This appeal was sent to Workers World by Marcia De Campos Pereira in Brazil, former president of the International Federation of Democratic Women (FDIM). The women in Brazil who issued it are asking progressive organizations in the U.S. to add their signatures. 

April 30, 2024. In memory of Mayada Abassi, Former Ambassador of Palestine to Brazil and Secretary of International Relations of the General Union of Palestinian Women  (UGMP).

Letter to the Brazilian Government, entities and leaders of communities in Central America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP):

Protest in São Paulo, Brazil, Nov. 4, 2023. ‘No to the occupation of Gaza. Down with Israel’s genocide of Palestinians.’

The Brazilian Union of Women (UBM), the Brazilian Center for Solidarity with the People and Fight for Peace (CEBRAPAZ) and the International Democratic Federation of Women (FDIM), actively listening to “Palestinian Women, the Pillar of Resistance,” engaged in the fight for Peace and in Defense of Palestine, sought to give visibility to Palestinian women because they, together with children, have been more than 70 percent of the people murdered by Israel.

Palestinian women have always been an integral part of the struggle for freedom and emancipation of their people. The history of Palestinian resistance is full of names of heroines, activists who refused to remain silent and without action while Palestine was colonized.

In addition to the many names recorded in Palestinian history, there are thousands of combative and heroic women who have always been “and will still be” part of this history of resistance: they are grandmothers, mothers, sisters, friends, comrades. They are in a permanent struggle and resistance for the right to exist and for their children and grandchildren to live with dignity.

Stop genocide in Palestine! Lula, break relations with Israel! São Paulo, Nov. 4, 2023.

However, Israel refuses to give up the territory it illegally occupies, to dismantle its apartheid system, to respect international law and the rights of the Palestinian people. To this end, it maintains a ruse into which it intends to drag the United States and other allies. Israel’s strategy is to break isolation by attacking disaffected governments, such as Iran, in order to drag the entire region into an unprecedented conflict.

Stop genocide in Palestine! Lula, break relations with Israel! São Paulo, Nov. 4, 2023.

The key to avoiding a regional war is a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, allowing humanitarian aid delivery and assistance, recognition of the “Palestinian State” with an end to the Israeli occupation, and a fair peace agreement.

Responding to the calls for active listening by “Palestinian Women, the Pillar of Resistance” and the outcry of statements from Palestinian institutions and intellectuals, we are making some necessary propositions for immediate and forceful action with the Brazilian government, as well as urging entities and leaders of communities in Central America, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), with the leading role in the “Lula tem Razão!” [Lula is Correct] movement, from the Global South.

In this way, we position ourselves against the lies disseminated by “Zionist propaganda” in the mainstream press, which has been distorting the facts and reality of the legitimate and just cause for emancipation and the right to self-determination of the Palestinian People.

That said, we echo the calls for “active listening” with this hearing:

1st Appeal: For harassed and imprisoned women

  1. The Israeli army, steadily and daily, is implementing policies of retaliation and revenge against Palestinian women and girls, carrying out beatings, domestic vandalism and humiliation, without taking into account their privacy, by invading homes, especially those of Palestinian women who were detained and recently released.
  1. We express our aim to promote a feminist mobilization to support Palestinian women, expose the crimes committed against them by the occupation and exert pressure on governments and parliaments to take responsibility to stop the denial of women’s rights in Palestine, considering that recently there was an escalation in the detentions of Palestinian women and girls, based on reprisals against political-ideological tendencies and the use of the detained as hostages.
  1. It is necessary to mention that there are currently 81 women detained in Israeli prisons in precarious health conditions, the majority of them in Damoun prison, without medical assistance and at risk to their lives.

2nd Appeal: To end the supply of weapons to Israel

  1. The continuous supply of arms and ammunition from the United States and allied countries to Israel, encouraging it to wage war and aggressive actions, and pledging to protect it militarily and politically, will always encourage Israel to go further in its crimes, which gradually increased to the level of genocide.
  1. We call on human rights, humanitarian and civil rights organizations and militants active in countries of the Global North to follow the example of their French counterparts in bringing legal action against European governments that support Israel with weapons, holding them accountable for supporting Israel in its crimes and obliging them to stop exporting weapons and ammunition to Israel and to refrain from providing political cover for their crimes.
  1. We demand that governments break contracts for weapons and ammunition, consultancy and provision of services in public security and environmental management with the State of Israel, such as the partnership contracts between Brazil and Argentina with Mekorot (Israel’s main national water agency) in the region of Patagonia for the administration in water management and basic sanitation.

