Large crowds marched through the streets of Athens to the Israeli embassy on Thursday, 2 January 2020 to declare that Israeli Prime Minister, war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, was not welcome in Greece and to demand the cancellation of the “EastMed” pipeline deal. This pipeline, which aims to ship natural gas, extracted – and stolen – by the Israeli occupation from the natural resources of the indigenous Palestinian people, to Europe via Greece and Cyprus, chaining the Greek economy to the Israeli state.
Samidoun Network – Greece organized the protest with many other Greek organizations who joined in the demonstration, including the Network of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, EEK, NAR, KKE (M-L), Intifada Front and the Network to Support Palestinian Resistance.
The Ghassan Kanafani Front for Palestine launched a protest call that was supported by Open Road, OPAM, LAE and more.
All of these organizations came together to confront Netanyahu and the Greek and Cypriot governments on the creation of a dangerous axis in the region that aims to break the historical solidarity between the Greek and Palestinian people by placing Greece as a partner in the theft of Palestinian resources for the benefit of Israeli and U.S. corporations.
“Continuing on the actions of its predecessor, the ND government is tightening even more the military, cultural and political relationship of the Greek state with Israel, playing an allied role in its geopolitical games in the eastern Mediterranean. Greece’s participation in the agreement for the EastMed gas pipeline strengthens the Greece-Cyprus-Israel-Egypt axis, making the Greek state a leader in the oppression, destruction and apartheid Israel is exercising against the Palestinian people,” the Network of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and Samidoun Network – Greece said.
Hundreds marched in an angry demonstration, chanting slogans like “Victory to the Intifada – Liberation for Palestine,” “Netanyahu Kills – Mitsotakis consents,” “No gas deals with Zionism” and more. Participants carried Palestinian flags and banners with the slogans of the demonstration. Outside the Israeli embassy, some demonstrators burned a European Union flag, denouncing the role of the EU in driving Greece into economic crisis and encouraging the construction of the EastMed pipeline.
From Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine urged the Greek movement to stand up against Netanyahu and block the gas deal. “The intensified political, military and economic ties between the Zionist entity and Greece, strengthened by the Syriza government and now heartily embraced by the right-wing regime, come at the expense of the Palestinian and Arab people whose natural resources are being confiscated, stolen and marketed by the illegal occupation….Netanyahu’s visit is an attack on the Palestinian people and the Greek people, their sovereignty and their wealth and resources. The Zionist project provides no solution to economic crisis – only more misery for Greece, Palestine and the world. Indeed, the occupation, allied with the United States, wants to impose hegemony and domination over the entire region of the Mediterranean, opening its resources to plunder and using it as an advance base for expansionist attacks throughout the region.”
“The Palestinian people stand together with the Greek people in confronting fascism, attacks on your sovereignty, economic devastation and austerity. Independent development for Greece is only strengthened by building the boycott of Israel and the corporations and institutions that sustain this illegitimate, apartheid, settler-colonial racist project. Zionism wants to cement itself in the region through these pipelines of theft and destruction. Make it clear that Greece will not become a bloodstained pathway for the transport of stolen Palestinian gas!” the statement urged.
Mohammed Khatib, Europe coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, said that ”
We salute the Greek progressive and left movement for their unconditional solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for liberation and return, not only in their vision and politics, but marching in the street while confronting and struggling against the extreme right wing government.”
“Confronting the so-called EastMed gas deal between Israel, Greece and Cyprus – funded by the EU and supported by the US – is confronting the clearest example of Western colonialism in our region. The plunder of our people’s resources is part of the brutal imperialist war against our people. Each drop of gas from Israel means killing Palestinians,” Khatib said.
He drew attention to the ongoing campaign to stop another dangerous gas deal in Jordan. “We have to note that Arab reactionary regimes such as Jordan and Egypt are involved in this dirty deal also. They have started pumping Palestinian stolen gas to Jordan while pumping millions of dollars to Israel for these stolen resources, extorted from the Arab popular classes.”
Large crowds of thousands in Jordan also joined the demonstration against the gas deal there on Friday, 3 January, demanding that Jordan reject normalization with the Israeli occupation and declaring that the gas deal puts Jordan in a position of support for the occupation army attacking Palestinians on a daily basis. They also demanded the end of the Wadi Araba agreement with the Israeli occupation.
“This deal should be confronted and stopped by all means and it is the responsibility of the social movements and the resistance,” Khatib emphasized.