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‘We are the free voice of Palestine’: Brazil and Argentina continue their support of Palestine

May 31, 2021 at 6:04 pm

Protesters at solidarity rallies in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 2021. [Fatma Abu Watfa]

The world is continuing to express its solidarity with the Palestinian people, especially following recent events in Gaza and Sheikh Jarrah. Latin America has conveyed a strong spirit of support for Palestine, particularly Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Mosques were lit, flags were raised and people chanted in support on the streets.

On 27 May, Argentina voted in favour of the United Nations (UN) resolution announced by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (UNHRC) – the opening of an investigation into possible human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories. The resolution approved by 24 of the 47 members, including Argentina, calls for the investigation of: “All underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considered the approval to open an international investigation as a “shameful decision”.

According to Anadolu Agency, Argentina expressed its deep concern over the dramatic worsening of the situation in Palestine, the “disproportionate use of force” by Israeli security units in the face of protests over the possible evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, as well as for the Gaza Strip. Argentina also called on the international community to contribute efforts for a ceasefire to be reached.

READ: The struggle for our rights in Palestine must continue until the occupation ends 

According to the president of the Islamic Centre in Buenos Aires, Anibal Bakir, who is leading a widespread media campaign across Argentina concerning the events in Palestine: “We try to speak out on all media platforms, and we have already reached the most influential platform of Argentinian public opinion.” Bakir confirmed that despite the extensive influence of the Zionist lobby in Argentina, there is a large segment of Argentine society and the Argentine media that supports the Palestinian cause: “Many people told us that we became the free voice of Palestine in Argentina.”

Protesters at solidarity rallies in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 2021. [Fatma Abu Watfa]

Protesters at solidarity rallies in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 2021. [Fatma Abu Watfa]

Brazil has witnessed a wave of solidarity with the Palestinian people in light of circumstances in recent weeks. Protesters demonstrated at solidarity rallies in Sao Paulo, Manaus, Recife and other Brazilian cities, calling for ending the violations in Gaza and the West Bank. In addition, Brazilian Congress, along with The Front for the Defence of the Palestinian People and the Parliamentary Front, issued a statement on the Israeli aggression of Gaza and Jerusalem. It was signed by more than 70 Brazilian deputies expressing their condemnation of criminal acts committed by the Israeli occupation against Palestinian civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and the occupied territories.

In an interview with Congressman of the Brazilian Workers’ Party Nilto Tatto, one of the statement’s signatories, he expressed: “A large group of parliamentarians have felt that there is a need to take a stance against the violence inflicted by Israel. So, we have decided to make a statement in line with the majority of the Brazilian people to apply international pressure and to seek peace. This will only come with the recognition and autonomy of the Palestinian people.”

During the previous week, the Committee of External Relations and National Defence (CREDN) removed from its agenda MSC 371/2019, ending all military cooperation agreements between Brazil and Israel. There was a consensus among deputies on the withdrawal of this military cooperation for at least 15 days. Congressman Tatto explains: “It is difficult to say that this matter will not return to the agenda again, but it was important to mobilise a group of parliamentarians to draw attention to Israel’s violence and to pressure CREDN to retreat for a while on this proposal of military cooperation.” Tatto vehemently argues: “There is a need to maintain this debate permanently to search for peace.”Brazil is currently encountering a strong and growing media response exhibiting support for the Palestinian people. A pro-Palestinian stance is not always easy under a right-wing Brazilian government that completely allies with the Israeli occupation government. However, there is no doubt that social networking sites have played an important role in depicting an accurate picture of what the Palestinian people are experiencing due to the Israeli crimes against them. “The vast majority of Brazilian people are supportive and have a good sense of justice within them. They know that the Palestinians are suffering from the atrocities committed by the State of Israel,” explains Tatto.

READ: Chile’s Club Deportivo Palestino stands in solidarity with Jerusalem 

Even after seventy-three years, the Zionist occupier continues to commit crimes against the Palestinian people – killing, capturing, displacing and assaulting them on the holy sites. In contrast, however, the Palestinians have become more courageous and heroic concerning their rights, land and sanctities. This year, the Israeli occupation wanted to renew the Nakba, with a new catastrophe in Sheikh Jarrah, but the Jerusalemites showed steadfastness against the occupation.

Globally, people expressed their solidarity with Palestine and their rejection of the continuing crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people. From the US, passing through Europe to Latin America, millions of protesters demonstrated their unity with Palestine. They were all united under the message and objective: “Freedom for Palestine”.

Protesters at solidarity rallies in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 2021. [Fatma Abu Watfa]

Protesters at solidarity rallies in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 2021. [Fatma Abu Watfa]

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.