THIS YEAR’S SPEAKERS

DENIS GOLDBERG, SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL LIBERATION LEADER:

“WE must always bear in mind that apartheid is very much more than the brutalities practised by the apartheid regime in its desperate attempts to maintain itself in power. Apartheid itself is a denial of human rights and dignity… Our people live under a virtual military and police occupation…

Apartheid is a system of State terrorism. South Africa is an imprisoned society. Our people, in destroying the apartheid system, will put an end to that State terrorism. They are tearing down the walls of that prison. Our people will be free in a united, democratic, non-racial South Africa…

We wish also to express our solidarity with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and with the people of the Sahraoui National Liberation Front, as well as with people everywhere fighting for their freedom from national oppression… But what we knowis that we will fight side by side all our lives until we have won. I would only say in closing: “Amandla Ngawethu: Maatla ke a rona: Jana Shakti!” Power to the people!”- 1987 Statement to the ANC at the meeting of the Special Committee against Apartheid in observance of the Day of Solidarity with South African Political Prisoners

“WE need to not be bamboozled by the statement that [the apartheid designation] is just an emotional appeal to South Africans about apartheid, because we know what it meant for our people. The reality is, there are definitions of what apartheid is and Israel is an apartheid state.” -2012 Speech for Israeli Apartheid Week

ILAN PAPPÉ, ISRAELI NEW HISTORIAN AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST:

“THERE is no use in pretending that a new wave of settlements is a response to terror. The plans for settlements, or their expansion, have been prepared over a long period of time and have involved various governmental agencies. When the state is ready to expand, the pretext is invented. It could be a remark made by Mahmoud Abbas, a demonstration or indeed an attack on settlers or soldiers. The master plan for where and how to settle is an old one. It demarcates very clearly which parts of the West Bank can be left for the Palestinians to live in, either as ghettos should they resist, or as Bantustans should they reconcile with their fate.” – 2014 Interview in The White Review

JOHN DUGARD, FORMER UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES:

“HISTORY is replete with examples of occupying powers using force to maintain their occupations. Apartheid South Africa used force against the people of Namibia; Germany used force against the people of France and the Netherlands during World War II… [Israel’s] action is a clear collective punishment of the people of Gaza. The numbers of the dead and wounded and the property damage inflicted on them are completely disproportionate to the few civilians killed and wounded and property damaged in Israel. It is also clear from its bombing of schools, hospitals and private homes that Israel makes little, if any, attempt to distinguish between civilian and military targets.” – 2014 Al-Jazeera Commentary

DANIEL MACHOVER, LAWYERS FOR PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS (LPHR):

“IDENTIFYING conduct as a legal wrong does provide benefits to the victims – it provides a legal language to describe the conduct and the ramifications will include the need not only to address and remedy apartheid and persecution, but also settler colonialism… A clear understanding is required that the existence of the State of Palestine does not equate to the Palestinian people exercising their right to self-determination: fully confronting the reality of what is being faced by the Palestinians can be a helpful step in changing that reality. Arguably, recognition of sociocide as a legal wrong is part of that process.” – Russell Tribunal on Palestine Discussion of ‘Sociocide’

ABDEL RAZZAQ TAKRITI, LECTURER IN INTERNATIONAL HISTORY AT SHEFFIELD:

“Approaching facts requires concepts and if our concepts are influenced by a colonialist discourse or by elitist discourse then we will never be able to write a history that doesn’t marginalize the majority of the population of the globe.” – 2014 Inspiration and Co Interview

NIMER SULTANY, LECTURER IN LAW AT SOAS:

“THERE is nothing rhetorical or tragic about the recent 100 deaths in Gaza. In such rhetorical/​tragic accounts the materiality of death and suffering is reduced to image production for political gains. More importantly, it distorts the political responsibility of the parties (including the absolution of third parties’ complicity in the continuation of oppression). Lacking context, the responsibility is either equally shared by two symmetrically opposed agents of violence or the stronger party bears no responsibility because it is merely responding to the irrational violence of the weak who bears the responsibility for death and suffering.” – 2014 Commentary on Critical Legal Thinking

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