Palestinians in Lebanon Pay Tribute to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) paid posthumous tribute today to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whom they praised as paradigms of solidarity and resistance.

The DFLP political bureau handed over to the charge d'affaires of the Cuban Embassy in Lebanon, Raul Madrigal, some plaques of recognition of the recently-deceased Cuban statesman and the Bolivarian leader, who passed away four years ago today.


'We are grateful of the Palestinian brothers for this tribute, for me as a Cuban who is far from his land, seeing an image of Fidel Castro, whose fighting spirit is present in so many Palestinian brothers here today is very exciting,' Madrigal said to the audience.

The main legacy of the Commander-in-Chief of the Caribbean Revolution was the example of 'always fighting and resisting', and that is the message that moved the Palestinians from the DFLP at the commemoration of the 48th anniversary of its foundation, he stressed.


The Cuban diplomat, who promised to hand over to the Venezuelan Embassy in Beirut the recognition of Chavez, recalled that the Front has fought for many years against Israeli occupation, and urged to maintain the will of resistance.

That will is going to lead to the final victory, he added, after congratulating the DFLP members and supporters gathered at a theater near Dahiyeh, in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Speaking at the main event, the head of that organization in Lebanon, Ali Faysal, said that the DFLP should end division and make further efforts in this 48th anniversary to hold a new Palestinian National Council to recover the national collegiate program.


Faysal called on the Arab left wing to join and establish along with Palestine a multifaceted popular resistance movement against Israeli occupation, abandon the 'humiliating ties' of the Oslo Accord, stop recognizing Israel and boycott its economy.

He also called on friendly countries in Latin America to further increase their political support until the Palestinian people achieve their inalienable rights.

Founded in 1969 by Nayef Hawatmeh after leaving the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the DFLP advocates to 'defeat all efforts to betray illusory solutions and to recover the national program, the right to return (Palestine), self-determination and independence.'


The group affiliated to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) reiterated its commitment to establishing an independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem and to end Zionist occupation.


Faysal also urged to 'end cooperation and coordination in the field of security with the illegal occupants, taking up resistance and the popular uprising, and developing and protecting it with a view to transforming it into a global national insubordination.'

The Fight for Dignity Ferguson and the Right of Resistance

Barack Obama, the obsequious errand boy for the financial and corporate plutocrats who own the U.S. government, made a pathetic appearance on national television to try to persuade the “natives” to remain peaceful in response to the non-indictment of the Ferguson killer-cop. His inane comments extolling the value of non-violence and the rule of law seemed strangely incongruent with the militaristic rhetoric and policies of his administration over the last few years.

Yet, Obama’s positions on law and violence are not as contradictory as they might appear when these positions are resituated within the context of imperial logic and the framework of power. Legitimate violence is always determined by history’s dominant powers and employed as a weapon to maintain and extend that dominance. Over the last five hundred years Europe emerged from the backwaters of history and cultural backwardness to predominance as a result of genocide and land theft in the Americas, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and colonial/capitalist development. The violent establishment of capitalism, racism, and heteropatriarchy enabled the West to impose its definitions of legitimacy, including “legitimate” violence.

Thus when Palestinians resist the theft of the their land and the killing of their people by Israeli colonists, their response is defined as illegitimate violence that sparks support for Israel’s “right to defend itself.” When Africans waged national liberation struggles to free themselves from European colonial domination in places like Kenya, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, the West condemned their efforts as illegitimate. Furthermore, because those struggles were determined to be illegitimate colonial powers felt justified to viciously attack those efforts with the support of the U.S. government. And when African Americans organized against police violence and for self-determination and our own definitions of liberation in the 60s, our efforts were deemed illegitimate. We were brutally suppressed with the full range of state terror tactics including beatings,
deaths, infiltration, surveillance, and the jailing of activists for decades.

Therefore, we should understand the State’s response to our discontent in the aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown in this context. The heavy-handed use of violence to deny the people the human rights to peacefully assemble and freedom of association is consistent with the historical uses of violence to control and suppress opposition. And the state’s determination that more militant forms of popular resistance are illegitimate helped to shift the attention of the capitalist media to black resistance and away from the issue of impunity for yet another law enforcement official who literally gets away with murder.

The focus on the forms of resistance taking place in Ferguson is reflective of a shared, cross-class and racialized world-view that accepts the carefully constructed elite view concerning what constitutes illegitimate resistance. This hegemonic view creates a moral myopia that makes it impossible for many in white America to understand the point of view of the resisters to this non-indictment. This ideological and even cognitive disconnect makes the call for more national conversations on race such a dangerous diversion from the more immediate historic task at hand.

