World Social Forum Free Palestine
by Stephen Lendman
The World Social Forum calls itself “an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neoliberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action.”
WSF believes another world is possible. Money controlled societies don’t work. Most people are shut out and denied. Corporate interests subvert human ones. Profits are prioritized. Popular needs go begging.
Human and civil rights are spurned. Democracy is just a figure of speech. Tyranny threatens. Future generations haven’t a chance. Building a new world in solidarity is essential. Survival depends on it.
From November 28 – December 1, Porto Alegre, Brazil hosts the WSF Free Palestine (WSFFP).
The Global BDS Movement for Freedom, Justice and Equality called for supportive solidarity action.
Thousands of Palestinian supporters are coming to Brazil. They include activists of all stripes, organizers, youths, faith-based groups, trade unionists, academics, musicians, and many others.
Stop the Wall coordinator Jamal Juma calls the event “the most important (one) in the international arena for Palestine.”
“The goal is to coordinate efforts, create networks between solidarity movements around the world, and formulate an effective and efficient plan that can achieve with Palestinians on the ground real change.”
“This is a struggle for the humanity of the Palestinian people.”
He and others believe strong US participation gives WSFFP greater strength and durability. “Americans who are against the occupation need to come together and be heard,” he stressed.
“It’s important for American solidarity movements to unite and be a demonstrative effect for similar movements around the world.”
Stop the Wall calls Occupied Palestine “part of every free heartbeat in this world, and her cause continues to inspire solidarity across the globe.”
WSFFP represents solidarity for Palestinian equity, justice and liberation. End occupation harshness. Free Palestine. Achieving it depends on millions of committed world supporters.
Palestinians are isolated on their own. World leaders able to help spurn them. Ordinary people have to struggle in their place.
Hard tasks take time. Impossible ones take longer. Anthropologist Margaret Mead said never underestimate the power of “a small group of committed people to change the world.” It happens no other way.
WSFFP comes at an important time. Pillar of Cloud pounded Gaza mercilessly. World leaders able to help did nothing. Palestinians were blamed for Israeli crimes. It’s always the same.
Occupation harshness continues. Besieged Gazans suffer most. Humanitarian crisis conditions inflict enormous harm. Memorandum of understanding truce terms solved nothing.
Palestinian suffering continues. Upgraded UN status doesn’t help. Membership or observer status with no rights is meaningless.
WSF Free Palestine features five main themes:
(1) Self-determination and right of return.
(2) Human rights, international law inviolability, and prosecuting Israeli war criminals.
(3) Strategies of struggle and solidarity. BDS is featured. It’s a vital initiative. It gets results.
(4) Prioritizing a world without walls, siege, racist discrimination, merciless oppression, and patriarchy.
(5) Supporting Palestinian resistance and similar social struggles.
(I) Solidarity for justice and regional peace.
(II) Effective actions for Palestinian self-determination, a sovereign state, Jerusalem its capital, and “the fulfillment of human rights and international law,” by:
(1) Ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands, as well as dismantling the Separation Wall.
(2) Ensuring fundamental equal rights for Arab Israelis.
(3) “Implementing, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”
(III) Providing “space for discussion, exchange of ideas, strategizing, and planning in order to improve the structure of solidarity.”
Zionists want Palestinian liberation prevented. They got Porto Alegre’s mayor and Rio Grande do Sul state’s governor to deny them use of Usina do Gasometro.
Events were scheduled there. False claims about “radical” Palestinian attacks were made. Activists fear one or more false flags may hurt event organizers.
Zionist extremism proliferates worldwide. It terrorizes and corrupts everywhere. Taking a stand against it is vital. It prevented Nakba from ending.
Leonardo Boff is an academic, author, and liberation theologist. On behalf of oppressed Palestinians he said:
“Liberation Theology was born listening to the cries of the oppressed, those whose rights, autonomy, vital space to live was denied.”
“Today, for us, the oppressed who are in need of liberation are the Palestinians. And we, being coherent with Liberation Theology are on their side, listening to their cry.”
“We are against oppression, and in favor of their independence, freedom and the right to their land which belonged to their ancestors so that they accomplish their history as a people, with their language and culture.”
“Therefore, I join the cause of the Palestinians because they have rights and these rights cannot be denied. I support the World Social Forum for the Palestinian cause because this cause is of great dignity and for being fear and represent a duty.”
“It is our duty to be on the side of the Palestinians. Because they are victims and it is illegitimate, unworthy keeping them in their current situation.”
“We want to be with them so that they are free, our brothers. And from that freedom with autonomy accomplish the process of peace and reconciliation with the State of Israel.”
Political activist, liberation theologist, and Dominican friar Frei Betto also expressed solidarity with Palestinians, saying:
WSFFP “will gather representatives from the three religions of the book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”
“A Forum in which we will debate the situation of all those who live in Palestine and mainly the right of the Palestinian people to have their independent State and how we can from our own religious traditions contribute to peace in the world.”
“Considering the importance of this Forum, I call upon all interested to be present in Porto Alegre as participants of the World Social Forum Free Palestine.”
