Nthoneng Andrew Dinaala, Satawu young worker.

Skeptics had a lot to say when they found out I was going to a volatile world of the Israeli and Palestinians, but then again that was once a perceived state of my own country. Someone did not see how their intervention in a country driven by power and extreme prejudice would make a difference and so they sat home and settled for a prayer with the hope that some unseen force would change the situation. Not us though, for as labour representatives we know that our duty is to go in where very few are willing to go not because we do not understand the death risks at times, but because we know that faith without action is dead.

Going in was terrifying but we made a commitment and stuck with it despite the consequences, we knew we would not change a country nor did we go there with that aim. We went to give hope, hope to the trade unionists that the world is on your side and our presence here represents that. Fragile as we were and at the mercy of what evil might have risen, we still came. Propaganda and biased media might have the world believing that Palestine is the evil one but I saw only Israeli soldiers holding machinery designed to take life in a split second in the land not of their own but one they are intending to take with extreme force. Palestine, this is not a love letter but a piece of my heart pouring out to you because to this day Nelson Mandela is still labelled as a terrorist in the books of the North Americans despite the cause for which he stood and the principalities of that rebel stance. It is not always the case that heroes are seen as such because it depends who benefits and so the powers that be would rather see Palestine as a rebel rather than a son of the soil looking only to have equal share of what is his.

My view of you oh Palestine has changed and now more than ever my commitment to the work of a comrade to free another is engraved in my heart. ITF family your work is paramount, and the need for the trade union movement to live and thrive is more important now than ever. Multinationals must be brought to the understanding that money can never be more important than human lives. But the only language they hear is capital and so that is what we threaten to get their attention so as to bring them on board. ITF we have our work cut out for us but I have no doubt after this trip that we are untied and that is a power they do not have.