Argentina: MST Legislator Against Zionist Law

On July 1, the Legislature of the province of Cordoba approved the definition of anti-Semitism promoted by Israel and the United States. Peronism and Macrism voted in favor. Here is the firm intervention against the bill of our deputy Luciana Echeverría.

We are told that this law aims to fight against the hostility and violence that prejudice and intolerance lead us to, and, indeed, who could be against that; even a distracted legislator, who did not read this project in depth, could approve it, as has unfortunately happened in other legislatures with this issue.

However, with the authority provided by belonging to a political space that has historically condemned and fought against racism, and Nazism in particular, I affirm with clarity that this law is the opposite of fighting intolerance, violence, prejudice and anti-Semitism.

As already stated, this law defines that “the physical and rhetorical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed at Jewish and non-Jewish people, and / or their property, the institutions of the Jewish communities and their places of worship.” Beyond the explanations they offer about what those institutions refer to, it is clear that, with this definition, if someone criticizes the State of Israel, they are considered anti-Semitic.

As I said yesterday in the committee, we are very clear on this: it is one thing to be anti-Semitic and quite another to be anti-Zionist. We have no problem defining ourselves as anti-Zionists. We are proud to be so, because Zionism is not the expression of the Jewish people, but the embodiment, in the Middle East, of the worst of imperialist capitalism in the last 150 years.

Zionism arose, supposedly, in response to the anti-Semitism of European governments. However, it proclaims the racist idea that Jews cannot coexist with other peoples and that, therefore, they need their own State.

With the famous fallacy of “a land without a people for a people without land,” they propose the absolute denial of the Palestinian people, who have lived, worked and produced in those lands for centuries.

Since the creation of the State of Israel, in 1948, Zionism used one of the most heavily armed armies in the world to persecute, massacre, and displace the native population from its lands.

These methods, which have nothing to envy those used by Nazi Germany against the Jews, have caused, to date, more than 5 million Palestinians to live in subhuman conditions in refugee camps.

All this with the financing of the United States, which sends millions of dollars, year after year, to strengthen the military apparatus of this truly colonial enclave that defends imperialist interests throughout the region.

The level of racism is such that the Israeli Constitution is the only one in the world that reserves the right of self-determination only for Jews, excluding anyone who is not Jewish from the category of citizen, and consolidating the apartheid regime to which it has been subjecting the Palestinian population for over 70 years.

That is why we cannot endorse, in any way, this definition that, in speaking of Jewish institutions, opens the door to classify any declaration or action against the DAIA, the Israeli Parliament or State as anti-Semitic, and therefore persecute and punish those critical people.

World Zionism has historically persecuted all those who in all parts of the world speak out against their crimes. Even in our country, before the existence of this law, there is a history of persecution of left-wing organizations for the simple act of demonstrating in front of the Israeli embassy. But what is being voted on today gives them even more elements to advance in this persecution. This is no invention of mine, nor is it a whimsical interpretation.

I have in my hands a statement from the Argentine Zionist Organization and, in the last paragraph – I am going to read it verbatim – it says:

The regulations that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship has instituted with the adoption of the definition of anti-Semitism established by the IHRA offers us a new tool to bring to justice those who, from their words, express hatred of the Jews, Zionism as a movement for the liberation and self-determination of the Jewish people, and Israel as a Jewish State.

Clear as water.

Specifically, if this aberration is approved, any of us who have spoken out against the bombings of the Gaza Strip, against the massacres, torture and all the aberrations committed on a daily basis against the Palestinian people, we could go to jail. Actually, the rejection of the State of Israel is growing more and more, they will even have to think about setting up a special prosecutor’s office to deal with all these cases.

The Zionist lobby advances, and in our country its main representative is President Alberto Fernández himself, who after meeting with right-wing prime minister Netanyahu, promised to promote this project, which is not at all naive. In fact, this campaign begins in all the country´s institutions precisely the very year in which Trump, together with Israel, have signed the so-called Agreement of the Century, which is nothing more than a unilateral presentation of conditions of surrender to the Palestinian people, who have obviously not been able to participate in this whole discussion.

Look at the nonsense, just today, while we are discussing this, Israel advances toward the annexation of a large part of the territory of the West Bank, completely liquidating the false two States proposal that had been so propagandized. Israel’s advance is so brutal that even political leaders who have always supported the state have come to condemn it.

In Israel, there are more than 6 thousand political prisoners, including 350 minors whose only crime was to not submit to the impositions of the State of Israel. They are all systematically tortured, subjected to trials in Hebrew under military courts, without the right to defense; their lands are confiscated; they demolish their homes, they take away their property, they separate them from their families, they persecute, mistreat, massacre them; it is completely inhuman.

So what plurality are they talking about? What tolerance? The only plural and tolerant solution, truly democratic and humanitarian, is the destruction of the genocidal State of Israel and the construction of a free, secular, democratic and non-racist Palestine, in which all peoples can coexist as, in fact, they were able to for many years.

So I would suggest to the International Alliance for Holocaust Remembrance that, if you really want to keep Holocaust history alive, start by condemning those who today commit crimes as dire as those. And if you really want to fight anti-Semitism, keep in mind that many of the anti-Semites are right in the State of Israel itself, which persecutes, harasses and massacres Semitic peoples for religious prejudice and also for economic interests.

We will not allow the use of yesterday’s victims as justifications for atrocities committed against the Palestinian people today. This project seeks to do just that: to legitimize these barbarities and to persecute those who denounce them.

Che Guevara once told his children that they must be capable of feeling, deep down, any injustice committed against anyone anywhere in the world. As a militant, I cannot help but honor those words with each of my actions.

So today, don’t count on my vote for this project.