Kairos Southern Africa supports Palestinian liberation. It condemns apartheid and colonization. In September, its letter endorsed the Coalition for a free Palestine (South Africa).
It urged unity among all SA Palestinian solidarity groups. Apartheid was fought on many fronts. Committed activism got results. Struggle isn’t easy. It never ends. Dark forces don’t quit. Change takes time. It advances slowly. Kairos Southern Africa pledged support.
Dozens of participating organizations include:
1. ARCI, Italy
2. ATTAC Togo
4. Al-Awda NY: Palestine Right to Return Coalition, USA
5. Al-Nakba Awareness Project, USA
6. Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos (AMAP), México
7. Alianza Social Continental (ASC), América
8. Alternative Espaces Citoyens Niger
9. Alternative Information Centre (AIC), Palestine
10. Alternatives, Canada
11. American Jews for a Just Peace – Boston, USA
12. American Muslims for Palestine
13. Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED), College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University.
14. Articulacion Feminista Marcosur, Latin America
15. Association Rawassem, Tunisie
16. Association Taneflith (club Unesco) Beni Yenni
17. Association Tharwa N’Fadhma N’Soumeur, Algerie
18. Association Tunisienne des femmes démocrates (ATFD)
19. Association des Femmes Tunisiennes pour la Recherche sur le Développment (AFTURD)
20. Association sans soutiens, Tunisie
21. Associação Alternativa Terrazul, Brazil
22. Associação Brasileira de Organizações Não Governamentais (ABONG), Brazil
23. Associação Metareila do Povo Indigena Surui
24. BDS Working Group, South Africa
25. Bay Area Women in Black, USA
26. Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS), India
27. Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights
28. Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign – Vancouver, Canada
29. COSATU, South Africa
30. Campagne BDS France
31. Campagne Civile Internationale pour la Protection du Peuple Palestinien (CCIPPP), France
32. Canada Palestine Association
33. Canada Palestine Association
34. Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), Canada
35. Center for Encounter and active Non-Violence , Austria
36. Central Única Dos Trabalhadores-CUT, BRASIL
37. Centre des activités et d’études ouvrière (CAEO), Tunisie
38. Ciranda, Brazil
39. Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), Toronto, Canada
40. Coalition for Peace with Justice, North Carolina, USA
41. Coalition for a Free Palestine, South Africa
42. Coalition large de l’association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE),Quebec, Canada
43. Coalition pour la justice et la paix en Palestine (CJPP), Quebec, Canada
44. Collectif des Musulmans de France (CMF)
45. Comissão Brasileira Justiça e Paz (CBJP), Brazil
46. Committee for Palestinian Rights, Howard County, Maryland, USA
47. Community Leadership Institute (COMMIT), USA
48. Community Organizing Center’s Columbus Campaign for Arms Control, Middle East Peace Committee
49. Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice, USA
50. El Taller International, Tunisia
51. Engender, South Africa
52. Episcopal Peace Fellowship-Palestine Israel Network (EPF PIN), USA
53. EuroPalestine, France
54. European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP)
55. Faculty for Palestine (F4P), Canada
56. Federação Democrática Internacional de Mulheres (FDIM)
57. Fellowship of Reconciliation, USA
58. Focus on the Global South
59. Forum Marocain Des Alernatives Sud (FMAS), Morocco
60. Forum Tunisien des droits sociaux économiques (FTDSE)
61. Forum des Femmes Africaines pour un Monde de l’Economie Solidaire (FAMES), Algérie/Sénégal
62. Frantz Fanon Foundation, Bamako, Montreal, Paris
63. Fredericton Jews for a Just Peace, Canada
64. Fredericton Palestine Solidarity, Canada
65. Freedom Legality And Rights in Europe (FLARE)
66. Friends of Palestine Wisconsin, USA
67. Fédération Tunisienne des Cinéastes Amateurs (FTCA)
68. Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec FNEEQ (CSN), Canada
69. Germantown Friends Meeting
70. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, USA
71. Grassroots International
72. Habitat International Coalition
73. Hilton Head for Peace – Hilton Head SC, USA
74. Hilton Head for Peace, USA
75. Initiatives Pour un Autre Monde (IPAM), France
76. Institut de recherches des Femmes Autour de la Méditerranée (IDEEFAM), Algerie
77. Instituto Brasileiros de Análises Sociais e Economicas – Ibase, Brazil
78. Instituto Paulo Freire, Brazil
79. International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
80. International South Asia Forum (INSAF), Canada, USA
81. International Women’s Peace Service
82. International Women’s Peace Service
83. Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Jerusalem
84. Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), USA
85. Ittijah, Palestine
86. Kairos for Global Justice
87. L’association Femmes et environnement, Tunisie
88. Labor for Palestine, USA
89. L’association des familles des harragas disparus et morts, Tunisie
90. Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Madison, WI, USA
91. Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
92. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, USA
93. May First/People Link, USA
94. Media Review Network, Johannesburg, South Africa
95. MidEast: JustPeace of Traverse City, Michigan, USA
96. Middle East Lobby Group, USA
97. Mouvement des Jeunes Indépendants pour le Changement, Algerie
98. Movimiento por la Paz, la Soberanía y la Solidaridad entre los Pueblos (Mopassol), Argentina
99. National Lawyers Guild
100. Network Institute for Global Democratization
101. Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility, USA
102. New Afrikan People’s Organization
103. New York City Labor Against the War, USA
104. North Carolina Boycott Divestment Sanctions (NCBDS), USA
