Proud of our history, the fight for justice and rights must grow stronger!
The day after the bloody attacks of 13th November 2015 in Paris, many media outlets established a dangerously misleading connection between the ISIS attacks and the Palestine Solidarity campaign. These articles cast into doubt the 2009 letter, signed by several organisations, including ‘Generation Palestine’, denouncing a gala held in support of Magav, the Israeli Border Police, at the Bataclan.
Out of respect for the families and those close to the victims, we would not have brought back those dark moments when the Bataclan collaborated with the pro-Israeli far-right, were it not for the media outcry which forces us to shed some light on the situation, to respond to this defamatory campaign. Since its conception in 2006, Generation Palestine has worked actively to stop the famous Parisian venue from holding the annual support gala for Magav, organised by Migdal.
It was inadmissible for us that funds were being raised in France so that this occupation police force could maintain the system of apartheid in Palestine. In 2007, many associations, political parties and unions came together to protest this gala, without winning its cancellation. Many confrontations followed between activists from the solidarity movement and the Jewish Defence League, a racist and violent group, as well as the Jewish Community’s Protection Service (SPCJ).
In 2008, many personalities, such as Elias Sanar, Palestine’s ambassador to UNESCO, Gisèle Halimi, feminist and anticolonial lawyer, and the late Albert Jacquard, researcher and civil rights activist, signed a call denouncing this collaboration. In the face of the insufficiency of classical forms of mobilisation, a coalition of young activists chose the route of civil disobedience, and try to block the entrance to the venue. You can see them in this video, surrounded by the police which is protecting the venue’s entrance, guarded by known figures of the JDL.
In the winter of 2008, Israel launched its offensive in Gaza called “Operation Cast Lead, a military operation which ended in a massacre of over 1,400 people in three weeks. The mass mobilisations in the streets of Paris and all of France against the war crimes being committed in Gaza, along with tireless activism, led the Bataclan to finally break their partnership with Migal. On the 27th January 2009, after several years of struggle, the Bataclan’s administrators finally resolutely affirmed that the support galas would no longer be welcome. We are proud of that. Unfortunately, these galas continue to take place in the Wagram Hall on the Champs-Elysées in 2014.
Asked by Le Point about a possible link between the pro-Palestinian activists and the attack on the 13th November, the current manager made it clear: “… honestly, what happened there, that was Syria, not Palestine, they are not the same thing. These attacks were against France, against France’s so-called depravity, the depravity of rock music. They also took place in the bourgeois-bohemian neighbourhoods of Paris, where everyone likes to party, with people sitting out on the terrace, drinking alcohol… There was no threat here.”
In the face of these vultures who are trying to seize upon emotions which we all share in these moments, and in the face of the risk that these odious crimes become a new pretext to intensify even more the repression which the Palestinian solidarity campaign are facing, our vigilance is needed more than ever.
And moreover, the bloody events these last days, in Paris, in Beirut, Ankara, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, call on us to intensify our struggle for justice and rights.
Peace upon all victims.
Their wars, our dead.
Fear is our enemy!