Like any totalitarian movement, Zionism not only violates the human rights of the Palestinian-Arab people but at the same time seeks to silence any voice that questions its responsibility for such events. Thus, the Zionist entity DAIA initiated a criminal lawsuit against our comrade Alejandro Bodart, leader of the ISL and the MST, whose legal defense has been assumed by CORREPI lawyers Carmen Verdú and Ismael Jalil.
By Pablo Vasco
Last May, Israeli police forces assassinated Palestinian-American journalist Shirin Abu Akleh in the Jenin refugee camp of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. First they denied it, but as a UN investigation proved, weeks later they were forced to accept responsibility for her assassination. In political repudiation of the assassination, Bodart then tweeted a photo of Shirin with the caption “Zionists = Nazis.”
A few days later, before a new anniversary of the Nakbah, the bloody invasion of Palestine that founded the State of Israel, which involved the death of thousands and forced exile of hundreds of thousands of original Palestinian residents, he tweeted «74 years of the catastrophe lived by the Palestinian people, at the hands of the racist and genocidal State of Israel. The symbolic key to their stolen houses and lands is present in every struggle. For a secular and democratic Palestine, from the river to the sea.»
This condemnation of the Zionist atrocities cost Bodart a criminal lawsuit by the Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA) for discrimination, under the repeated Zionist fallacy that anti-Zionism is synonymous with anti-Semitism. They use the false argument that a political condemnation of the State of Israel and its actions is equivalent to religious or racial discrimination.
Throughout the world, Zionism has been promoting, through the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), a deceitful definition of anti-Semitism to persecute those who question Israel, its actions, institutions and other Zionist entities. In other words, they appeal to the legitimate repudiation of the genocide committed by the Nazis against Jews in the XX century to silence any criticism of the current Zionist genocide against the Palestinian people.
In defense of Bodart
Once the defense of Bodart was initiated by CADHU comrades, as Buenos Aires prosecutor Mariela De Minicis unfairly accepted the DAIA’s proposal, accusing our comrade of discrimination and requesting that he tried, we called on María del Carmen Verdú from CORREPI to be his defense attorney. She accepted immediately, an attitude of support that we appreciate.
There will be a first formal hearing called by Judge Pablo Casas on March 8. Last Thursday the 10th, in solidarity with Alejandro, a wide and prominent range of individuals and public figures from the political sphere and human rights movement, many of them of Jewish origin, appeared to provide testimony in his defense. Likewise, Bodart’s demand against the DAIA at the INADI (Argentine National Institute Against Discrimination), The “Edward Said” chair of the University of Buenos Aire’s criticism of the IHRA’a definition, the acquittal of Juan Carlos Beica for a similar cause, the 2022 Report of the UN Human Rights Rapporteur on Israel’s anti-Palestinian apartheid and the manifesto of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) have been presented as evidence. Reports have also been requested from the UN, IJAN, INADI and the Argentine Foreign Ministry, which in 2021 repudiated the anti-Palestinian repression of the State of Israel and voted at the UN in favor of investigating such human rights violations in Gaza.
We are thus facing an example case and a transcendental legal-political battle. We therefore remain alert in defense of our comrade Bodart, the right to freedom of expression and in solidarity with the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people.
