The Collectif Palestine Vaincra has an important organization of the Palestinian liberation movement in France. As the presidential campaign approached, incumbent President Emmanuel Macron banned the organization. The following interview with a member of the Committee Against the Dissolution of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra, which is fighting against the ban, was conducted for the German-language newspaper Perspektive Online.
Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview. The Committee Against the Dissolution of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra brings together various leftist and revolutionary organizations, particularly from Toulouse. Who are you and why did you come together?
Founded in March 2022 in Toulouse, this committee brings together some thirty local organizations (including trade unions, left and far left organizations, anti-fascist groups, Kurdish and pro-Palestinian organizations, etc.) and aims to denounce the banning of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra by the French government. Following this extremely serious political decision on the part of Macron and his Minister of the Interior, it seemed important to us to show that the collective was not alone and that this authoritarian and draconian attack affects all progressive and revolutionary forces.
Can you briefly explain the political work of Collectif Palestine Vaincra and why it is important to fight against its dissolution?
The Collectif Palestine Vaincra has been an organization supporting the Palestinian people and their resistance in the tradition of the anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist movement. Understanding that Israel is a settler colonial project and the outpost of imperialism in the Arab world, the collective defended the perspective of a free and democratic Palestine from the river to the sea, as well as the right of return of all Palestinian refugees expelled since the Nakba of 1948. As a member of the international Samidoun network, the Collectif has had support for Palestinian prisoners at the heart of its activities, in particular the struggle for the release of Georges Abdallah, a Lebanese communist and Palestinian resistance fighter imprisoned in France since 1984.
It is important to fight against this dissolution, because this decision is an extremely serious attack on the Palestine solidarity movement. Beyond the fight against this political ban, it is the fight against the criminalization of anti-Zionism and anti-imperialism that is at stake. More than ever, we must affirm that an attack against one of us is an attack on all supporters of justice and liberation.
Do you see a link between the dissolution of Palestine Vaincra and the presidential elections?
Since the first presidential mandate of Emmanuel Macron, we have witnessed an authoritarian radicalization of French power. This has been expressed in many ways, in particular by the repression of all forms of protest, the adoption of new laws to strengthen the security legislative arsenal (in particular the laws on “separatism” and on global security) and the dissolution of many organizations (notably Muslim and anti-racist organizations). The dissolution of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra is part of this dynamic. But it is obvious that the presidential elections are also a moment of political crystallization where the outgoing president tends to multiply the announcement effects and the demonstrations of force before the end of his mandate. This dissolution is one of many examples.
Did the Israeli state play a role in the dissolution?
It is clear that the Israeli state played a role in this dissolution. In February 2021, Israeli Minister of Defense and war criminal Benny Gantz classified Samidoun and the Collectif Palestine Vaincra as “terrorist organizations”, along with many Palestinian and solidarity organizations in the movement. It was following this designation that several supporters of Israeli apartheid in France called for the collective to be banned. Following a year-long campaign relayed by several elected officials from Toulouse and parliamentarians from the presidential majority party, the dissolution was announced at the end of February a few hours before the annual CRIF dinner (the main organization of the pro-Israeli lobby in France). Moreover, Emmanuel Macron personally boasted of the dissolution of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and declared that “anti-Zionism is an enemy of the Republic” in front of the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, during the commemorations in tribute to the victims of the attacks by Mohammed Merah in Toulouse. This says a lot both about the scandalous maneuver which aims to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and thus divert the necessary fight against racism, but also about the close collaboration between France and Israeli apartheid in their policy of criminalizing the Palestine solidarity movement.
You call for a week of mobilization from April 15 to 25. What actions are planned during this period and how can we support you from Germany?
From April 15 to 25, the Committee Against the Dissolution of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra is calling for a week of mobilization on the eve of the hearing of the appeal to the Council of State, the objective of which is to challenge the dissolution order. In Toulouse, a rally is being organized Thursday, 21 April at 6:30 p.m. at the call of the Committee to reaffirm our refusal of this decision and to denounce the security offensive in progress. In addition, several initiatives are also taking place around the world, particularly around 17 April, the international day of support for Palestinian prisoners. It is particularly important to make this connection because support for imprisoned Palestinian resisters, especially the cases of Ahmad Sa’adat and Georges Abdallah, was used in the dissolution decree to justify the decision. This is an extremely serious attack!
Obviously, support from Germany is very important to us, especially when we know that our two respective countries are strategic and leading allies of Israeli apartheid. For example, Samidoun Deutschland is organizing initiatives in Berlin on 18 April and in Frankfurt and Aachen on 16 April. This will be an opportunity to demand the release of nearly 5000 Palestinian political prisoners, but also to denounce the anti-Palestinian repression in Europe, such as the dissolution of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra or the expulsion of the Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat from Germany.
Do you have something to say in conclusion?
We invite your readers to participate in the collection to support the Committee’s work by making an online donation at this address: https://afgj.salsalabs.org/samindoun-soutiencpv/index.html
Moreover, the most significant solidarity is obviously to continue the fight started by the Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a resolutely anti-imperialist fight for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea!
Thank you for this interview.
Source: Perskpective Online – Translation: Samidoun