Portugal: Solidarity with Palestinians

The Portuguese showed an incredible capacity for spontaneous actions of solidarity during the Indonesian massacres in East Timor before this country’s independence in 2000. Now, the same phenomenon is taking place with the Palestinians as the champions of their cause.

Mass demonstrations with tens of thousands of people besieged the US Embassy and UN mission in Lisbon as the world stood back and did nothing to halt the Indonesian massacres of the Maubere population in East Timor, until Portugal took up the matter in the UNO and EU and threatened to veto all laws until the international community took action. Meanwhile, human chains spread around Lisbon as the Portuguese population took it upon themselves to alert the world as to what was happening.

Now, the Goliath is seen as being Israel, the David, the Palestinians. Hundreds of people are gathered every day outside the Israeli Embassy in central Lisbon, chanting anti-Israeli slogans. On Saturday, a human chain will stretch half a kilometre from the Israeli Embassy to the UN mission. This movement will count with the support of public figures from all political parties, including ex-President Mario Soares and ex-Prime Minister Maria de Lourdes Pintassilgo.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese office of Amnesty International has claimed to have received evidence of war crimes committed by Israeli troops, namely summary executions and shootings of civilians in their homes. These people were not allowed to get to hospitals and ambulances are not being allowed to circulate freely.

The statement from the Portuguese Amnesty International claims that the situation is particularly serious in Nablus and Jenin, and affirms that eye-witnesses have photographic evidence of helicopter gunships firing indiscriminately against civilian areas.


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