From Palestine we are accompanying with great concern the developments in Brazil. We condemn the coup against the democratically elected government and are dismayed at the speed in which the coup government has started implementing its own program, accumulating policies that attack the rights of the people in Brazil and globally. Unfortunately, these developments come within a wider context that sees governments come to power that explicitly defend the interests of a small national élite as well as global imperialist interests.
It comes to no surprise that the illegitimate government in Brazil, at the same time that it attacks the rights of the people of Brazil, has done everything to show its allegiance to Israel and its interests. Israeli media has largely celebrated the coup government as positive for its interests in the region and it has been rewarded so far with an aggressive pro-Israel rhethoric and efforts to stifle any voices in favour of Palestine and human rights.
The first strong positioning was the communiqué by Brazil’s foreign ministry threatening to reverse the country’s vote at the UNESCO in defense of the Old City of Jerusalem and against the unilateral measures of the occupying power restricting access to the area. The resolution had passed in April with 33 out of 58 votes. Two days ago, partially due to Brazil’s changed diplomatic positions, the UNESCO had to shelve a similar follow up resolution.
At internal level, we are worried to see even free speech and academic freedom regarding the question of Palestine undercut. After the ousting of Thomas de Toledo by the University Paulista for having underlined in an article the direct commonalities of interests between Israel and the coup government, now the Brazilian Ministry of Education has severely infringed on the academic freedom of the Federal University of ABC (São Paulo) prohibiting a course to teach a course on “Connections of ‘whiteness’ and racist regimes: Apartheid, Nazism and Zionism”.
We have been since years campaigning together with civil society in Brazil against military, commercial and cultural ties with the Israeli regime of apartheid, colonialism and occupation. Today, we see even the freedom to raise these issues attacked. Censorship is back in Brazil.
These McCarthyite policies and atmosphere in Brazil reminds us of the years of dictatorship and of the policies of the Israeli apartheid regime itself, which prohibits commemorations of the Nakba (the destruction of over 500 Palestinian communities for the creation of the state of Israel) as much as calls to hold companies or the state accountable for their crimes against the Palestinian people and international law through calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions. Only a few days ago, Samah Dweik was sentenced to six months imprisonment for facebook posts. She is one of over 20 Palestinian journalists and one of 7000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Israel has supported coups and dictatorships in Latin America since the 70s. Its companies have trained death squads and developed systems of repression. Israel clearly gains from the coup in Brazil and the turn to the right in South America and in its own media it does not hide this. Israel stands with those that defend the interests of the rich, the landowners and elites within the framework of a neocolonial and imperialist world order.
While pressure from social movements in Palestine had achieved that the democratically elected government distanced itself from a contract of the Rio16 Olympics Committee with ISDS, an Israeli ‘security’ company involved in support for various Latin American dictatorships and death squads as well as cooperation with the infamous BOPE in Rio de Janeiro, today we see growing reliance in Brazil on Israeli agents of repression. The current escalation of brutality against the black communities and communities in the favelas in Rio de Janeiro just as the open admission by the illegitimate government that the Israeli Mossad is operating in Brazil and supporting state repression is dramatic news not only for the Palestinian people. Israel’s exportation of the methods and technology of repression and racial discrimination is affecting and a threat to people in Brazil and all over the world.
We stand with all those that struggle for the rights of the people, freedom and justice – always. We express our solidarity with all those struggling today in Brazil and want to continue to work together for a just, social and free Brazil as well as a Palestine free of Israeli occupation and apartheid.
Land Defense Coalition
- Stop the Wall Campaign
- Palestinian Farmers Union
- Palestinian New Federation of Trade Unions
- The Popular Council to Protect the Jordan Valley
- Palestine Youth Forum
- Association for Farmers’ Rights and for the Preservation of the Environment
- Women Center for Social Development
- Association Jadayel/Palestinian Center for Culture, Arts and Creativity
- Palestinian Farms Society-Tulkarem
- N'lin Society for Development Community Work
- Al-Amal Association for Childhood and Development