USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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Venezuelan Social Movements Protest Israeli “Genocide” Outside UN HQ in Caracas

Posted by uscsjp on October 19, 2015

Caracas, October 16, 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan social movements gathered outside the United Nations’ headquarters in Caracas on Wednesday to protest an ongoing Israeli crackdown against Palestinians in the occupied territories, which has claimed the lives of at least 35 Palestinians since October 1.

Unfurling a giant Palestinian flag at the entrance to the office building, the several dozen protesters held signs and chanted slogans calling on the international community to take action in defense of Palestinian rights.

“We are here at the United Nations office in Caracas simply because we cannot remain silent in the face of the genocide being committed against the Palestinian people,” Hindu Andari, spokesperson for the Itinerant Forum of Popular Participation, told venezuelanalysis.

The most recent Israeli crackdown has sought to quell a Palestinian uprising gaining momentum in the past two weeks, sparked by Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.

On Tuesday, 27-year-old Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahreh was shot and killed with live ammunition by Israeli occupation forces during clashes near the illegal Israeli separation barrier in Bethlehem, while 33 others were injured, nine with live fire.

Thirty-five Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of October, including at least seven children, as well as numerous bystanders and unarmed protesters shot dead in “extrajudicial killings”, according to Amnesty International. 1300 Palestinians have also been injured this month, including 550 by live fire and 600 by rubber-coated bullets, the Palestinian Ministry of Health confirms. Meanwhile, seven Israelis have been killed, mostly in stabbing attacks.

Coming on the heels of Venezuela’s commemoration of “indigenous resistance day” on October 12, several present at Wednesday’s protest drew parallels between Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonization and indigenous struggles in South America.

“The Venezuelan people survived a similar genocide when Columbus came to America. The Palestinian people are resisting as we resisted, as our indigenous peoples resisted in the face of that [Spanish] genocide. Venezuela cannot be indifferent to this cause,” explains Mercedes “Chelena” Rosa of the Movement of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Artists.

Last year, Venezuela shipped tonnes of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in response to a 51-day Israeli assault that killed close to 2200 Palestinians, two-thirds of whom civilians, provoking international outrage and renewed calls for international sanctions.

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions

The recurrent US-backed Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip in recent years have fueled the rise of the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to replicate the nonviolent tactics successfully used against apartheid South Africa to force Israel’s compliance with international law.

The international movement has been so successful that Venezuelan social movements are in the process of organizing their own BDS campaign, says Andari.

“We must break relations with companies that finance the occupation of Palestine,” she stated, noting that the Caracas UN office is located in the HPTower, also home to the offices of US multinational IT firm Hewlett-Packard, which produces biometric ID technology used both in Israeli checkpoints and US prisons.

“We have to turn up the pressure so that no university in the country can have educational and athletic agreements with Israeli [universities]. We believe that the Bolivarian government shouldn’t send Venezuelan athletes to any international competitions in Israel,” Andari added, underscoring the importance of theacademic and cultural boycott….

–Lucas Koerner, http://venezuelanalysis.com/, 16 October, 2015

READ MORE: http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/11558

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