The Palestine For All Movement (MOP@T, Movimento Palestina Para Tod@s) in Sao Paulo Brazil, organized a political seminar in the headquarters of the postal workers’ union, focusing on the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails and current political developments in occupied Palestine and the region, as well as the struggles of prisoners in Brazil.
Comrade Khaled Barakat, coordinator of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat, spoke at the event, providing an overview of the current political developments in the region, noting that “the Palestinian and Arab resistance is the only force in the region capable of defeating the settler-colonial racist state in occupied Palestine.”
“We are at a historic moment, one hundred years of Palestinian armed struggle.” Barakat said. “The Palestinian people have been confronting colonialism and occupation since 1917, through a collective historical experience that has enabled them to protect their cause against all attempts to dissolve or disperse them.”
Speaking on the political positions needed to liberate Palestine, Barakat noted that “the position of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was, and remains, to dismantle the Zionist entity in Palestine. The Front rejects the so-called ‘two state solution’ and considers it a major betrayal of the Palestinian people and their right to return to their homes from which they were forced. It calls for the establishment of a democratic state of Palestine on the entire land of Palestine and the exercise of the Palestinian people’s right to self determination over all of their homeland.”
Barakat rejected the legitimacy of Israeli occupation anywhere on the land of Palestine, saying that any recognition of Israel’s so-called “right to exist” undermines the Palestinian people. “Those who recognize and defend Israel’s ‘right to exist’ on stolen Palestinian land cannot be true friends or part of the real solidarity movement with the Palestinian people. We must keep the flame of the struggle burning in confrontation with Israel and its supporters inside and outside Palestine, under the leadership of the Palestinian people and their resistance, and with the support of the Arab nation, the people of the region, and the progressive forces and people of the world. This is the only truly realistic and revolutionary option to change the balance of power locally and internationally and change the equation in the region to the benefit of the Palestinian people and their just struggle for liberation,” said Barakat.
He criticized the actions of the Brazilian government, which expresses verbal support for the Palestinian people while engaging in millions of dollars of economic agreements and deals with Israel, especially in the area of military cooperation and arms purchases. Barakat emphasized the need to enhance the role of trade unions and political parties in the boycott campaign to cut the relationship with Israel, noting positively the actions of Bolivia and Venezuela in cutting their relationships with the Zionist state as true models of friendship with the Palestinian people.
Barakat emphasized the legitimacy of Palestinian armed struggle despite false labelling of Palestinian resistance as “terrorism, extremism or violence,” saying that “these labels do not concern us and these descriptions hold no weight. Reality confirms the correctness of the path of armed struggle, and the Palestinian resistance will continue to develop its strength. This is borne out by the experience of the past 20 years, in which despite the Oslo agreements, the Palestinian resistance has a capacity dozens of times stronger than it has had in the past.”
Charlotte Kates, lawyer and human rights activist and the coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, also spoke at the event, detailing the experiences of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and the ongoing repression directed against the prisoners in recent years. She addressed the system of mass incarceration used to oppress the Palestinian people, and described the military courts which try Palestinians as a mockery of justice, convicting over 99.5% of the Palestinians who appear before them.
She discussed the system of administrative detention and the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial, at times for long years with no reason or evidence. In addition, she explained the case of imprisoned PFLP leader Ahmad Sa’adat and his comrades, and the involvement of multiple reactionary forces: Israel, the US, Britain and the collusion of the Palestinian Authority and its security services. In addition, she discussed the cases of imprisoned Palestinian student Lina Khattab and 14-year-old imprisoned girl Malaak al-Khatib.
In addition, the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) organized meetings between Brazilian political parties and popular movements and the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat, where it was agreed to organize a series of joint events in 2015, building the movement to defend Palestinian prisoners and pressure the Brazilian government to boycott the Zionist state and end its cooperation with the occupation.