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World Social Forum Free Palestine

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 at 7:44 AM


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.

Aims include:

(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

3. ATTAC-France

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


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

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

Visit his blog site at 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.

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