The right-wing Postmedia are once again escalating their ongoing attacks on Palestinian writer and activist, our comrade Khaled Barakat, and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in Canada. In the latest incarnation of the smear campaign published today in the National Post and the Ottawa Citizen, the Israeli embassy, together with Zionist pro-apartheid organizations, lines up to declare that Canadians, particularly Palestinian-Canadians, should not have the right to speak in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, about the struggle for Palestinian liberation.
Israel lobby organizations like CIJA and B’nai Brith — joined by the Israeli Embassy — attempted to shut down the International League of Peoples’ Struggle conference last weekend in the Canadian capital. However, they failed to do so, and the assembly brought together hundreds of people in marches, meetings and assemblies highlighting anti-imperialist unity and struggle. The assembly passed multiple resolutions in support of Palestinian liberation and against the use of so-called “terror” designations to repress people’s liberation movements.
These forces are outraged about their inability to keep silencing voices calling for justice in Palestine in Canada. It is their failed attempt to cancel the successful ILPS conference that is prompting this continuing smear campaign against Khaled Barakat.
Let us be clear: As we told the National Post (and they severely cut), while Khaled Barakat is not a member of Samidoun, we would be honoured to have him as a member. We look forward to continuing to host his speeches and publish his writing, as we view his voice as one of the most necessary in this movement, with a clear, inspiring, progressive vision of a liberated Palestine and the road of resistance to achieve that goal.
We urge all friends of Palestine to contact us, to invite Khaled Barakat to speak at your events, and to join us in building Samidoun’s campaigns. By standing together, these smear campaigns will once again fail miserably — and we keep our eyes on the goal: the liberation of Palestinian prisoners and the liberation of Palestine.
This is not unique; after Zionist pressure organizations failed to stop CUNY law graduate, Palestinian activist and chair of Within Our Lifetime, Nerdeen Kiswani, from delivering a powerful statement about Palestine, social justice and liberation at her law school graduation after being elected commencement speaker by her fellow students, they have launched a series of smear attacks and even city council hearings targeting Kiswani personally, the movement for Palestine at CUNY broadly and even the legal services provided to people living in poverty by the law school. We urge all supporters of Palestine to stand with Kiswani and the movement for justice at CUNY.
Because these pro-apartheid organizations are so intimidated by the clarity of these Palestinian activists’ and leaders’ expression, they want to have them silenced by force. Because Samidoun highlights the struggle, leadership and resistance of the Palestinian prisoners, they want to ban and suppress us. However, thousands of people have already made clear that they reject these smear campaigns and instead urge Canada to begin respecting Palestinian rights and cut off arms trade and preferential deals with the Israeli regime.
Join over 85 organizations and prominent individuals like Roger Waters to sign the Canada Palestine Association statement against smear campaigns by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and thousands of people have already written to the Canadian government to reject the attacks. Click here to sign the letter and reach out to your representatives!
These campaigns are based on the idea that people should not have the right to hear these powerful words for Palestine. Therefore, we want to invite you to hear the words of Khaled Barakat in Ottawa for yourself. Watch the speech at the ILPS conference here:
Watch the “Double Standards” event, featuring Khaled Barakat, Yavar Hameed and Miko Peled, on the use of anti-terror laws to criminalize Palestinians:
Watch Khaled Barakat on the Security in Context podcast discussing smear campaigns:
And watch Khaled Barakat and Nerdeen Kiswani speaking together with Jaldia Abubakra about repression and resistance for Palestine:
The most important response that we can make is to build the movement for Palestine. One of the goals of such campaigns is to divert our compass away from our ongoing campaigns and instill fear in the community. By organizing and building the movement for Palestine, we can show our support for Khaled Barakat and the Palestinian people and cause as a whole. We stand with Khaled Barakat, we stand with the Palestinian prisoners and we stand with Palestinian liberation. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!