Nelson Mandela has died, but the memory of his commitment to universal freedom and justice lives on. Mandela championed justice for the oppressed not only of South Africa, but everywhere.
In an address to the ANC in 1997- three years after the demise of apartheid in South Africa – he reminded his listeners of the UN’s strong stand against “this iniquitous system” and how, over time, an international consensus grew which helped bring about its end. Describing the UN’s 1977 inauguration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People as a demonstration of its “recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine,” Mandela added: “But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians . . .”
Hopefully this memory will inspire shoppers to buy responsibly and ethically, as they choose last-minute gifts this Christmastime and “Boxing Week.” That includes refusing to buy SodaStream home carbonation devices, which – although fraudulently labelled “Made in Israel” — are actually produced in the industrial park of the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim in the occupied West Bank of Palestine.
Boycotts of SodaStream, already widespread throughout Western Europe and the United States, are now gaining ground in Canada. Independent Jewish Voices–Canada, the United Church of Canada, district and provincial labour councils, student groups, and many others have called on their supporters to refrain from buying SodaStream. In the lower mainland, local affiliates of the Canadian Boycott Coalition for Justice in Palestine/Israel (www.canadianboycottcoalition.ca ) and the United Network for Justice in Palestine and Israel (www.UNJPPI.org ) have held two public actions so far. The next will be on Saturday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m. in front of London Drugs, 525 W. Broadway, Vancouver. Please join us and help spread the word.
As Tyler Levitan, campaigns coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices-Canada, has stated: ” “It is vitally important that we support nonviolent struggles against systems of mass oppression. The Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the ongoing theft of Palestinian land and resources, is a serious crime that we all must acknowledge.” ”