Bolivian President Evo Morales has officially signed on as a supporter of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
In an open letter released yesterday, Morales heads a long list of signatories from Latin America and elsewhere condemning "apartheid and genocide" against Palestinians, and calls on Israel to respect United Nations resolutions. Among those listed as signatories include former President of Honduras Mel Zelaya, Nobel peace prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano, Cuban musician Silvio Rodríguez and teleSUR President Patricia Villegas (see full letter below).
According to the website of the BDS Movement, the BDS campaign is an initiative of 170 Palestinian civil society launched in 2005. The campaign - modelled on the campaign against Apartheid South Africa - calls for boycott of Israeli products, divestment from Israeli companies and sanctions against the Israeli state to assert pressure so that Israel "complies with international law and Palestinian rights".
The campaign has attracted the support of celebrities including Elvis Costello, Pink Floyd´s Roger Waters, British group Massive Attack as well as World-renowned physicist Steven Hawking.
In late July, Morales called Israel a "terrorist state" and placed Israel under its list of terrorist countries. Five Latin American countries have recalled their Ambassadors in protest of the Israeli assault on Gaza.
In defense of Palestine
Faced with the tragic events our Palestinian brothers and sisters are living through in Gaza, the Network in Defense of Humanity (REDH) assumes our responsibility and expresses the following:
We take up as our own the words of compañero Evo Morales, a founder of the Network in Defense of Humanity and President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, who has declared Israel to be a terrorist state.
We express our absolute repulsion at the genocide being carried out against the Palestinian people by a state founded on dispossession and the colonial occupation of Palestinian territories.
We pay recognition to, and express our solidarity with the Palestinian people and its resistance organizations, especially in Gaza, in their heroic struggle against Israeli attempts to exterminate them and seize the small pieces that remain of what was once their homeland.
We condemn the imperialist role of the United States that politically, financially and militarily sponsors and backs Israel, in the face of the extraordinary inaction of the UN Security Council whose resolutions on the question of Palestine are systematically violated with complete impunity by Washington. The United States is once again demonstrating the hypocrisy and cynicism with which it has acted throughout history, threatening sanctions and interventions against the peoples of Latin America, Africa and Eurasia who defend their sovereignty at the same time as its backs the actions of Israel.
We denounce the complicity in what is occurring, by default in some cases, of the governments that make up the European Union, as well as the unconditional subordination of the media oligarchs to Washington’s dictates. Enough of calling it a war when in fact it is a genocide being perpetrated by one of the best equipped armies in the world against a people whose defensive resources are infinitely inferior in quantity and quality!
We encourage you to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] campaign against the terrorist state of Israel, as it is time for active and creative solidarity that goes beyond statements of condemnation.
We have failed the more than 1600 people killed in Palestine over the last few weeks, as well as the more than 9000 injured since the start of the terrorist operation hypocritically named “Protective Edge”.
We demand an end to apartheid and genocide, as well as to the walls and illegal settlements. We call on the governments of the world to demand that Israel complies with UN Security Council resolutions that oblige it to withdraw from Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, return to the borders that existed prior to the “Six Day War” (1967) and guarantee the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as per Security Council Resolution No. 242, November 22, 1967, a resolution that has been consistently ignored by the state of Israel.
We call for a real political solution to the conflict in Palestine on the basis of dialogue, negotiation and the existence of two states with equal rights and delineated borders that are internationally recognized. We believe this solution must begin with the immediate lifting of the blockade on Gaza and the liberation of all Palestinian political prisoners.
We congratulate the governments of ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas], Mercosur [Common Market of the South] and other governments of the South for their position of solidarity against the barbaric actions of Israel in Gaza.
We adopt as our own the words of the revolutionary, Nelson Mandela: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
We affirm that Israel has morally and politically lost this battle in the face of the brave Palestinian people and the growing condemnation by the peoples of the world of a “criminal” state that violates international law. The unbreakable Palestinian resistance will be rewarded, sooner rather than later, with the smiles of their children in a free homeland.
Against Israeli terrorism and US imperialism, in defense of the right to self-determination for Palestine and all the peoples of the world!
Initial signatories: Evo Morales, Bolivia; Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Argentina; Pablo González Casanova, México; Eduardo Galeano, Uruguay; Roberto Fernández Retamar, Cuba; Federico Mayor Zaragoza, España; Silvio Rodríguez, Cuba; Luis Arce Catacora, Bolivia; Gianni Vattimo, Italia; Gabriela Rivadeneira, Ecuador; Istvan Meszaros, Hungría/Reino Unido; Samir Amin, Egipto; Alfonso Sastre, País Vasco; Nardi Suxo, Bolivia; Enrique Dussel, México; Marta Harnecker, Chile; Carmen Bohorquez, Venezuela; Cesar Navarro, Bolivia; Miguel Barnet , Cuba; Franz Hinkelammert, Alemania; Héctor Arce Zaconeta, Bolivia; Piedad Cordoba, Colombia; Reverendo Raúl Suarez, Cuba; Martin Almada, Paraguay; Fernando Rendón, Colombia; Graziella Pogolloti, Cuba; Sacha Llorenti, Bolivia; Ana Esther Ceceña, México; Luis Britto, Venezuela; Rafael Cancel Miranda, Puerto Rico; Atilio Boron, Argentina; Theotonio Dos Santos, Brasil ; Alfredo Rada, Bolivia; Piedad Cordoba, Colombia, Farruco Sesto, Venezuela; Ángel Guerra, Cabrera, Cuba/ Mexico, Juan Carlos Trujillo, Bolivia; Mel Zelaya; Honduras; Hildebrando Pérez Grande, Perú; Patricia Villegas, Colombia/Venezuela; Maria Nela Prada, Bolivia; Stella Calloni, Argentina; Omar González, Cuba;; Hugo Moldiz, Bolivia; Pascual Serrano, España;; Raúl Pérez Torres, Ecuador; Obispo Raúl Vera, México; Joao Pedro Stedile, Brasil; Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Portugal; Rodrigo Álvarez Cambras, Cuba; Socorro Gomes, Brasil; Katu Arkonada, País Vasco/Bolivia