On the occasion of the 76th commemoration of the Nakba, the First World Conference against Apartheid in Palestine will be held in Gauteng, South Africa, from 10 to 12 May, under the slogan “Towards a global front against Israeli genocide and settler colonial apartheid”.

The Nakba, an Arabic word meaning “catastrophe” or “disaster”, refers to the mass exodus and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that followed the declaration of independence of the State of Israel. The Nakba marks a turning point in modern Palestinian history. It is a deeply significant and painful event for Palestinians who continue to struggle for their rights and for recognition of their right to return to their lost homes.

We will not dwell in this note on the more than urgent, well-known and valid arguments calling for an end to the massacre and the overthrow of the apartheid regime under which the Palestinian people are suffering.

However, linking this struggle with the action scenarios of social movements working for regional and global liberation is important.

The Palestinian cause and the international arena

As is well known, the Anglo-Saxon hegemony cemented by the financial power, the military-industrial, technological-digital, and cultural complex of the West, as well as the neo-colonial institutionalism imposed in the middle of the last century, is today being challenged by the emergence of increasingly strong multilateral alliances.

In this context, the demand for Palestinian national identity, full recognition of its right to statehood, an end to the daily aggression of the Israeli state against its people, and symbolic and material reparation for the damage done – even if the value of the lives and mutilations cannot be fully restored – has become a global cry and banner.

This centrality is no accident. The creation of the state of Israel, which at the time offered many Jews the possibility of a safe haven from czarist and Nazi persecution, had as its geopolitical counterpart the establishment of an enclave of Western imperialist power in a key area for the supply of oil and the transit of goods worldwide.

The financial, arms and technological support of the United States of America to Israel, without which the new state could not have been established, required it to serve as a wartime appendage of US interests. Thus, under the justification of open or deliberately exacerbated threats, the development of advanced technologies of warfare, surveillance, intelligence and even nuclear weapons was supported and a highly militarised society was built. In this way, the Israeli state added the characteristics of a gendarme state, a zealous guardian of the post- and neo-colonial regime in the Middle East, to the progressive and brutal expulsion of the Palestinian population.

That is why, at this moment when this old regime is beginning to totter, the social forces that adhere to the new wave of political and cultural liberation that is underway, unambiguously unite and concentrate with a worldwide demand on the cause against apartheid in Palestine, as a powerful battering ram to overthrow the old, still dominant international strategic order.

The Palestinian cause and the regional scenario in Latin America and the Caribbean

In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, the seemingly distant issue takes on great relevance as the relative advance of the ultra-right is coupled with alliances with the neo-colonial establishment.

The continental right is not only objectively, culturally and historically linked to the power interests of the Atlantic bloc, but it also has direct links with the State of Israel as a provider of advanced systems of surveillance and social repression, developed as a result of its own experience on the ground against the Palestinian resistance.

It is also necessary to note the negative and decisive influence of the concentrated financial sector on the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, over which the American Jewish community – a preponderant factor in the foreign policy of support for Israel – has a strong influence.

On the other hand, the thirst for peace, development and social justice of the peoples of the region contrasts profoundly with the tendencies towards war and armament that stem from the supremacist ideological matrix that characterises the governments of the United States and Israel.

We are also well aware that apartheid, whether overt or covert, also continues in our region, with discrimination against indigenous peoples and people of African descent, women, gender-diverse groups, young people and the poor, among others.

For all these reasons, internationalist solidarity with the Palestinian cause and the establishment of a Palestinian state fully coincides with the need to free ourselves from Atlanticist imperialism and its matrices of domination.

Finally, we believe that the struggle for Palestinian liberation, like the struggle for the liberation of South Africa from its regime of segregation, must move decisively towards a non-violent methodology. A methodology that, in addition to maintaining its ethical humanist character, will remove any possible revanchist argumentation from the genocidal reprisals of Israeli fundamentalism.

Finally, we believe that a broad international condemnation, both symbolic and practical, similar to that which helped to end apartheid in South Africa, the solidarity of progressive governments with the Palestinian population and the resistance of many Israelis to their government’s policies are fundamental to changing the state of affairs.

Finally, the possibility of establishing transitional justice for crimes against humanity opens an intermediate door on the necessary path toward the difficult but unique path of future coexistence, peace and reconciliation between peoples.