The Israeli apartheid regime has once again shown to the world its commitment to barbarity through the relentless attack on all forms of Palestinian resistance. The barrage of bombing in Gaza has taken the lives of over 80 people and injured hundreds. This is part of a larger assault on Palestinians and their rights for weeks starting with the placing of barriers at Damascus Gate and the attempt to expel Palestinian families who have been living in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem for generations.
Amid protests in defence of Sheikh Jarrah and against the Zionist policies of ethnic cleansing and genocide, Israeli forces invaded the al-Aqsa mosque compound and violently attacked and arrested worshipers, injuring over 300.
The subsequent bombing of Gaza that began on Monday saw the targeting of residential towers housing hundreds of Palestinians and other civilian infrastructure. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that attacks will intensify.
At the same time, Palestinians living inside Historic Palestine have been mobilising to reject Israel’s actions and they too have been met with racist violence. Lynch mobs have been terrorising Palestinians in the cities of Bat Yam, Jaffa, Akka, Haifa, Lyd and elsewhere.
The bombing in Gaza, the violent incursion into al-Aqsa, and the threat to displace more families from the city of Jerusalem has sparked a strong response from groups and organisations from across the world that have historically considered solidarity with the Palestinian cause to be at the heart of the anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggle.
Organisations from Ireland to Iraq have organised mobilisations and released declarations in support of the Palestinian people and condemning Israeli aggression. Protests will continue throughout the week especially given that Saturday is when Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day, marking the violent establishment of the state of Israel.
In the last four years, one of the key shifts in the Arab-Maghreb region regarding the Palestinian cause has been the announcement of normalisation deals with Israel by several key states like Morocco, UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan in exchange for diplomatic, political and economic “gains”. These deals were achieved through aggressive US lobbying, recognising that the support of neighbouring countries to the Palestinian cause and the isolation of Israel has been a major roadblock to consolidating US-Israeli hegemony. However, these deals received widespread rejection from the people in these countries who continue to champion the Palestinian struggle as their own.
In recent days, people’s movements and organisations in the region have been organising a series of impressive mobilisations in support of the Palestinian people and condemning the criminal actions of the Zionist state.
An important statement was released on Tuesday May 11 by a group of Left parties and organisations in the region including: Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Palestinian People’s Party, Lebanese Communist Party, the Kuwaiti Progressive Movement, Egyptian Socialist Party, Egyptian Communist Party, National Progressive Unionist Rally Party – Egypt, Popular Will Party – Syria, the United Syrian Communist Party, Democratic Way Party – Morocco, the leftist Arab meeting, Iraqi Communist Party, Jordanian Communist Party, The Jordanian Popular Unity Party, Jordanian People’s Democratic Party, United National Democratic Party – Tunisia, and the Sudanese Communist Party.
In the statement, they expressed their support to the Palestinian people and condemned the US-Zionist “deal of the century” which has attempted to advance the full occupation of Jerusalem with support of a number of Arab regimes. They call on Arab popular forces to double down on their support of the legitimate resistance of the Palestinian people and reject Zionist policies of “ethnic cleansing, home demolitions, land theft and sacrilege.” They also call on them to confront the recent shifts of normalisation and complicity of the Arab reactionary regimes and their interference in Palestinian affairs in favor of the occupation, among other calls.
Accompanying the statements, organisations have also been on the streets to show their support.
In Tunisia, the Workers’ Party, along with other progressive forces in the country, released a statement in support of the Palestinian cause and organised a rally in the capital.
In Kuwait, progressive forces took to the streets as well.
In Sudan, members of the Sudanese Communist Party held a solidarity rally.
Latin America and the Caribbean
People’s movements and organisations, as well as revolutionary governments in the region, have been quick to express their support for the Palestinian people in light of growing aggression and attacks.
The Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) of Brazil released a statement on May 11 wherein they pointed out that “It is not a war, as there is only one army, that of Israel! It is a massacre, which has been perpetrated against the Palestinian people for more than 70 years!” The movement called for an end to “Israel’s extermination policy” and demanded that Israel be tried for crimes against humanity. The MST express solidarity “with the Palestinian People’s struggle for a Free Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital!”
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez wrote that “Cuba emphatically condemns the indiscriminate bombings of Israel against the Palestinian population n in Gaza and condemns the permanent support of the US in these crimes.”
The Foreign Ministry of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela released a strong statement condemning “the new violent actions committed by Israel against the Palestinian people.” The statement declared that, “Venezuela reaffirms its historical and principled position in defence of the sovereignty, independence and self-determination of the Palestinian people, while expressing its support for the government of the Palestinian National Authority and its solidarity with the victims and their loved ones, following the cruel attacks carried out by the military and police forces of Israel, which have taken the lives of innocent civilians, including those of several minors.” It also called on the world to “demand an end to this new phase of Zionist violence against the Palestinian people.”
Beyond statements, both socialist Cuba and Venezuela have historically provided concrete support to the Palestinian cause and people, such as opening their doors to hundreds of Palestinian students so that they can train in medicine and return to the region to help serve the people.
The people across the African continent have also been historic allies of the Palestinian cause and many have also taken to the streets and social media to manifest their solidarity this week.
The shack dwellers movement of South Africa, Abahlali based Mjondolo, released a statement declaring that “The Blood of the Palestinians is our Blood.” They highlighted the similarities in experiences of oppression and violence by colonial occupiers stating “As everyone knows, a shared experience of colonial dispossession and oppression – and of apartheid – means that most South Africans have a deep understanding and concern for the suffering and struggle of the Palestinian people…Because of our past and our present we have a deep sense of solidarity for the Palestinian people who continue to suffer under an extremely brutal colonial occupation. Their pain is our pain. We know what it means to live not knowing whether your home and that of your children will be destroyed. We know what it means to live without the protection of the law, and under a state that considers you outside of the law. We know what it means to have innocent people in jail, people whose only crime was to stand up for justice.”
Organisations such as the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP), the Communist Party of Kenya and others also expressed solidarity.
In Johannesburg, a protest was organised by BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) outside the Israeli Trade Center in South Africa in Solidarity with the people of Palestine.
While politicians in the US continue to back Israel despite its genocidal actions against Palestinians, the tide is definitely changing in terms of the population. On May 11 and 12, massive protests were organised in cities across the United States such as New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, and more.
Statements have also been released to demand that the US government drastically change its policy of providing billions of dollars of military aid to Israel as well as unquestioned political support. Sharp criticism has been directed at mainstream news organisations in the US which continue to favour Israel and dehumanise Palestinians.
A number of left parties and progressive movements across Europe also condemned Israel’s attacks on Gaza and on the Palestinian people such as the European Left Party, Ireland’s Sinn Fein, and others.