The long road ahead

Salim Vally is a leading member of the Palestine Solidarity Committee in South Africa, a veteran anti-apartheid activist and here provides some background for the necessary struggle against Israel:

It will be helpful to draw activists’ attention to some of the egregious lessons from the campaign to isolate apartheid South Africa, bearing in mind Amilcar Cabral’s “tell no lies, claim no easy victories” advice to revolutionaries. First, it took a few decades of hard work before the boycott campaign made an impact. Despite the impression given by many governments, unions and faith-based groups that they supported the isolation of the apartheid state from the outset this is just not true. Besides the infamous words of Dick Cheney, when as a senator he called for the continued incarceration of Nelson Mandela because he was a “terrorist” quite late in the day, and the support given by US President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Thatcher, together with regimes like dictator Pinochet’s Chile, Israel and others, most powerful institutions, multilateral organisations and unions were hesitant for many years to fully support the campaign. The Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) was formed in 1959 and the first significant breakthrough came in 1963 when Danish dock workers refused to off-load South African goods.