Middle East Monitor Sun., July 07, 2019
South African MP and the grandson of Nelson Mandela, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, addressed a sold out crowd at the Palestine Expo in London yesterday, saying “We have a moral duty to support the BDS and to support the Palestinian struggle”.
Organised by the British NGO Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA), Palestine Expo has been dubbed the ‘biggest Palestine event in Europe‘, being held in the iconic Olympia Exhibition Centre in London.
The following is just a few excerpts from Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela’s speech to the Palestine Expo conference on July 6, 2019:
We had first-hand experience as an organization calling themselves UK Lawyers for Israel applied best efforts to stymie this event or to downplay support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Let me say it loud and clear for all to hear: Next to the internal popular protest movement waged in the face of all odds by the brave and courageous children, women and men of occupied Palestine, BDS is the most painful thorn in the side of Apartheid Israel.
My brothers and sisters; Palestine Expo reminds us of the reality of a nation that has now withstood 71 years of the Nakba. It reminds us of homes, farms and villages that was once home to a vibrant community with a proud history, culture, language and cuisine that has been usurped and occupied in gross violation of international law. Seven decades of ethnic cleansing and genocide perpetrated in the name of the myth of a land without people, for a people without land.
Comrades and friends; I am often asked what is so important to us as South Africans about the Palestinian struggle that Madiba declared during his visit to Gaza in 1995 “that our struggle is yet incomplete without the Freedom of the Palestinian people.”
What does this mean?
In the darkest hours of our struggle when our leaders were incarcerated on Robben Island and other jails of Apartheid South Africa; whilst our cadres were driven into exile and our internal rebellion was being crushed; it was the images of the brave and courageous young people of Palestine armed with nothing but rocks and their bare hands that inspired us.
When they themselves were under siege and attack it was the leadership of the Palestinian struggle that provided home, training and financial support to our struggle.
Our freedom is inter-connected with that of the Palestinian people because ours is a relationship forged in the heat of struggle and they were the strongest advocates of our freedom in every global forum where they raised the flag of our just struggle alongside the struggle of the Palestinian people.