Significant witnesses in support of Bodart
Adolfo Perez Esquivel. Retired sculptor and teacher, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, executive president of the Argentine Peace and Justice Service (SERPAJ), member of the Provincial Commission for Memory (CPM), the International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples, the Academy Institute of Environmental Sciences, the Fundación Universitat Internacional de la Pau de San Cugat del Vallés (Barcelona, Spain) and the Academic Council of the University of Namur (Belgium); Norita de Cortinas. Mother of Plaza de Mayo – Founding Line; Laura Alché widow of Ginsberg. Doctor in Biological Sciences, representative of the Association for the Clarification of the Unpunished Massacre of the AMIA (APEMIA); Peter Brieger. C5N journalist, director of the Infonodal agency and member of the International Association of Religious Journalists (IARJ); Norman Briski. Actor, playwright and theater and film director; Herman Schiller. Journalist, founder of the Jewish Movement for Human Rights, human rights activist and host of the radio program “Leña al Fuego”; Myriam Bregman. Lawyer, founder of CEPRODH (Center of Professionals for Human Rights), national deputy of the FIT Unity and leader of the Socialist Workers Party (PTS); Maria Rachid. Professor of the UNLP, head of the Institute against Discrimination of Buenos Aires (ICDCABA), former vice president of the National Institute against Discrimination (INADI), former deputy of the CABA of the Front for Victory and leader of the Argentine LGBT Federation; Cele Fierro. Teacher, national representative of Juntas y a la Izquierda, the Ecosocialist Network and the Socialist Workers Movement (MST) in the FIT Unity; Louis Zamora. Lawyer, former national deputy and leader of Self-Determination and Freedom; Claudio Katz. Economist, university professor at the UBA and member of Economists of the Left (EDI); Vilma Ripoll. Nurse, national leader of the MST, elected national deputy of the FIT Unity and former deputy of the CABA; Romina del Pla. Teacher, leader of the Plenary of Militant Unionism (PSC) and the Workers’ Party (PO), and national deputy of the FIT Unity; Jorge Altamira (Jose Saul Wermus). National leader of Workers Politics and former deputy of the CABA; Juan Carlos Giordano. Lawyer, national leader of the Socialist Left and elected national deputy of the FIT Unity; Carlos «Swede» Lordkipanidse. Former detainee disappeared at the ESMA, representative of the Cachito Fukman Militant Meeting (EMCF) and the Memory, Truth and Justice Meeting (EMVJ); Carlos Aznarez. Journalist and director of the Latin American Summary magazine; Eduardo “Negro” Soares. Lawyer and representative of the Guild Association of Lawyers of Argentina; Gabriel Solano. National leader of the Workers Party (PO) and CABA legislator of the FIT Unity; Julio Cesar Gambina. Economist, professor at the UBA and the national universities of Rosario and San Luis, and president of the Foundation for Social and Political Research (FISYP); Hernan Camarero. Historian, professor at the UBA and head of the Center for Historical Studies of Workers and the Left (CEHTI); Juan Carlos Capuro. Lawyer, director of the Center for Legal Action (CAJ), member of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH); Guillermo Pacagnini. Physician, leader of the Trade Union Association of Health Professionals of the Province of Buenos Aires (CICOP), the Trade Union Federation of Health Workers (FESINTRAS), the Plenary of Militant Unionism (PSC), the MST and Buenos Aires deputy elected for the FIT Unity; Gabriel “Mohsen” Ali. Sheikh, cleric of the Flores mosque, director of the House for the Diffusion of Islam and member of the Patria Institute; Clarissa Albertstein. Teacher and national leader of the MST in the FIT Unity; Tamara Miguelson. Teacher, graphic designer and member of the Ecosocialist Network-MST.
María del Carmen Verdú: “We assume this defense as our own”
Asked about the case, “Negra” Verdú told us the following: “Given the DAIA’s attempt to criminalize Alejandro Bodart for having expressed a just repudiation of the murder of a Palestinian press worker at the hands of the repressive forces of the State of Israel, we do not hesitate for a second in making ourselves available, both to assume the technical defense and to join the public condemnation and solidarity campaign for the acquittal of the comrade.
It is not, of course, the first time that this institution – which was more than happy to reward the infamous repressor and spy, Commissioner ‘Fino’ Palacios – has resorted to the judicial apparatus to persecute and stigmatize as ‘anti-Semite’ and accuse as a ‘discriminatory act’ any accusation or criticism made agaisnt the terrorist policy of the State of Israel. There are countless previous occasions, always with the infamous fallacy of equating the repudiation of human rights violations and war crimes that the State of Israel commits daily with acts inspired by racial or religious hatred.
For CORREPI, defending those who suffer any type of retaliation or persecution for political reasons is a matter of principle. As an anti-repression organization, assuming this defense as our own is simply doing what has to be done. We thank comrade Bodart and his party for the political confidence in our organization that is expressed by calling us to intervene.”