Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, Sept. 9, 2009
Sever Latin American military ties with Israel
Statement in the occasion of the global Action Day against the Coup in Honduras - August 28, 2009
As Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign we raise our voice and join with all those that today are protesting the coup in Honduras, the dictatorship and repression by Micheletti’s regime. As Palestinians, we know that we and the Honduran people are part of the same struggle
We are well aware that this crime would not have been planned and executed without the active support of foreign powers.
Many reports indicate not only involvement of US intelligence but Israeli military and intelligence as well. Israel has a long history supporting the repression of the people in Latin America. From the Contras in Nicaragua to the dictatorships in Paraguay, Guatemala and Chile – Israeli weapons, intelligence and training have offered crucial backing. Today, Colombia is probably the biggest recipient of Israeli arms and training. "I learned an infinite amount of things in Israel, and to that country I owe part of my essence, my human and military achievements," admits Colombian paramilitary leader and indicted drug trafficker Carlos Castao (1).
With this in mind, it is not surprising that today we have received news about Israeli involvement in the overthrow of democracy in Honduras.
We are seriously concerned that Israel might be effectively involved in the coup in Honduras on several levels:
While the entire American continent has isolated the current regime in Honduras, the leader of the coup has announced Israeli backing of his government. Several commentators have highlighted that in the months before the coup, the Israeli embassy was the site of intense diplomatic movement with important representatives of the opposition, including Micheletti (2).
CODEH has denounced the Micheletti regime for contracting Israeli commandos and security companies to train the Honduran forces in the use of violence against the demonstrators, including targeted crimes to sow fear and terror and dismantle the resistance. They report that security company personnel is sometimes directly executing the repression (3).
This description of repression repeats the same patterns of attacks faced by the Palestinian people during the protests against the Wall and the Israeli occupation. Israel is engaged in low intensity warfare against Palestinian communities resisting the Wall, targeting the entire community as well as individuals within it. This includes the violent repression of the demonstrations, targeted killings of activists (mainly at the fringes of the demonstration), collective punishment and psychological terror (4).
The expertise provided by the Israeli military to the Honduran coup has been acquired from killing, repressing and ethnically cleansing the Palestinian people. Indeed, the profits from its arms trade with Latin America allow its arms industry to thrive and to maintain the occupation and colonization of our lands.
Israeli involvement in the coup in Honduras would be only a logical extension of its policies. For Israel, a colonial state built on the expulsion and ongoing repression of the indigenous population, the rise of anti-colonial and emancipatory forces anywhere of the world constitutes a potential threat to the very paradigm it is built on. Clearly, Israeli allegiance to and cooperation with the most right wing US politics make the involvement in the coup a political imperative.
The coup and Israeli involvement in it has implications beyond Honduras, rendering Israeli diplomatic and military presence a threat to all Latin American democratic forces. This coup is not only a brutal act against the people in Honduras but acts as a model for a renewed attack on all the people in Latin America.
We therefore call for all democratic Latin American countries to take a principled step against Israeli crimes and violations of human rights and the historical and current support to anti-democratic forces and repressive regimes in Latin America and to:
- End diplomatic relations with Israel
- Expel Israeli military advisors and 'security firms’
- Immediately stop and cancel arms trade agreements with Israel
The democratic and progressive countries and their regional alliances such as the ALBA, MERCOSUR and others, have to take their commitment to the defense of human rights and democracy in their region and across the globe seriously. Israel does not only kill, torture, imprison and repress the Palestinian people. Far too many Latin American’s have suffered from Israeli trained (para)military and died of Israeli weapons.
Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign