CIR offers condolences on death of Desmond Tutu, prominent figure in struggle against injustice and apartheid

Council on International Relations-Palestine offered its deepest condolences to the family of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as to the government and people of South Africa on his death.


In a statement of condolence, the Council said that Tutu, a former South African Archbishop, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Nelson Mandela’s companion, was a stubborn campaigner for human rights and a symbol of support for Palestine and the rights of its people in South Africa and around the world.


Council head Dr. Bassem Naim said: “We have learned with great sadness and sorrow the death of Archbishop Tutu. He had firm positions in support of the Palestinian cause, and I call on his lovers and supporters to follow his path in support of the Palestinian people.”


Archbishop Tutu was one of the most vocal critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and he compared between the apartheid regime in South Africa and the apartheid regime in Israel.


Tutu once said Palestinians are paying the price of the West’s guilt, and that “Israel” will never obtain security through walls and guns.


The South African Nobel Peace Prize winner had expressed his regret for the “silence and complicity” of the international community regarding the situation in Gaza, which he considered a “disgrace” for this group.


Desmond Tutu, the cleric and social activist who was a giant of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, has died aged 90.

CIR: Palestinians to keep following Mandela lead against apartheid

On his 8th death anniversary,

CIR: Palestinians to keep following Mandela lead against apartheid

Council on International Relations – Palestine said on the 8th death anniversary of the iconic fighter Nelson Mandela that his struggle continues to inspire the struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom and independence.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Council added that Mandela’s history and struggle charted a way to freedom for all oppressed peoples around the world, who still remember to this day his contribution to the struggle against apartheid, oppression and colonialism.

“We highly appreciate the position of South Africa, which continues to support the Palestinian people in the footsteps Mandela, and appreciate the successive stances issued by them, which confirm the depth of the relationship between South Africa and Palestine”, the CIR said.

The Gaza-bases body concluded its statement by reminding that the Palestinian people have not and will not forget Mandela’s historic saying: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

Today, December 5, marks the 8th anniversary of the death of the spiritual leader and fighter against apartheid South Africa, Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), at his home in Johannesburg, after suffering from a lung disease.

CIR: Labour Party motion historic, undermines Zionist efforts to whitewash occupation

Council on International Relations – Palestine welcomed backing a motion in Labour conference to demand sanctions against Israel for its illegal actions under international law, to stop the UK’s arms trade with Israel, and end trade with illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

The council said in a statement issued, Monday, that this motion is a pivotal shift in the history of Britain’s relationship with the Palestinian issue, especially that it comes from a major party that may form the government in the coming period.

Regarding the tireless Zionist efforts to distort the Palestinians, the council said that these attempts will not succeed in changing the facts and the Labour Party’s recent motion is the best evidence.

“We welcome this motion, and we thank everyone who voted yes, and we consider the motion a significant addition to the international consensus that is forming and sees that “Israel” is practicing apartheid that must be fought”, the CIR added.

The Council called on all British parties to take the same decisions that are in line with international law and the will of free peoples, and that express solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of the occupation and its crimes.

Labour conference has backed a motion for the party to demand sanctions against Israel for its illegal actions under international law, to stop the UK’s arms trade with “Israel”, and end trade with illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

CIR welcomes HRW report on Israeli apartheid

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) welcomed the report issued Tuesday by Human Rights Watch, in which it says Israeli authorities are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.

The report describes the reality that Palestinians have been living for decades, the council said, and it is an important legal document that supports the Palestinian narrative and refutes the false Israeli narrative.

The CIR called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities in accordance with international law, and to work to hold the Israeli occupation state accountable for its ongoing crimes, especially supporting the investigation conducted by the International Criminal Court.

“Israel” is committing “crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution” against Palestinians and the international community must reevaluate diplomatic relations with the state, Human Rights Watch said in a report on Tuesday.

The 213-page report details how “Israel” has sought to maintain Jewish-Israeli hegemony over the Palestinian people from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

CIR mourns minister Jackson Mthembu, reminds of his stances in support of Palestinians

Council on International Relations – Palestine expressed its sincere condolences to the South African president, government and people over the death of minister Jackson Mthembu.

In a condolence sent to the SA Consul in Palestine, the Council said: “The Palestinian people will not forget the positions of Minister Mthembu in support of their rights and their struggle against the occupation and racism and his support for the BDS.”

Minister Mthembu is considered one of the prominent figures in support of Palestinian rights. He once said his famous line: “When People are killed, mowed down in Palestine, we are reminded of what happened to us during Apartheid”.

” Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, kids and broader family during this extraordinarily sad time”, the CIR concluded.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed in an announcement on Thursday the passing of Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu at 62 — from complications related to COVID-19 which he contracted on January 11.

CIR: “Israel” faces demographic threat by bringing in non-Jewish immigrants

The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics revealed that the number of Jewish immigrants to “Israel” over the course of 2020 hit a record low, with only 33.8% of the usual number of new immigrants.

For the first time in Israeli history, the Jewish population of the country has dropped below 74 percent, according to the IPC.

