Friday, 21 June 2024

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A solemn session at the National Congress remembers the 74th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. 

Demonstrations of solidarity regarding the liberation of Palestine marked the event. Congresspeople, key civil society actors, and diplomatic representatives were present. All of whom supported the demands of the Palestinian people for peace, land, and justice. 

Brasília, July 6, 2022. 


A solemn session was held in Brazilian Congress. The event marked the 74th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. The Joint Parliamentary Front in Defense of the Rights of the Palestinian People, in partnership with the Brazil-Palestine Institute, IBRASPAL, organized the event. Congressman Camilo Capiberibe (PSB-AP), leader of the Parliamentary Front, led the ceremony. 


Prominent leaders for the Palestinian liberation were present, such as Dr. Ahmed Shehada, president of IBRASPAL; Mr. Ibrahim Al Zeben, ambassador for the Palestinian Authority in Brazil; and Ms. Maynara Nafe, Secretary of Youth Affairs of the Arab-Palestinian Federation of Brazil (FEPAL). 


Civil society organizations attended. Congresswoman Ana Prestes (PCdoB-DF), as member of the international solidarity organization CEBRAPAZ; Ana Morais, as member of the Landless Workers Movement (MST); and Congressman Paulo Pimenta, elected by a Palestinian-majority constituency (PT-RS). Congresspeople Márcio Jerry (PCdoB-MA), Enio Verri (PT-PR), Erika Kokay (PT-DF), Roberto Campos Sena (Republicanos), and David Miranda (PDT) attended, too.


Diplomatic representatives from Cuba, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Iran, Libya, Dominican Republic, Qatar, and Belarus, among other international authorities, attended - a sign of international solidarity towards the Palestinian cause.


Nakba and the Brazilian role in defense of the rights of the Palestinian people 


The speakers advocated for concrete action to advance the international recognition of the human rights of Palestinians worldwide and the rights of Palestine as a free and sovereign state. The discussion revolved around praise for the brave resistance of the Palestinian people, on one hand, and criticism of states and NGOs which chose to remain silent about Israeli crimes and Apartheid. The president of Ibraspal, Dr. Ahmed Shehada, made a strong speech in this regard. Ms. Maynara Nafe said the Brazilian government should suspend existing bilateral agreements with Israel since it fails to follow all international human rights agreements - all of which Brazil signed. Camilo Capiberibe stressed that support for the cause is broad and goes beyond ideological fields. He highlighted that the Front he leads has 237 members of parliament from 12 parties of all political orientations. 


For Enio Verri, leader of the minority in the House, it is also necessary to remove the discussion of Palestine from any religious bias: 


“Religious sectors come to say that whoever is against Israel is against God's plan. Now, God does not have an imperialist project. God does not have a project of destroying one people over another. It takes a more critical reading to understand that this story that Israel is the chosen people, chosen by whom? By the United States? Only if it is for the United States, which gives Israel the right to kill another population. What is Israel better than the Palestinian people to have the right to drop bombs, to murder people, to expel people? Is this justice? Is this the world’s brotherhood? It seems to me that in the logic of big imperialist capital, this is the logic. To occupy all spaces, to destroy any space of resistance in the culture, in the history of a people”. 


It is for political reasons, however, that the suffering of the Palestinian people continues to this day, according to Ana Prestes. “That's why we join this fight”, said Prestes. The fight for “justice and peace” in Palestine has to be fought. The world "owes this" to the Palestinians, Capiberibe said. What is the role of Brazil in paying this debt? It is necessary, first of all, to bring the issue of the liberation of Palestine back to the agenda of Brazilian foreign policy. 


It is not possible to remain silent before the daily suffering of Palestinians, which only gains the attention of international organizations from time to time, said Maynara Nafe. She quoted a long list of international norms and United Nations agreements that had been breached with impunity. “Israel”, in her words, “wasn't born to respect pain”. But Palestinians resist, despite decades of international neglect. 


Ana Morais (MST) recognizes Palestinian heroic resistance a struggle that belongs to everyone. That is the international struggle of the oppressed against imperialism and its interests. Márcio Jerry and Erika Kokay highlighted the cruelty of the occupation and the strength of the example of the Palestinians who, despite everything, exist and resist. 


If resistance and solidarity were the keywords in the statements of the authorities present, the keynote of the speech by the PA's ambassador was gratitude. He assured the Palestinian people will know of the solidarity in Brazil. "Oppressed peoples always defeated their tormentors; in the case of Palestine, it will be no different". For the ambassador, there will be no peace for Israel as long as there is no peace for the Palestinians. The path to an agreeable, fair, and lasting peace will begin when the aggression, illegal occupation, and discrimination against Palestinians ends. Only then will the children of Israelis and Palestinians be able to live together in fair and peaceful conditions. 


The event proved that key members of Brazilian society are adamant in their support for the cause of the Palestinian people. That is despite President Bolsonaro's friendship with Netanyahu and the Israeli apartheid elite. Speakers stressed the importance of renewed Brazilian international support for Palestine. In their view, Brazil must never be "a servant of the interests of imperialism". As said Mr. Pimenta, "this is the cause of those who love freedom". 


Caio Porto

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