Portugal must not receive criminal Benjamin Netanyahu!

MPPM condemns the visit to Portugal of Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, this Wednesday and Thursday. Allegedly intended, as initially announced, for a meeting with the Secretary of State of the United States, Michael Pompeo, which would already be objectionable, this visit will be used, it is known today, for meetings with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, which is of the utmost gravity.

According to Israeli media, the topics of the meeting between Netanyahu and Pompeo include Iran and other regional issues, as well as the possible annexation of the Jordan Valley and a defence pact between Israel and the USA.

In other words, the meeting will be devoted to the coordination of destabilising actions in the Middle East, with Iran as a target and pretext, as in Syria, and the preparation of the annexation of a large part of the West Bank, in a new and very serious violation of international law and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and their independent state.

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is the leader of the most aggressive Zionist sectors and is personally responsible for the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories, the incessant aggressions and war crimes against the Gaza Strip, the brutal repression of the Palestinian people, the unbridled advance of colonization and annexation, trampling on the legitimate national rights of the Palestinians. Added to this are repeated violations of Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity and a highly destabilizing role throughout the Middle East.

As for Donald Trump's administration, it has distinguished itself by an unabashed and unprecedented support for Israeli policy. Examples of this are Pompeo's recent statement that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are not illegal; the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer of its embassy there; the cut in funding and the attempt to do away with UNRWA, the agency for assisting Palestinian refugees; the closing of the US consulate in East Jerusalem; the closing of the PLO office in Washington; the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights.

It is unacceptable that the Portuguese government is ready to host the meeting between Pompeo and Netanyahu, especially as it is known that the United Kingdom, and apparently other European countries, declined to host the still Israeli Prime Minister. But it is even more serious and cause for just concerns that the Portuguese Prime Minister is also willing to receive Netanyahu.

What does the Portuguese government have to deal with someone who, in addition to a string of crimes and illegalities, is merely managing current affairs and who, moreover, has been formally accused in his country of crimes of corruption? Will Prime-Minister António Costa take the opportunity to inform Netanyahu of the recent vote of the Assembly of the Republic [Parliament], also approved by the MPs of the Portuguese Socialist Party, which specifically “Reaffirms the illegal nature of the Israeli settlements” and “Reiterates the right of the Palestinian people to the constitution of a free, viable, sovereign and independent State, with its capital in East Jerusalem, in accordance with UN resolutions”?

Portugal cannot be a base for actions in violation of international law and for the destabilization and aggression against the peoples of the Middle East, and in particular against the Palestinian people, which recall the Lajes Summit of shameful memory.

MPPM calls on the Portuguese government to conduct Portugal's international relations in compliance with the UN Charter and International Law and in strict observance of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, refusing to collaborate with the perpetrators of the repeated violation of international law and actively contributing to realize the right of the Palestinian people to an independent state. MPPM reiterates, once again, its strongest condemnation of the existing military cooperation plans between Portugal and the Israeli government and demands their immediate denunciation.

MPPM reaffirms its long-standing solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people for their legitimate and inalienable national rights and calls for the participation of all friends of Palestine in the protest against Pompeo and Netanyahu's visits to Portugal, called by several organizations — including MPPM — for this Friday, at 6 pm, at Largo de Camões, in Lisbon.

4 December  2019

The National Directorate of MPPM

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