The Progressive Democratic Student Pole “Al-Qotob” at Birzeit University issued the following statement on November 17, refusing to welcome French President Hollande to Palestine (Translation by Translators for Palestine). They particularly draw attention to the case of imprisoned Arab struggler Georges Ibrahim Abdallah in French prison. For more information on the campaign in solidarity with Abdallah, please see: http://liberonsgeorges-en.overblog.com/
We, the Progessive Democratic Student Pole “Al-Qotob” of Birzeit University, reject French President Francois Hollande’s planned visit to the Palestinian Authority this coming Monday. We call upon the university administration not to participate in welcoming him.
We view Hollande’s visit to Palestine as a media stunt to sanitize and whitewash the image of colonialism in the minds of our people, and to improve his image on the Arab and international levels.
A delegation from the university is planned to participate in welcoming him, in order to explain to Hollande “the demands of the Palestinian youth,” which will allow him to appear to care about the opinions of the participants, and to express “sympathy” for our cause; this will paint him as a “humane leader” in spite of his foreign policies, which illustrate that France remains a colonialist state.
France as a colonial entity has not ended; what happened in Libya, and what happens today in Syria and other African countries in terms of NATO involvement, is nothing but a new form of colonialism. France stands alongside the imperialist Zionist entity, as Hollande will visit the Knesset and the Zionist government tomorrow.
What freedom France might have—if at all—is strictly national and limited to some of its domestic policies; on the foreign and international levels, it remains a form of colonialism that calls for the oppression of peoples, not for their freedom.
Based on the above, we call upon the university administration to heed the student movement, so that we are not forced to escalate our protest. We will not allow for it to go down in history that Birzeit University contributed to the sanitization and legitimization of the image of colonialism, and that it stood alongside those who imprisoned the Arab nationalist fighter George Abdallah.
We are all George Abdallah, we are all Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri.