Socialist Worker

Beirut conference calls for solidarity with Palestine

Issue No. 2135

Palestine has become a unifying force across the globe. That was the main sentiment of a conference against imperialism that took place in Lebanon last weekend.

The meeting brought together activists from the Middle East and the rest of the world, including Britain’s Stop the War Coalition and the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste in France.

The conference was dominated by messages of defiance in the face of Israel’s assault from the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance movements.

Osama Hamdan, the representative of Hamas in Lebanon, told delegates that the Palestinian resistance inside Gaza would “continue to confront Israeli troops”.

Hamdan said that “our fighters have managed to halt the Israeli offensive, and would continue to battle until the troops withdraw”.

He called on the Arab regimes to back the resistance and European governments to cut all links to Israel.

“We do not trust Mahmoud Abbas,” he said in reference to the Palestinian Authority leader. “He does not represent the Palestinians.”

In a message to the global movement, Hamdan said, “The resistance will survive because all the free people of the world support us.

“Our fighters are drawing hope from the solidarity they are seeing across the world.”

The conference debated the practical measures to help the Palestinians’ struggle.

“Humanitarian appeals are now part of our political struggle,” one delegate told the conference.

Isolated

In reference to the global movement that isolated South Africa in the 1980s, one delegate described the issue of Palestine was turning into the “anti-apartheid struggle of the 21st century”.

Sabby Sagall, a delegate from Britain, told the conference, “I am a Jew who supports the Palestinians.

“There are many people like me who are disgusted with what Israel is doing.

“There has been a huge shift in sentiment towards Palestine.”

The conference called on the global movement to push their governments to break all diplomatic links with Israel and impose sanctions on it.

It also called on trade unions, community groups and other organisations to continue to collect money and other aid for the Palestinians.

Delegates endorsed a call for the international demonstrations against the Nato military alliance set to take place in the French city of Strasbourg between 2 and 5 April this year.


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