The task of the African American resistance movement is not to worry about sitting down with white people infected with the disease of white supremacy, but to build the capacity of black poor and working class folks to resist the intensifying expressions of repressive state power directed at our people. From that base, we can and should talk about building coalitions with other oppressed communities and people who are ready to take on the task of opposing the settler capitalist state at every level.

So while the corporate media has been somewhat successful in shifting the focus from the injustice of the non-indictment to the reaction of protestors, the insights provided by brother Malcolm X offer a framework for understanding what must be done.

For Malcolm, resistance is not a crime. In fact, the fight for human dignity and human rights is what makes us human. But he argued that there is a price that people must be prepared to pay. According to Malcolm:

“…you shouldn’t even be allowed around us other humans if you don’t want to pay the price. You should be kept in the cotton patch where you’re not a human being. You’re an animal that belongs in the cotton patch like a horse or a cow, or a chicken or a possum, if you’re not ready to pay the price necessary to be paid for recognition and respect as a human being.”

And what was the price? “The price is death really. The price to make others respect your human rights is death. You have to be ready to die…” “This is all we want—to be a human being.”

In our quest for authentic freedom for ourselves and our children who are being spiritually and literally murdered, Malcolm is reminding us that we have to be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice. This willingness to sacrifice, as inchoate and thinly grounded as the mass resistance was in Ferguson, demonstrated, nevertheless, that many of our young people are still prepared to pay the price for freedom. We should be proud that the spirit of struggle, resistance, and sacrifice is still alive. The experience of Ferguson demonstrated to people around the world that despite the opiate of credit-based false prosperity, illusions of system inclusion and Barack Obama – African Americans are finally awakening from an almost two decade long sleep and in the process reawakening the spirit of resistance for everyone.

  • Published in World

Israel, Hamas agree to extend ceasefire 5 days

Israel and Hamas agreed to extend a temporary ceasefire for five days, Egyptian and Palestinian officials announced Wednesday, permitting the sides to continue to negotiate a substantive deal to end the war in Gaza.

Yet even as the extension was announced just minutes before a previous truce was set to expire at midnight, violence spiked, with Palestinian militants firing five rockets at Israel and Israel targeting sites across the Gaza Strip in response. It was not clear if the fighting was isolated or might shatter the truce.

Egypt's foreign ministry and the head of the Palestinian negotiating team announced the extension, which began at midnight local time. A spokesman for Israel's prime minister had no immediate comment.

The ceasefire extension is meant to grant both sides additional time to negotiate a longer-term truce and a road map for the coastal territory.

"We have agreed on a ceasefire for five days," said Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of the Palestinian delegation to the Cairo talks. He noted that there had been "significant progress," but that disagreements remained over the wording regarding security arrangements, reconstruction efforts for the Gaza Strip and the permissible fishing area.

The lull in violence had been a welcome reprieve for Israelis and Palestinians living in Gaza. During the temporary ceasefire, Israel halted military operations in the war-battered coastal territory and Gaza militants stopped firing rockets, aside from the ones late Wednesday.

The two sides were considering an Egyptian proposal that partially addresses their demands, but deep differences have kept the deal in doubt.

Hamas is seeking an end to a crippling blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt in 2007. The blockade has greatly limited the movement of Palestinians in and out of the territory of 1.8 million people. It has also restricted the flow of goods into Gaza and blocked virtually all exports.

Israel says the closure is necessary to prevent arms smuggling, and officials are reluctant to make any concessions that would allow Hamas to declare victory.

Israel wants Hamas to disarm, or at least be prevented from rearming. Hamas has recovered from previous rounds of violence with Israel, including a major three-week ground operation in January 2009 and another week-long air offensive in 2012. It now controls an arsenal of thousands of powerful rockets, some with long ranges. Gaza militants fired more than 3,000 rockets toward Israel during the war.

Neither side is likely to see all of its demands met, but the Egyptian proposal tabled Tuesday offered some solutions. A member of the Palestinian delegation at the Cairo talks said the proposal calls for easing parts of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, bringing some relief to the territory.

The proposal leaves the key areas of disagreement, including Hamas' demand for a full lifting of the blockade and Israeli calls for Hamas to disarm, to later negotiations.

The Palestinian negotiator said he had some reservations about the proposal and would try to improve it.

"We would like to see more cross-border freedom, and also to have the question of a Gaza seaport and airport discussed," he said.

The Palestinian official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss negotiations with journalists.

As the talks continued, Hamas indicated it was sticking to its demands.

In recorded remarks broadcast on Hamas radio Wednesday, Ismail Haniyeh, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, said that "achieving a permanent truce can come only through lifting the blockade on Gaza."

Israel, meanwhile, signalled it was ready to respond to renewed fire from Gaza following the end of the ceasefire.

 

  • Published in World
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