Thirty years ago, on 13 September 1993, the so-called Oslo Accord was signed.  At the White House, in Washington, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin signed the "Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements."

The PLO recognised the right to existence and security of the State of Israel.  The Palestinians de facto renounced (following on from what they had already done in their declaration of independence in Algiers in 1988) 78 per cent of their historic territory, occupied by Israel, in the hope of seeing a Palestinian state established on the remaining 22 per cent (West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem).

Israel, for its part, limited itself to recognising the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people, without making any commitment to recognising a Palestinian state.

An international initiative saw people from all over the world swimming with the children of Gaza on Saturday 26 August.  In Portugal, the initiative took place that day at Carcavelos Beach, following on from another event promoted by MPPM at Melides Beach on 22 July.

Since 2007, the inhabitants of Gaza have been trapped in an iron blockade.  They have no parks, no mountains, no valleys, but they do have the beach, their only free space for leisure.  That's why every year, at the end of September, they hold a swimming festival on Gaza Beach.

This year, the Gaza Swimming Carnival was held earlier, on 26 August, to coincide with a major international initiative.  The idea came from Paul O'Brian, from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who invited people and organisations all over the world to show solidarity with Palestinian children that day by taking a dip in the sea, a river, or a swimming pool and sharing their videos or photos with them.

Solidarity with Gaza children at Carcavelos Beach
Solidarity with Gaza children at Carcavelos Beach
Swim With Gaza campaign on Al Jazeera
Swim With Gaza campaign on Al Jazeera

The exhibition "Identity & Land," in which painter and activist Rita Andrade shows some of the works she produced as a result of her experience on a trip to Palestine in 2019, opened yesterday, 8 August, at the Gallery of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon.

Expressing herself through painting, which she considers "a peaceful form of communication," Rita Andrade makes clear her defence of Palestinian rights and her protest against Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine.

In a video made available on her website in preparation for the 2021 presentation of her exhibition "I Can't Breathe Since 1948," Rita tells us how she was inspired by Roger Waters to deepen her understanding of the Palestinian question, how this led her to travel to Palestine to experience the effects of the occupation on the ground, and how this has influenced her artistic production.

The Assembly of the Republic (Portuguese Parliament) has approved a vote of solidarity with the Palestinian people in which it urges "the Portuguese Government, in the light of the country's Fundamental Law, the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, to take a clear and forceful position in defence of the rights of the Palestinian people and compliance with the UN resolutions that enshrine them."

Between 21 and 23 July, the Platform for Peace and Disarmament - which the MPPM is part of - organised the "Give Peace a Chance" Camp that brought together in Melides hundreds of young people from all over the country.

With the support of the Grândola City Council and the participation of more than three dozen organisations, the event began on Friday night, 21, with a concert at the Fairs Park featuring Ruth Marlene, Pedro Mafama and the Bateu Matou.

On Saturday 22, the young people travelled to Melides Beach, where they took part in a volleyball tournament and performed an act of solidarity with the children of Gaza as part of the worldwide "Swim with Gaza" campaign.

Since 2007 the inhabitants of Gaza have been living in an open-air prison. They have no parks, no mountains, no valleys. But they have the sea. The only free space for leisure. This year, on 26 August, more than 500 children from Gaza who have just learned to swim will dive into the sea as part of the Gaza Swimming Festival.

In association with the worldwide campaign "Swim with Gaza", dozens of young people participating in the "Give Peace a Chance" Camp that took place in Melides, between 21 and 23 July, in an organisation of the Platform for Peace and Disarmament - which the MPPM is part of - expressed their solidarity with the children of Gaza in this event held at Melides Beach on 22 July.

Portuguese youngsters in solidarity with Gaza children
Portuguese youngsters in solidarity with Gaza children

On the initiative of the CPPC, coinciding with the NATO summit taking place in Vilnius, a Public Tribune "YES TO PEACE! NO TO NATO!" was held on Wednesday 12 July, at Largo José Saramago in Lisbon. Jorge Cadima spoke on behalf of the MPPM to denounce the aggressions of NATO, its member states and its regional allies in the Middle East.

The Tribune was moderated by Julie Neves of the CPPC (Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation).

In her first intervention, Rita Janeiro (CPPC) called for the signing of the petition calling for Portugal to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

She was followed by João Coelho (CGTP – General Confederation of Portuguese Workers) who denounced the escalation of the arms race and the expansion of NATO throughout the world.

The spoke Jorge Cadima (MPPM).

NATO, an instrument of United States domination in the Middle East

On the occasion of Batsheva Dance Company's visit to Portugal, MPPM calls attention to the true nature of its supporter, the State of Israel, founded on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and sustained by a policy of colonial occupation and apartheid.

Batsheva Dance Company - an Israeli dance company, based in Tel Aviv - will perform in Portugal in July, with shows at Rivoli, in Porto, and CCB, in Lisbon. The performances at CCB are integrated in the programme of the Almada Festival.

The Batsheva Dance Company is supported by the Israeli government, through the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and by the Municipality of Tel Aviv, which in the last seven years have contributed 38% of the company's revenue. The company resides in the Batsheva Centre which was built and renovated with support from the Tel Aviv Municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Culture through the Tel Aviv Foundation.

The MPPM called for a public act this Friday, to protest against Israel's violence towards the Palestinian people, which gathered a hundred people in Rossio, Lisbon.

Bearing in mind the recent Israeli offensive against the Jenin refugee camp, which involved vast land and air means in the largest military operation in the West Bank since 2002, having caused the death of at least 12 Palestinians and wounded 120, 20 of whom in critical condition, it was demanded the end to the Israeli violence, the end of the occupation, the end to Israeli impunity and it was deplored the complicit tolerance of the Western governments with Israeli crimes.

Israel's brutal assault on the Jenin refugee camp on 3 and 4 July 2023 has already resulted in the death of 12 people, the injury of more than a hundred and the forced eviction of about 3,000 residents, in addition to a large-scale destruction in one of the refugee camps with the highest rates of poverty and unemployment.

The Israeli military violence, involving some 1,000 soldiers and air assets, did not spare hospitals, places of worship, the headquarters of the Freedom Theatre group, and was again marked by the deliberate attack on journalists on duty in an effort to hide the brutality of Israeli operations.

The assault on Jenin is not an isolated act. It is part of a criminal wave of repression which, continuing the permanent Israeli policy of repression against the Palestinian people, has escalated on a major scale since the new Netanyahu government took office.


Subscreva News