3rd Appeal: To freeze diplomatic relations

  1. We appeal to international public opinion to pressure the occupying authority to avoid a catastrophe in Rafah, at a time when the Israeli occupation army continues its bloody attack on all areas of the destroyed Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem.
  1. As we address this appeal to the Brazilian government and the leaders of Central America, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), among others that maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, we urge them to freeze their relations with Israel in order to avoid the invasion of Rafah and a military confrontation that could escalate into a war against Iran. Any country that maintains diplomatic relations with this [Israeli] entity, which, under current circumstances, threatens Palestinian existence and all Arab national security, will tarnish its own image. It is an ethical and moral duty of states to suspend relations with a country that violates the norms of international law.

4th Appeal: To the resistance of the working class

  1. We call on activists and organizations from around the world to establish May 1, 2024, International Workers Day, as “Palestinian Resistance Workers Day,” aiming to highlight the need to defend the Palestinian resistance in its right to fight for its liberation, strengthening it at a higher level against the oppression of workers around the world.
  1. We make this call at this decisive moment in the developing world’s revolt against U.S. imperialism and the countries of the North to affirm that the path for the labor movement to re-establish itself on a global scale as an agent of revolutionary transformation is to courageously ally with the liberation struggles of the Global South and mobilize workers towards this objective.

5th Appeal: For freedom of the press and communication

  1. The Freedoms Committee of the Palestinian Journalists Union denounced Israel for continuing to target and close media institutions in occupied Jerusalem, while insisting on the decision preventing satellite TV channels from operating in Jerusalem, in addition to banning journalists from working on press coverage in Jerusalem, around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in the Occupied West Bank and mainly in Gaza, where journalists have been deliberately targeted in murderous and systemic  attacks, including against their families, with the destruction of equipment, work and their homes.
  1. It is essential to support and subsidize legally and diplomatically the Palestinian Journalists Union in its tireless efforts and demands to prosecute Israel for its crimes, including murder, aggression and impeding the exercise of journalistic activity in Palestine at all levels, regional and international, while reporting Israel’s crimes that meet the legal requirements of war crimes tribunals and international tribunals, as freedom of the press and expression is a cornerstone of human rights. These are principles that must be respected.

6th Appeal: For academic and scientific freedom

  1. Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian was arrested by Israeli police on April 18, 2024, on suspicion of inciting terrorism and violence because of her unwavering stance against the genocide in Gaza and her insightful analysis of Israeli settler colonialism and its racialized violence.
  1. Her arrest, during which she suffered psychological torture and ill-treatment, follows an ongoing campaign of harassment, including a letter demanding that she resign from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for signing a ceasefire declaration. The treatment of intellectuals and academics in Israeli prisons exemplifies a systematic pattern of “educacide” against Palestinian academics and educational institutions. Furthermore, the fact that an internationally renowned academic is being detained and persecuted in this way will have a chilling effect on academic freedom and solidarity with Palestine.
  1. We call on you to sever all ties and cease all collaboration and joint projects of any kind with universities and research institutes that maintain this persecutory pattern against academics, intellectuals and students/researchers until they put an end to their decades-long collaboration with the Israeli occupation and the apartheid system, in defense of academic and scientific freedom.

The organizations that produced this letter invite other interested organizations, institutions and groups to sign the letter, in a joint effort to support Palestinian women and promote peace in the region. Interested parties can contact us via email at ubmbrasil.mulheres@gmail.com and editores_recos@terra.com.br to join the initiative.

Access the letter in full with the updated list HERE: https://abrir.link/LGwPc

This letter represents a collective effort for justice, solidarity and peace in Palestine, demonstrating the importance of international unity and mobilization in times of conflict and injustice.

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