Asian left groups support campaign against apartheid state

July 3, 2010

The statement below was released by Asian left groups on June 25. To add your organisation’s name, email

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Israel stands increasingly isolated after its manufactured confrontation on May 31, 2010, with the peace flotilla, in which nine Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara were murdered. So now is the time to increase the pressure on Israel to lift the siege of Gaza.

Israel’s criminal blockade of Gaza aims to collectively punish 1.5 million Gazans for their choice of government.

The attack on the flotilla was aimed at demoralising Palestinians and their supporters. But, as we’ve seen from the global protests — particularly in Turkey and the Arab world — it has backfired on the Netanyahu government.

Turkey, once a close political and military ally, has distanced itself from Israel and supports attempts to break the Gaza blockade.

The attack on the Mavi Marmara has spurred on the global campaign to force Israel to respect international law.

In the same way apartheid South Africa was isolated, the global boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) campaign, launched in 2005 by Palestinian unions and other civil society groups, is growing.

On June 7, the Palestinian trade union movement expressed its support for the BDS campaign, stating: “Gaza today has become the test of our universal morality and our common humanity. During the South African anti-apartheid struggle, the world was inspired by the brave and principled actions of dockworkers unions who refused to handle South African cargo, contributing significantly to the ultimate fall of apartheid.

“Today, we call on you, dockworkers unions of the world, to do the same against Israel's occupation and apartheid. This is the most effective form of solidarity to end injustice and uphold universal human rights.”

We support the global peaceful call to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel for its international war crimes. It must: lift its illegal siege of Gaza — completely; recognise the democratically elected Hamas government of Gaza; support the right of the refugees from 1948 and 1967 to return to their land; and tear down the apartheid wall in the West Bank.

We call on all progressive organisations, especially trade unions, to join the international BDS campaign to isolate apartheid Israel.

Signed by (as of June 28): Socialist Alliance (Australia); Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM); People’s Democratic Party (PRD — Indonesia); Working People Association (PRP — Indonesia); Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM — Philippines); Socialist Worker-New Zealand; Socialist Aotearoa (New Zealand); Labour Party Pakistan (LPP); Radical Socialist (India); Pakistan Peace Coalition; Labor Party — Philippines; The International Institute for Research and Education — Manila.

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