Johannesburg Declaration on Israel’s Settler-Colonialism, Apartheid and Genocide: Towards a Global Anti-Apartheid Movement for Palestine

The following is the outcome document from the Global Anti-Apartheid Conference held at Johannesburg, South Africa, 11-12 May 2024.

We, delegates from more than two dozen countries around the world, expressing the views of millions of people from all walks of life, of all faith and non-faith persuasions, of diverse political and ideological views, meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 10 to 12 May 2024, are outraged by a century of colonialism; 75 years of ongoing Nakba; 75 years of Israeli genocide, colonialism, and apartheid; more than 75 years of land theft; 75 years of repression and denial of basic rights and freedoms. Palestinians in the West Bank (including Jerusalem), Gaza, the ‘48 areas, the refugee camps, and in the diaspora have suffered for decades under the Zionist military machinery.

We have witnessed seven months of ongoing genocide. The world has watched Israel brutally bombard Gaza from land, sea and air, turning it into an extermination camp. Israel has destroyed the conditions for life of Gaza’s people, including medical care, nutrition, education, infrastructure. Israel uses sexual violence, starvation, the deprivation of water, medicines and medical assistance as weapons of war against 2,3 million civilians in Gaza – in violation of international law and any sense of ethics and morality. The extent of the Gaza carnage is still being revealed as mass graves are discovered. Israel is deliberately murdering children and women; women who create, sustain and defend life. We oppose Israel’s reproductive genocide. Israel is destroying Gaza’s environment and infrastructure to make it uninhabitable.

Israel’s powerful western allies, primarily the United States of America and some European states, continue to enable this genocide against the Palestinian people with their supply of the most sophisticated weaponry. They also protect Israel diplomatically and politically, including the use of the UN Security Council veto, and the refusal to sanction the apartheid state despite its egregious violations of international law.

Western political and economic elites profit off the blood and lives of Palestinians in a form of indefensible war capitalism. The war prosecuted for decades by Israel and its genocidal enablers is not only against the Palestinian people, it is against humanity as a whole.

But the Palestinians and the people of the world have not been silent.

Palestinians have been heard across the world, from beneath the rubble, from within the refugee tents in Gaza, echoed through the resistance all over occupied Palestine. Their pain has become the pain of us all; their anger, our anger; their steadfastness, our steadfastness; their struggle, our struggle.

The voices of justice-loving people across the world have been heard in our streets, in the media, on social media, in our student encampments, places of worship, courts, workplaces and schools.

These voices have been amplified in multilateral institutions, in international courts, by those of our political leaders and governments with conscience. The relentless efforts of the Government of South Africa at the International Court of Justice stand out in this regard. These efforts must include the prosecution of all Israeli war criminals. We will be unrelenting in our mobilisation to pressure governments to sanction Israel. All these voices inside Palestine and outside, stand firmly against the Zionist settler-colonial, racist, apartheid and genocidal project. We are inspired by the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights which ‘undertak[es] to eliminate colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, zionism and to dismantle… all forms of discrimination’. Zionism is racism!

We further amplify those voices of anger against and resistance to Israel’s violence and injustice, and against imperialist machinations on the Palestinian and other people around the world.

We, inspired by, and many of us having been part of, the global Anti-Apartheid Movement that helped end apartheid in South Africa and Namibia, now rise, as the continuation of that movement, to confront the settler-colonialism and apartheid of Israel and its backers, to ensure Israel and those complicit in its genocide are held accountable, to support the struggle for the liberation of the Palestinian people, for the restoration of their rights to freedom, dignity, selfdetermination, return, resistance, as guaranteed by international law.

We rise now as part of a Global Anti-Apartheid Movement for Palestine, in solidarity with the Palestinians of all faiths, backgrounds and ideologies, who struggle against occupation, colonialism, apartheid and genocide in Palestine and globally. Their heroism, strength and sumud (steadfastness) inspires us to greater heights and to urgent action.

We rise with a determination for an immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire to end Israel’s genocide, the withdrawal of Israeli forces, ending settler and military terrorism in the West Bank and lifting the siege on Gaza. Palestinians are entitled to reconstruction of all that Israel has destroyed, compensation and reparations. We will not rest until the end of the ongoing Nakba and until Palestine is liberated. We will use all strategies and tactics to work towards our goal, including working for the total isolation of the Israeli apartheid state – as was done by the Anti-Apartheid Movement against the South African apartheid state – using boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaigns, and other strategies in our Plan of Action.

We call for the immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners, detainees and hostages, and demand an end to arbitrary arrest, administrative detention, abductions, and torture of prisoners.

We salute governments that have shown their commitment to confront Israeli injustices and oppose colonialism and apartheid and act in line with their moral and legal obligations as members of the international community. We condemn governments that have enabled or been complicit with the Zionist project, which – from Balfour to Biden – remain complicit even as Israel perpetrates a genocide, and violates international law with impunity. Israel’s assault is on human values of truth, rights, justice, equality, and fairness; it entrenches racism and violent repression, and threatens humanity with nuclear devastation.

Standing with the Palestinian people means standing with humanity, justice and equality; it means standing against all forms of racism: anti-Palestinian racism, anti-Black racism, antiSemitism, Islamophobia. Our Plan of Action lays out the unfolding and growth of a Global AntiApartheid Movement. We are determined to urgently work until the complete liberation of the Palestinian people.

In this first Global Anti-Apartheid Conference for Palestine, we have initiated a process to build on widespread mobilisation across the world over decades, to escalate Palestinian solidarity and build the Anti-Apartheid Movement, including that at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban in 2001, and the 2005 Palestinian civil society call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. We call on all solidarity movements across the globe to join this effort of building a Global Anti-Apartheid movement, which will stand with all oppressed and exploited people.

We are committed to isolate apartheid Israel by intensifying consumer, academic, sports, arts, and cultural boycotts and escalating the campaign for economic and financial sanctions. We will prioritise blocking its shipping routes, campaigning for an arms’ embargo against Israel, targeting those supporting, funding, supplying weapons to and joining the Israeli Occupation Forces, and expelling Israel from international sporting, cultural and academic bodies.

Just as the Global Anti-Apartheid movement did not make concessions to the apartheid South African state until the complete dismantling of the apartheid system, we too refuse to concede until the total dismantling of Israel’s settler-colonial project. To that we are committed and we shall not stop until our purpose is fulfilled.

Palestine will be free, from the River to the Sea!



Power to the People!

• Advocacy
• Communication and dissemination
• Destruction of habitat
• Discrimination
• Displacement
• Dispossession
• Extraterritorial obligations
• Indigenous peoples
• International
• People under occupation
• Population transfers
• Solidarity campaign