On the occasion of the Nelson Mandela International Day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates honors Nelson Mandela, a champion of justice and freedom whose legacy continues to inspires peoples worldwide. We celebrate the leader who successfully led his people in the struggle against Apartheid, the tireless advocate for universal human rights, and the friend who honored and stood by the friends who supported his people’s struggle from its inception, like the Palestinian people. The indelible mark Nelson Mandela left in the world and his invaluable contribution to the promotion and protection of universal human rights, freedom, and equality will forever be remembered and celebrated by our people and peace-loving peoples around the world.
Madiba’s contribution to the cause of freedom and justice transcended the boundaries of South Africa and it’s just cause. After defeating Apartheid, the late Mandela persevered, using his voice to advocate for others who were still struggling for freedom. This humble and selfless fighter advocated on behalf of his fellow countrymen for universal justice and the right of all peoples to freedom. On Palestine, Madiba was unwavering. Our people shall forever remember his declaration:
“Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinian people”.
This year, our people mark one hundred years of continued and mounting injustice, seventy years since our people’s Nakba and dispossession, and fifty years since the Israeli military occupation of the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem. As we mark these painful injustices, the Palestinian people draw on their faith in the power of human solidarity, international law and principles. We recall the power of this solidarity, which we extended to peoples struggling for justice and have humbly received from principled friends throughout the past century.
On this day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates embraces and appreciates the sincere and principled support of the people of South Africa and the vast majority of peoples and governments worldwide on behalf of the Palestinian people. We are also mindful of those who abstain from their responsibilities and fail the test of commitment to the universal values of freedom, justice and peace. We also have faith that hindsight in history does not tolerate blurry visions or murky calculations. History will judge those who betray the values of peace and justice and those who aid and abet in the perpetuation of oppression.
The Palestinian people draw on Mr. Mandela’s legacy and will always commemorate his life in recognition of his historic march for freedom, his legacy of peace and justice, and his unwavering solidarity with our just cause. Nelson Mandela will always have a special place in the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people, who continue to demonstrate through their perseverance that they will not go quietly into the night; that they will not be the exception to the universal truth of freedom.
State of Palestine
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
18 July 2017