted of varied ideologies that have been clearly seen at the Pan-African Congress, the African National Congress, and the South African Communist Celebration, the dominant elements of the motion ultimately targeted on ending Apartheid at the finish of the racial capitalist. If the apartheid framework recognizes the separate political, financial and social circumstances of South Africa, it naturally additionally naturalizes the presence of the white inhabitants

It seeks to get rid of the racial segregation system without paying full consideration to racial capitalism and colonialism. By treating primarily the discrimination system for "Rainbow Nation", the strategy of ending apartheid was ignored with out addressing the colonial history and capitalist order behind these apartheid laws. The process of ending the apartheid was based mostly on a robust dedication to democratic freedoms, human rights and the cessation of state violence.

Nevertheless, it didn’t right the violence of labor and land use and actually retained many forms of segregation and inequality from colonial and apartheid durations, as well as the ongoing wrestle for racial justice. United States. We’ve witnessed this persevering with impression on the entire of Johannesburg's robust security and control system, the critical inequalities and contradictions in the prosperity of Sandton and Alexandra Township, in addition to the ongoing moves to restore the country.

What are these classes about South Africa for Palestine?

In witnessing South Africa's persevering with social, race and financial variations which might be remnants of colonialism and Apartheid, we are a problematic approach during which we Palestinians perceive apartheid evaluation. Though apartheid is a structural element of the Palestinian colonial group, it doesn’t outline it comprehensively, nor does it provide us with a political answer. We acknowledged that our wrestle have to be reported in de-anti-colonial follow in order to achieve full rights and full justice, including redistribution of land, wealth and energy, and the return of refugees to historic Palestine.

That is essential to sustaining international Palestinian solidarity efforts after the South African expertise in the modeled BDS, and the apartheid analyst could also be helpful in legal counseling with South Africa, which is an internationally acknowledged authorized precedent. Nevertheless, it is vital that the apartheid framework does not permit a full understanding of what happened in South Africa, nor does it restrict the alternatives for the release of Palestine. Additionally it is necessary for us to understand the rise of the capitalist techniques of neoliberal races developed after Oslo and to focus these types of oppression on the liberation strategy.

Via our analysis and reflection, we determined that colonial colonialism, racial colonialism, apartheid, asylum, and army occupation are key methods that together make up the circumstances of the Palestinian population and thus our wrestle. These dimensions allow widespread rules with different anti-imperialist, de-anti-colonial and racist causes and with historic and international movements.

Nevertheless, we current the peculiarities of the Palestinian state, that are linked to the methods by which Zionism has appeared. There’s a robust need to return to a extra secure definition of Zionism, which allows the Palestinian motion to see all the totally different sides of the Palestinian wrestle with out the risk of defining or limiting broader understanding to one frame.

We consider our circumstances

As a result of Palestinian youth come from totally different connections that mirror the Palestinian state of affairs, the representatives discovered how not often this numerous expertise was represented in a single area and to have a conversation with one another. Normally, it was their first time in a youth-specific state that introduced together all these Palestinian experiences. This rarity is illustrated by geographical fragmentation, restrictions on mobility across colonial borders and the lack of institutional boards to facilitate these exchanges and meetings after the Oslo Agreements. In Oslo, a world Palestinian dwelling policy and nationwide infrastructure emerged, together with institutional boards for archiving and learning our political organization history.

Since the Palestinian National Monitor was making an attempt to prepare the state for less than a fraction of the historical Palestine, the institutional dedication to getting ready the new era for the revolutionary battle weakened. We acknowledge the significance of finding ways to overcome each the colonial regions and the biased tendencies in our society and to revitalize liberating information and access, communality, social welfare and political cooperation in our pluralism.

] We mentioned how Palestinian neo-liberalization after 1993, the improvement of racial capitalism during the occupation, has had critical consequences for the Palestinian financial system and, as a outcome, the social reorganization of Palestinian society. We discussed help features, the indebted financial system and the normalization and unfold of dependence on non-governmental organizations; all of which affect grassroots involvement in the Palestinian political venture.

We acknowledged that in our organizational actions we’d like to develop techniques and institutions of self-confidence and sustainability as a means of limiting the political constraints of neoliberal debt, which have been introduced exponentially in Palestine after Oslo and reviving well-liked revolutionary consciousness and communality

Testifying South African circumstances and understanding the history of our own internationalization, t We acknowledged the want to promote more reciprocal forms of mutual wrestle. the other peoples of the world, especially the South Africans themselves, who proceed to wrestle to put an finish to government corruption, to redistribute land, wealth and power. We simply are not looking for to be the recipients of solidarity. We consider that we are lively in making historical past. We adhere to the ethics of marriage and need to prolong our solidarity with individuals and places where we have now a widespread interest and customary rules.

After the Oslo Agreements, we’ve got witnessed the collapse and technique of our nationwide liberalization. We heard about the strugglers towards apartheids in South Africa, and we discovered about the position of civil society organizations, similar to trade unions, common motion committees and other boards that shaped the South African mass movement that fought for justice and liberation. By learning the roles of the armed wrestle, the large wrestle for South Africa to be uncontrolled, and the international campaigns that make Apartheid costly, we understand that liberation movements have to be complicated, well-organized and rebellious in any respect ranges. The nationwide liberation movement should also focus on different types of social and gender liberation.


We respect South African historical fighters and individuals who continue to do political work to full the South African Revolution. An example of them has offered many beneficial details about our own wrestle. We deeply respect the continued love, empathy and solidarity of the peoples of South Africa with the Palestinians, and especially when there are violent penalties for this type of enlargement.

We left South Africa to perceive the want to revitalize and restore the nationwide liberation challenge, which is knowledgeable of anti-decolonial frameworks whereas also rooted in dwelling realities. We left the want to combine a critical analysis of our circumstances with a revolutionary theoretical rationalization of how we received right here and how we get ourselves free. Plenty of work nonetheless wants to be carried out, but the delegation's discussions and interplay have left us a lot to look forward to, and we’ll start the following steps which have impressed revolutionary optimism.

We’re planning to continue our experience in South Africa by working with agents in numerous campaigns and initiatives and by strengthening our networks.

Now it’s more than ever ripe to revive the Palestinian prosecution, and we consider that the experience and contacts gained throughout the delegation can strengthen this understanding of our wrestle.

– The Palestinian Youth Motion (PYM) is a world, unbiased, grass-roots movement of young Palestinians as a results of ongoing Zionist colonization and follow in our house nation in Palestine and exile. We belong to Palestine and our aspirations for justice and liberation encourage us to take an lively position as a younger era in the national wrestle for the liberation of our house and other people. Regardless of the totally different political, cultural and social backgrounds, we attempt to revive the custom of pluralistic dedication so that we will assure a higher future characterized by freedom and justice at social and political degree, for ourselves and for future generations.