From its very inception, the Botswana National Front (BNF) has never tired of instilling into its cadres and ordinary members the need for taking an active interest in the fate of liberation struggles in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa.
In its political rallies, seminars and educational pamphlets it consistently hammered the idea that Botswana could not consider itself genuinely free and independent while the rest of the world was under the tight grip of oppressive regimes. In this way, the ideas of Internationalism and solidarity with popular liberation struggles was deeply engrained in the consciousness of ordinary members of our movement.
One of the quotes on Solidarity that has always remained relevant is the one by none other than Cde Samora Moises Machel who said, "International Solidarity is not an act of charity; it is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains towards the same objectives. The foremost of these objectives is to assist in the development of humanity to the highest level possible." It is therefore not by accident that the BNF stood firm in solidarity with the struggles of Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Angola and Mozambique. We were in solidarity with these struggles on the basis of principle. We continue to be in solidarity with the struggles in different terrains particularly Western Sahara, Palestine and Swaziland. But because this year the Israeli Apartheid Week campaign, which we endorses, will run between the 6th and 12th of March, this article will be focusing on the Palestinian struggle. Maybe we should also congratulate the BDP government for shockingly taking a principled position of raising concerns about the re-admission of Morocco into the AU fold at the recent summit. Western Sahara continues to be last colony in Africa under another African state, Morocco.
Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events across the world. It seeks to raise awareness about the of Israel's apartheid policies towards the Palestinians and mobilises support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign. It seeks to bring an end to Israel's apartheid policies and violations of International Law. The architect of Apartheid, Dr Hendrik Verwoed is quoted in 1961 saying, Israel, like South Africa, is an Apartheid state. The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (ICSPCA) was adopted in 1973 by the United Nations General Assembly. The crime of Apartheid is defined by the ICSPCA as: inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group... and systematically oppressing them. The convention intended to provide a "universal instrument", which means it applies to Apartheid systems anywhere in the world. In terms of the ICSPCA, Apartheid is seen as inhuman acts that are practiced "for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them". Apartheid is an Afrikaner word for "apartness".
The IAW was initiated at the University of Toronto in 2005 by student activists. Since then it has been adopted across the world. As indicated earlier, the campaign intends to mainstream the struggle of the Palestinians. Palestinian citizens are discriminated against in Israel and are barred from controlling and developing over 90% of the land, and are discriminated against in most aspects of their lives. The Arabs do not have a free movement into and out of Palestine and Gaza. Palestinians expelled from Palestine in 1948
* Moeti Mohwasa is the BNF secretary general