Brazil to Host World’s Biggest Pro-Palestine Event
By Julio Severo
The “World Social Forum – Free Palestine” meets in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from 28 November to 1st December 2012, in light of stormy changes known as “the Arab Spring,” where Muslim governments have been replaced by radical Islamic governments, with dire consequences for Christian populations in these nations.
The organizers of the massive pro-Palestine forum have thanked the Brazil government for hosting it, and they regard it “as a crucial and extraordinary landmark in a process that will widen support” for the Palestinian struggle to exercise what they consider a “Palestinian inalienable right: an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital”.
Support from Liberal Christians and Jews
WSF Free Palestine boasts that its event has the official support from “prominent theological figures and the World Council of Churches”.
Leonardo Boff, the most prominent liberation theology advocate in Brazil, has showed his support for the WSF Free Palestine. He said, “It is our duty to be on the side of the Palestinians.”
Nancy Cardoso, a Methodist minister from CEBI (Ecumenical Bible Center) in Rio Grande do Sul, said, “We see the WSF Free Palestine as a key space to give voice to our Palestinian brothers and sisters.”
Liberal religious authorities from Israel and other nations have confirmed their presence, including Jewish theologian professor Marc Ellis, an American author and liberation theologian activist.
Delegations from 36 countries from all five continents have already registered for the World Social Forum Free Palestine turning this event into the largest gathering of solidarity for the Palestine cause. Delegations from the following countries have confirmed their presence: South Africa, Germany, Argentine, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Scotland, Spain, United States, Philippines, France, Ghana, Guinea, India, England, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Norway, Palestine, Pakistan, Paraguay, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Swaziland, Togo, Tunisia, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Among international speakers are:
Ronnie Kasrils(born 15 November 1938) is a South African politician. He was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) as well as a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP). He is one of the most eloquent speakers against Israel and an advocate for a Palestinian state.
Angela Yvonne Davis (born January 26, 1944) is an Afro-American and prominent leader of the Communist Party USA. She was the director of the Feminist Studies department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her expertise is feminism, African American studies and Marxism. Her membership in the Communist Party led to Ronald Reagan’s request in 1969 to have her barred from teaching at any university in the State of California. She was one the suspects in the abduction and murder of Judge Harold Haley in 1970. She is the author of nine books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America.
In its event in Brazil, the “World Social Forum – Free Palestine” aims to:
1) Defending the right of the Palestinian people to fight Israel.
2) Strengthening and expanding involvement in the global, Palestinian-led campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. This campaign, which encompasses boycotts of and divestments from Israeli and international companies, has already been embraced by US mainline Protestant denominations, including Presbyterian, Lutheran and Anglican.
3) Making the WSF Free Palestine a platform for building BDS strategies against Israel and in particular for ending free trade agreements between Israel and other countries or groups of countries (such as the European Union, Mercosur, etc.).
4) Recognizing and supporting the struggle of progressive Jews everywhere, particularly those who support the creation of a Palestinian state.
5) Supporting Palestinian resistance against Israel.
6) Launching effective public information campaigns to encourage the media in exposing and condemning Israel.
The “World Social Forum – Free Palestine” chose Brazil for its massive event because of its politically strategic importance. Two years ago, former socialist Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva officially acknowledged Palestine as a national state. His successor, Dilma Rousseff, has kept his Palestinian advocacy.
The forum will happen in Porto Alegre, in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, where the ruling Workers’ Party has a stronghold. The Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil, with its 700,000 members, has also a stronghold in this state.
This Brazilian Lutheran denomination has had a crucial role in the liberation theology advocacy and a former president, who is a prominent leader in the World Council of Churches, was implicated in Soviet schemes decades ago, according to an exposé by FrontPageMag.
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