Ángeles Maestro, leader of Red Roja (Red Network) in the Spanish state, and two of her comrades have been accused of “financing terrorism” by raising and delivering funds to Palestinian organizations which help the victims of the Israeli military’s attacks on Gaza in 2014 and 2015.
The Israeli attacks killed hundreds and wounded thousands of Palestinian people, while destroying many homes, schools and hospitals.
Maestro, who was an elected member of the Spanish National Assembly in the 1990s for the United Left party, may be known to readers of Workers World, as some of her articles and analysis have been published here.
The three militants have been summoned to appear before Court No. 6 of the National High Court on Feb. 5, which will decide how to proceed against them. Two Israeli associations based in Spain filed the complaint, working through a U.S.-based lawyer. The accused face a possible sentence of 1-5 years in prison and a fine of about 25,000 euro, now worth about $28,600.
The group collected the funds mostly through small contributions of 10-20 euro and delivered them to well-known Palestinian liberation fighter Leila Khaled, who was on a speaking tour in Spain at the time.
Maestro says she believes the charge is based on Khaled’s membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which the European Union in 2002, in an anti-Arab frenzy following the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., declared to be a “terrorist organization.”
Maestro explained in an interview with Canarias Semanal on Jan. 28 how Zionist organizations intervene to try to stop solidarity with Palestine: “In the Spanish state, for example, numerous city councils, universities, etc., have reached agreements not to support the institutions of the State of Israel, in the framework of the BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions). Faced with this, the Zionist lobby responds by trying to criminalize this solidarity and launching the accusation of “anti-Semitism.”
Maestro and the Red Network pledge to continue their solidarity work with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.
To read the communique of the Red Network in English, see tinyurl.com/yc6zeq3z.