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A bloody Good Friday in Palestine

The use of snipers against the Palestinian demonstrators at the boundary line of the Gaza Strip: Tel Aviv presents this as a necessary and moderate security measure, that the mainstream press repeats. From Panama City, Julio Yao, an expert in international law reminds us that this is far from the first time that the Western mainstream media chooses to take sides and to hide the facts rather than expose them. The people from Panama have experienced this for themselves.

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While Syria, with the help of Russia and the other allies, is freeing Eastern Ghouta and driving out terrorists that have been illegally sponsored by the United States, the fuse is being set alight once again in Palestine.

30 March celebrates the day of the Land of Palestine and the Great March of Return. On this day of commemoration in 2018, Israel assassinated 18 Palestinians and wounded more than 1,400. Instead of taking measures to control the crowds, Israel’s “forces of order” deployed 1000 snipers, comparable to those used in the 1980s against the Frente Farabundo Martí de Liberación Nacional in El Salvador, or against the Venezuelan people in this century.

The Good Friday massacre emphasizes the necessity, that can no longer be delayed, of resolving the question of Palestine (Transjordan and the Gaza Strip), the embargo on the occupied territories and the refugee crisis, in accordance with UN resolutions which contemplate Israel and Palestine co-existing as independent States.

Although this new genocide has received global condemnation, the United States, Israel’s mentor, has vetoed the condemnatory resolution presented to the Security Council. But the slaughter must not go unpunished, as if it were just a trivial prank of Zionism, whose Apartheid has converted the assassination of Palestinians into some sort of national sport.

Nothing weird in a country [i.e. Israel] that neither has a Constitution nor ever complies with international law norms. In Israel, first principles are not to be found in the constitution, but in religious laws declared well before Christ. This explains why, for example, Israeli military tribunals sentence Palestinian children without first giving them the right to a genuine defence.

We must denounce aggression and call for – in the case of Panama – our ambassador in Israel to engage in consultations. This is what the drafters of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations would expect its ratificants to do.

President Juan Carlos Varela demonstrated in Rome that Panama will open an embassy in Jordan and an Office of Interests in Palestine as a first step to opening full diplomatic relations. Although we applaud relations with the People’s Republic of China and consider the opening of an office of interests in Palestine as a correct and necessary step, there is no doubt that this step comes with substantial delay.

Panama has always sympathized with the Palestine Cause but the last two governments have had significantly less interest in the Palestine issue. This is largely due to two factors. First, continual pressure applied by Israel, from the 1970s and second, the military invasion of Panama, perpetrated in 1989 by the United States, the strategic mentor of Israel, an invasion that tried to erase History’s memory of the country with that famous canal.

Thus Panama is converted into the only Latin American country that does not have relations with Palestine –Palestine, a country that is recognized as a state by nearly the whole planet except for the United States, Canada and a few countries in the Caribbean. For this failure to act, and shameful debt, and now that Israel is opening a new cycle of repression against the Palestine people, it is quite right that Panama immediately recognizes Palestine. For Palestine, in contrast to Israel, has always supported the fight of the people of Panama to control the interoceanic Canal.

[…] The government of Panama must look out for one thing: its national interest.

Panama ought to recognize Palestine because it has always been a country for dialogue, for building consensus and peace, and because history and geography has assigned to the Isthmus a primary role that obliges us to maintain the interoceanic pass free from threats of war and without regard to the ideological or political profile of those that use the waterway.

Soon a delegation from the UN Committee for the Exercise of Inalienable Rights of the People of Palestine will arrive in Panama. This consists of the ambassadors of Senegal, Nicaragua, Cuba, Malaysia and Palestine to the UN, as well the Division of the Rights of the Palestinians of the UN Department of Political Affairs.

In 1989, Panama was the victim of a US military invasion. The human cost: the death of at least 7,000 people from Panama, hardly any of whom were fighters– and tens of thousands wounded. Yet this was not an important story for the international media because the “West” shone the spotlight on the toppling of Ceausescu in Romania, the Berlin Wall, the planned crisis in the Soviet Union and, most certainly, because the United States prohibited the press from reporting the invasion.

The new massacres in Gaza should have a spotlight shone on them rather than a casting a veil over them, as happened with the invasion of Panama.

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

Julio Yao Villalaz

Julio Yao Villalaz Analyste international et diplomate de carrière. Il fut professeur de relations internationales et de droit international, conseiller auprès du général Omar Torrijos, vice-président du Mouvement d’unité latino-américain et représentant de la République du Panama devant la Cour internationale de La Haye.

 
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