Dr. Basem Naim, head of Council on International Relations – Palestine said that these data indicate that the occupation state is exploiting the claim that any Jew around the world has the right to immigrate to the “Promised Land”, which is unfortunately supported by the international community unlawfully, to confront the demographic threat that threatens it by bringing non-Jewish immigrants to Palestine, at a time when the occupation expels Palestinians from their lands, demolishes their homes, and deprives them of their basic rights.

This behavior, Naeem indicated, not only confirms the racism and fascism of this entity and its creed, but rather “Israel” uses religious arguments to pass colonial political projects and consolidate its control over Palestinian land.

Naim noted that these facts undermine the idea that many in the international community, especially in the West, rely on regarding the right of Jews around the world to immigrate to Palestine, at a time when the international community is unable to enforce international legitimacy by enabling the Palestinians to return to their homes from which they were forcibly displaced. Head of the CIR called on the international community to reconsider its stances towards the historical injustice that befalls the Palestinian people.

CIR Demands LGPS divests of firms complicit in Israeli violations

Council on International Relations – Palestine called on The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) to stop investing over £2 Billion in companies complicit in Israel’s war crimes, including those blacklisted by the UN.

The CIR referred to the information revealed by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in Britain, which showed that LGPS invested over £2 Billion in companies complicit in Israeli war crimes.

The council demanded LGPS in a letter sent Monday to stop such investments. “For that reason and as a matter of urgency, we demand that Israel be excluded from all your investments”, it demanded.

The CIR said in the letter: “We demand to hold to account those responsible for these investments. We demand support for Palestinian institutions concerned with human rights and supporting Palestinian communities suffering from Israel’s illegal military regime.”

The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign has revealed that The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) invests over £2 Billion in companies complicit in Israel’s war crimes, including those blacklisted by the UN.

CIR welcomes HRW report, says it confirms Israel as apartheid state

Council on International Relations – Palestine welcomed the report issued today by Human Rights Watch, which affirmed that Israel pursued a policy of racial discrimination against the Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line.

The council said in a statement issued Tuesday that this report is the first of its kind that covers all of historic Palestine about violations of Palestinian rights, inequality and land grabbing.

The CIR indicated that the report confirms that the Israeli occupation state is no different from the apartheid South Africa, and even worse and that it is a state based on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and depriving them of their basic rights.

In the light of this report, the Council called on the international community to impose sanctions on the occupying power, similar to the sanctions imposed on the apartheid South Africa, to recognize the state of Palestine and force the occupation to withdraw from the occupied territories and give the Palestinians their rights.

The Gaza-based body noted that the issuance of the report at a time the Palestinians are commemorating the seventy-second anniversary of the Nakba requires the entire world to support the right of the Palestinian people to return to the homes that were taken from them and compensate them for the years of suffering in the Diaspora.

A new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report said on Tuesday the Israeli government’s policy favours Jewish citizens as decades of land confiscations and discriminatory policies have restricted Palestinian citizens to densely populated towns and villages that have little room to expand.

CIR hails UN list of firms linked to Israeli settlements

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) hailed the United Nations Human Rights Office report, which lists firms linked to illegal Israeli settlements.

The Council said in a statement Thursday that releasing this list comes after a long wait and a great effort by the human rights institutions that have worked tirelessly to hold these firms complicit in war crimes.

The Council stressed that adherence to international law is the best response to the attempts of the United States and the Israeli occupation in violation of this law and human rights and their pursuit to enforce the law of the jungle.

This step, according to the CIR, indicates the importance of the United Nations role in facing apartheid regimes and holding perpetrators of war crimes and human rights violations accountable and reminds us of the United Nations’ oversight role in eliminating apartheid in South Africa.

The Council stressed that publishing the list is a strong message to all firms complicit in human rights violations and benefiting from the apartheid regime, that they should not enjoy any immunity under such an unjust system.

In its statement, the Council called on the United Nations to implement what was stated in resolution 31/36 and not to submit to any pressure from any party, notably the Israeli occupation, and even to update this list whenever the need arises.

The UN body said it identified 112 business entities – 94 based in “Israel” and 18 in six other countries – which it has reasonable grounds to conclude have ties with Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.

CIR: US Ambassador statements on West Bank new crime against Palestinians

Council on International Relations considered the statements of the US ambassador “Israel” on the West Bank a crime and a new aggression added to the ongoing American administration’s crimes against the Palestinian people.

The Council said in a statement issued Thursday that Friedman statements reflect the US administration’s continued hostility to the Palestinians and support for the presence of the Israeli occupation on their land, and contradicts the administration’s commitment to adhere to international laws.

In its statement, the council called on the international community to break the silence it controls over the Trump administration’s actions, calling on the world to recognize the Palestinian state and its sovereignty over all Palestinian lands.

The Council made a special appeal to the Democratic Party of the United States to publicly condemn these steps and press through Congress for the American administration to retract this racist policy against our people, and to work immediately to enact laws and legislation to support our people’s struggle for freedom and stability.

These Israeli plans to annex the remainder of our lands, supported by an extremist American administration, threaten any hope for stability in an explosive region boiled by conflicts, the Council stressed in its statement.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said yesterday that America’s next step, after recognising Jerusalem as “Israel”’s capital and “Israel”’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, is the annexation of the occupied West Bank.