105. North Coast Coalition for Palestine, USA
106. NO VOX INTERNATIONAL
107. Occupied Palestine Golan Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI), Palestine
108. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), Pakistan
109. Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Pakistan
110. Pakistan Peace Coalition
111. Palestine Israel Action Group (PIAG), USA
112. Palestine Solidarity Alliance, South Africa
113. Palestine Solidarity Campaign, South Africa
114. Palestine Solidarity Forum, South Africa
115. Palestine-Israel Working Group of Nevada County
116. Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO)
117. Palestinian Queers for BDS, Palestine
118. Palestiniens et Juifs Unis, Quebec, Canada
119. People of Faith CT, USA
120. People’s Health Movement
121. Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine, France
122. Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC)
123. Punks Against Apartheid, International
124. Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), México
125. Rede Ecossocialista Internacional
126. Sacramento BDS
127. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
128. Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
129. SJP- University of New Mexico
130. Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights – University of British Columbia, Canada
131. South African Artists Against Israeli Apartheid
132. South Asia Partnership (SAP), Pakistan
133. South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), Canada
134. Stop The Wall, Palestine
135. Syndicat des Travailleurs et Travailleuses des Postes, (STTP) Quebec, Canada
136. Tadamon! collective Montreal, Canada
137. Taskforce for Queer Visions
138. Teacher Creativity Center (TCC). Palestine
139. The Carol Chomsky Memorial Fund, USA
140. The Israel/Palestine Mission Network, USA
141. The Israel/Palestine Mission Network, USA
142. The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (Adalah-NY), USA
143. The World March of Women
144. UK Boycott Israel Network – BIN
145. US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)
146. US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
147. US & Canada Delegation to the World Social Forum Free Palestine
148. US Palestinian Community Network, USA
149. US Peace Council, USA
150. Un Ponte Per…, Italy
151. Union générale de travail Tunisien (UGTT)
152. Union pour la Solidarité et l’Entraide, Sénégal
153. United Methodists’ Holy Land Task Force, USA
154. Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land, USA
155. Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel, USA
156. Women in Black Union Square, USA
157. World Council of Churches
A Final Comment
Free Palestine involves more than liberation. Dark forces threaten humanity. Palestine is one of many epicenters of global struggle.
They exist everywhere. The only solution is nonviolent world revolution. Freedom struggles are a full-time occupation. Viciousness gives no quarter.
During Pillar of Cloud, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishi urged “blow(ing) Gaza back to the Middle Ages (by) destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water.”
Other extremists wanted power cut as well as food and medical supplies blocked. Ariel Sharon’s son said “flatten entire neighborhoods. Flatten all of Gaza.”
Other lunatics barely stopped short of urging genocide. A few crossed the line supporting it. Only worthy victims matter. Unworthy ones include nameless, faceless imperial victims.
One Israeli life lost makes headlines. Palestinian deaths don’t matter. Who’s keeping count.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Palestinians killed and injured “deserved it.” Noncombatant status gave them no protection.
Targeting civilians is official Israeli policy. America wages war the same way. All military aged men are fair game. They include children and the elderly.
Mothers are killed. Some are pregnant. Maybe their fetuses were targeted. One day, they might join Palestine’s liberating struggle. Why take a chance. Eliminate the possibility.
Unpeople don’t matter. Victims are called victimizers. Truth is systematically suppressed. Inviolable international law is quaint and out-of-date. Naked aggression is called self-defense.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz supports Israel’s worst crimes. He’s a notorious bigot and purveyor of myths, canards and false logic.
He corrupts fundamental legal standards. Imagine what he teaches students. He believes Jewish suffering is unique. He’s mindless of the rights of other people.
He advocates torture and targeted assassinations. He’s a committed Zionist and Israeli apologist. He legitimizes Israeli aggression. He claims “old rules” don’t apply.
He once said “the laws of war and rules of morality must adapt to (new) realities.” Law Professor Francis Boyle called him a notorious bigot and advocate of murder and torture.
During Pillar of Cloud, he headlined an op-ed, “Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas,” saying:
Hamas “target(s) Israeli civilians in their homes…Israel target(s) terrorist leaders and other legitimate military targets.”
“Hamas supporters celebrate the murder of Jewish civilians.”
“Israel’s response – targeting only terrorists and Hamas military leaders – is completely lawful and legitimate.” Its “self-defense….”
Dershowitz corrupts truth and legal principles. He considers Palestinian civilian men, women, children, infants, fetuses, and the elderly fair game.
He calls murdering them in cold blood self-defense. He’s not alone. Scoundrel media feature these type commentaries. Reputable ones are suppressed.
Aggressive wars are called just. Patriotism means supporting wrong over right. Oppressed Palestinians are isolated on their own. Maybe one day they’ll be free. The fullness of time will tell. A long struggle remains.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.