Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gaza Freedom March backs Boycott against Israel, issuing "Cairo Declaration"--

Greg Dropkin and COSATU's George Mahlangu presented the Cairo Declaration to Gaza Freedom March participants, in Cairo, on Jan. 1, 2010.

Photo from the Indypendent, Jan. 1, 2010.

Gaza Freedom March: Declaration from Cairo

By Ellen Davidson and Judith Mahoney Pasternak

On the Web at:

CAIRO, January 1—This morning, a couple of hundred Gaza Freedom March (GFM) participants ringingly endorsed the “Cairo Declaration,” the founding document of a new initiative for deepening opposition to Israel’s apartheid policies and increasing the reach and impact of the Palestine solidarity movement.

Hammered out over the past week by a Gaza Freedom March committee led by the South African delegation, the declaration centers on a plan for recruiting international trade union support for the campaign for boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel.

Entitled “End Israeli Apartheid,” the declaration:

  • Spells out Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people—from the occupation of the West Bank and the construction of illegal settlements there to the building of the separation wall and the siege of Gaza;
  • Identifies Zionist ideology as the fundamental basis for those acts;
  • Reaffirms participants’ commitment to Palestinian self-determination, the end of the occupation, “equal rights for all within historic Palestine,” the Palestinian right of return, and the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions; and
  • Calls for and commits to working on an international “mass democratic anti-apartheid movement to work in full consultation with Palestinian civil society to implement” the call for BDS

The document proposed concrete steps, including “an international speaking tour … by Palestinian and South African trade unionists and civil society activists to be joined by trade unionists and activists committed to this program within the countries toured”; “coordination of citizens arrest bureaus to identify, campaign [and seek] to prosecute Israeli war criminals”; and “campaigns against charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF),” whose charter
mandates it to purchase land for Jewish settlement.

Two of the seven action points are specifically aimed at bringing trade unions into the effort: “campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the occupation and/or the Israeli military industries” and “a systematic unified approach to the boycott of Israeli products involving consumers, workers, and their unions in the retail, warehousing, and transportation sectors.”


Banner at Cairo demonstration, against the Israeli siege on Gaza, says: "Stop Collective Annihilation".

Hundreds of internationals, with the Gaza Freedom March, demonstrated in Cairo in late December 2009 and early January, 2010.

On January 1, 2010, they marched on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.

400 marchers converged from different directions to form a crowd opposite the building, where they held up banners and shouted chants including “Boycott Israel” and “Nous sommes tous Palestiniens” (“We are all Palestinians”).

In coordination with Palestinian participants, the Gaza Freedom March also adopted the "Cairo Declaration", against Israel's crimes against humanity, and for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.