Palestine has recently been experiencing turbulent events in various parts of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. These events are taking place on several fronts at once: Israeli police attacks against Palestinians praying at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the continuous storming by Israeli settlers and the targeting of many young people in different cities of the West Bank. Latin America did not stand by idly during the continuous assaults on the people of Palestine. It has conveyed a strong spirit of support for Palestine, particularly Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Across Latin America, protesters chanted slogans calling for Arab and international support for Al-Aqsa Mosque worshippers and the Palestinians attacked in the occupied West Bank. Furthermore, many statements have been issued condemning these attacks on the land of Palestine and its people.
According to the president of the Islamic Centre in Buenos Aires, Anibal Bakir, who issued a statement condemning the Israeli attempts to impose a Jewish identity on occupied East Jerusalem: “We denounce these attacks and aggressions against our people in Palestine. In addition, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and we call on the national government, international organisations and United Nations (UN) organisations to condemn all these illegal and inhumane practices that violate all UN resolutions and international law.”
Bakir has also asked the Argentinian government to have a strict stance on Israeli actions towards worshippers during the holy month: “The issue of Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque do not concern the Palestinian people only, but it is the issue of the whole Islamic nation around the world. We, as the Muslims of Argentina, are an integral part of this great nation.”
On the other hand, Brazil has witnessed a wave of solidarity with the Palestinian people in light of the circumstances in recent weeks. It has denounced the continuous Israeli crimes and violations against the Palestinian people and declared its solidarity with the Palestinians and the worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque by organising a group of activities to support Palestinian rights. The Union of Palestinian Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean (COBLAC), in a statement, called on countries of Latin America to boycott Israel. COBLAC has asked the countries of Latin America to suspend bilateral agreements with Israel due to its crimes against Palestinians.
President of COBLAC Rafael Masri confirmed in an interview with MEMO: “This statement is a great opportunity to remind the world of the suffering of Palestinian people in the occupied land, particularly in Jerusalem. We are the voice of Palestinian communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, and it is our duty to denounce Israel’s assaults that it commits every day against the Palestinian people in West Bank and Jerusalem. The world has to take responsibility for its silence because Israel considers it a blank check to continue its policies of dispossession, land theft, assassinations and all kinds of violations.”
The Palestine Democratic Committees in Brazil organised a photography exhibition demonstrating the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Jerusalem. It was held at the headquarters of the Workers’ Party, which has supported the Palestinian cause since its founding. Many people from Brazilian and Palestinian communities participated as an expression of their solidarity with the people of Palestine. The display included photographs of Palestinian prisoners, children and women who face daily assaults and inhumane practices by the Israeli occupation. Through the exhibition, the Palestine Democratic Committees in Brazil called on the international community to stand by the Palestinians and stop the crimes against people in the occupied land.
In Chile, solidarity with the Palestinian people took another form. Fans of the Palestinian football club in Chile, Palestino, drew the Palestinian flag on the known statue in the centre of Al-Karama Square in the Chilean capital, Santiago. They raised the slogan “From Al-Karama Square in Santiago, to the occupied Jerusalem”. This was one of many actions during the week of solidarity with the Palestinian people, also represented by solidarity stands, marches and protests. Chilean universities also expressed their stances, as students raised Palestinian flags in the middle of lectures, chanting “free, free Palestine”.
Around the world, people have expressed their solidarity with Palestine and their rejection of Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people and humanity. Latin America showed its solidarity through the millions of protesters demonstrating their unity with Palestine.