Parliamentarians from Latin America called for laws to be enacted to prohibit the entry of Israeli products to the continent. They called for the economic, media and diplomatic boycott of the Israeli occupation in response to its violations of the rights of the Palestinian people, and to show their rejection of the annexation plan that intends to swallow up lands from the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
During a symposium organized by The League of Parliamentarians for al-Quds (LP4Q), at which members of parliament from six Latin American countries participated, the members of the parliaments highlighted the importance of putting pressure on the occupation, and called for the adoption of laws to support the boycott of Israeli products.
Jihad Abu Zneid, a MP in the Palestinian Legislative Council from Jerusalem, said during the symposium, that parliamentarians in the world should put pressure on their governments to prosecute the occupation. He further called for the launch of joint programs with representatives of the international community, with the aim of uniting parliamentary and legal efforts to support the Palestinian cause.
Abu Zneid stressed that there should be real and radical action by parliaments to put pressure on the Israeli occupation, and to prosecute and hold the occupation to account at international institutions and the International Criminal Court.
For his part, Chilean MP Sergio Gahona, indicated that the Chilean Parliament has a process to enact law for the boycott of Israeli products, and called for the law to be circulated to all Latin parliaments.
Gahona added that parliamentarians have an important role in drafting and implementing boycott laws, and should draft legislative responses to the annexation plan which promotes apartheid and undermines the borders of the Palestinian state.
For his part, the General Director of LP4Q, Dr. Muhammad Makram Balawi, stressed the need to transform the growing sympathy and support for Palestine and its cause into tangible actions, indicating that the role of parliamentarians is to enlighten the world about the injustice that the Palestinian people are subjected to.
Balawi added, “It is our duty to mobilize parliamentarians everywhere, and I am sure that all MPs have the moral and legal authority, to pressure governments to take action to deter Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. The enactment of boycott laws, cutting ties with the occupation and taking positive action, as neutrality between the oppressor and the oppressed is a support to the oppressor in the face of the oppressed. “
Balawi called on parliamentarians to enact a set of laws in Latin America in support of the Palestinian people, these laws should support measures to protect Palestinian lands from the annexation, to resist the legitimization of settlements, to protect Palestinian refugees and to stop the process of Judaizing of occupied Jerusalem, and to support the lifting of the siege on the Gaza Strip.
Balawi suggested that the continent’s parliamentarians, embark on a campaign to support the Palestinian representatives who are detained by the occupation, pointing out that Israel’s repeated arrest of the Palestinian people’s representatives indicates that it is not concerned with coexistence and peace, but rather to entrench its hegemony and denying the existence of the other, which is what it has practiced since its inception.
In turn, Ecuadorian MP Bairon Valle Pinagote stressed that the struggle for Palestine needs practical action, not just letters, stressing the importance of preventing Israeli goods from entering Latin America.
Pinagote noted that the Palestinian issue is the issue of all those who struggle for peace and democracy in the world, calling on Latin and international parliaments to continue to express concern and to reject the annexation plan and the attacks on the Palestinian people.
He explained that the voices of parliamentarians in Latin America should be against annexation, calling for work to enact laws and impose sanctions on the Israeli occupation and not to remain silent over its violations in the Palestinian territories, its continuous siege on the Gaza Strip and its continuous Judaization of the lands.
He renewed the Ecuadorian Parliament’s support for the rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of their independent and sovereign Palestinian state, calling on the international community to take clear measures towards Israeli colonialism and support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the right of refugees to return to their homes.
“A commercial, media and political boycott must be imposed on the Israeli occupation and its goods must be prevented from entering the Latin American borders,” added Pinagote, calling for alliances with civil society to mobilize the Latin peoples in support of the Palestinian people.