On Saturday, 11 February, Samidoun Brussels organized a symposium, “From the River to the Sea: Visions of Palestinian Liberation,” with a discussion about the future of the Palestinian liberation struggle starting from the point of the necessity of the total liberation of Palestine.
A full room greeted speakers at DK, where activists and organizers from a variety of organizations shared their perspectives on the Palestinian liberation struggle and the next steps forward. The event also served as the public launch event for the Brussels chapter of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
Speakers included Mohammed Khatib, coordinator of Samidoun in Europe and member of the executive committee of the Masar Badil (Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement), Myriam De Ly of Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine, Nermin Hwaihi of the Palestinian Refugees Movement for Rights and Justice, Eitan Bronstein of De-Colonizer and the Union of Progressive Jews in Belgium and representatives of two organizations, Classe Contre Classe and Bruxelles Pantheres.
During his presentation, Mohammed Khatib noted that the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea has always been a central position of the Palestinian liberation movement and especially at the height of the Palestinian revolution. He emphasized that the need for an alternative now is against the path of liquidation of the Palestinian cause as represented by Oslo and the PA, and that this alternative is actually a return to the principles of the liberation movement.
He also emphasized the importance of Palestinians in diaspora working together with the solidarity movement and all forces working for Palestine for the liberation of Palestine, rejecting the so-called “two-state solution.” The battleground of ideas in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and elsewhere is particularly important, and the Zionist forces also see these sites as central, particularly the imperial core in North America and Europe. In this context, he also noted the need to build ties between liberation struggles and peoples fighting against imperialism and oppression, with every victory for these movements also being a victory for Palestine.
In her presentation, Myriam de Ly of Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine (also an affiliate of the Samidoun Network), spoke about the history of the Palestinian revolution and how the armed struggle became a symbol of the dignity of the Palestinian people. She also discussed the history of the anti-imperialist workers’ struggle and of delegations to Lebanon and Palestine from social movements in Europe. Drawing from this history, she denounced the so-called “peace process” of Oslo and noted that the resistance continues, as reflected in the Great March of Return, the Unity Intifada/Battle of Seif al-Quds and the growth of armed resistance in the West Bank. She emphasized the need to take inspiration from the martyrs and the prisoners in building solidarity with Palestine.
Classe Contre Classe spoke about the Palestinian revolution as a vanguard of the Arab nation and the world. They recalled the history of the Palestinian militant struggle outside Palestine, noting that the involvement of European strugglers in the Palestinian revolutionary movement amid the plane hijackings of the early 1970s reflected a two-way solidarity and a mutual struggle. They emphasized the need for a continuous anti-imperialist movement coming forward to the present day, resisting the EU as a machine for crushing peoples.
The Bruxelles Panthères spoke about their solidarity with Samidoun and the Palestinian people, and their commitment to fighting imperialism and colonialism as central to anti-racist struggle. They emphasized that they supported the Algerian and Vietnamese resistance and now it is essential to support the Palestinian resistance by all means.
Nermin Hwaihi emphasized the struggle of Palestinian refugees in Europe, noting the high level of scrutiny and surveillance that they face in order to remain at the same time that they are struggling to return to their homes and lands. She noted that the right to return is central to the struggle for Palestine and a commitment that continues from generation to generation for all Palestinians.
Eitan Bronstein spoke about the need to defeat Zionism and reject it entirely in order to imagine a different relationship in Palestine. He also noted that the current far-right government of the Israeli regime may in some ways portend the fall of Zionism, recalling earlier examples such as the French extreme violence that led to the victory of the Algerian anti-colonial liberation movement.
Days after this event, on 16 February, Samidoun Brussels joined Classe Contre Class and Bruxelles Panthères for an event organized by ZIN TV at Ciné Coop. The event focused on videos recorded that memorialize social struggles, including the ZIN TV report on the March for Return and Liberation in Brussels on 29 October.