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LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

Mexican Solidarity with Palestine

from the Dec. 15, 2021 Bulletin

international solidarity

The Mexico City-born activist and scholar Aracely Cortés-Galán has been organizing support in México for the people of Palestine for some 20 years now. As a feminist, she’s been particularly interested in the role of women in resistance movements. In a 2019 book, Cortés-Galán explores how Israel’s involvement in the militarization of México has contributed to deaths in her own country.


What does the Palestinian solidarity movement in México look like and how did it get started?


Aracely Cortés-Galán: Support for Palestine centers around the Coordinadora de Solidaridad con Palestina, CORSOPAL, a group working to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine and help Palestine become an independent state.

I became a student activist in 1985 after the government in México gave a horribly inadequate response to a major earthquake. The only silver lining: The government’s poor response sparked all sorts of militant action. From the student movement, I graduated to socialism and internationalism. I worked on solidarity with Cuba, opposition to the Gulf War, and learned that Israel was intervening on the wrong side of struggles in South Africa, Argentina, and many other parts of the world. And that road led me, and many others, to Palestine. CORSOPAL started up in 2000.


In the United States, a powerful pro-Israel lobby has kept US government policy totally in Israel’s corner. Who is supporting Israel in México?


Three kinds of groups. First, those with direct connections to the Israeli Embassy. These include private companies doing business in Israel, but also, for the last 40 years, the previous PRI/PAN governments that bought arms from Israel and received military training and support dealing with narco-trafficking and security issues.


Second, the right-wing media, and third, the ultra-conservative PAN party. In the legislature now, both Morena and PRI deputies are taking a neutral stance. They’re not explicitly pro-Palestine independence, but they’re also not justifying Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.


In the US, many Jewish people have joined the Palestinian Solidarity movement, and the Black Lives Matter movement has also shown strong support for Palestinians. Who’s allying with the Palestinians in México?


After World War II, México saw an influx of Jewish refugees. Their grandchildren now generally tend to be conservative. Few tend to be progressives, but the mayor of México City, Claudia Scheinbaum, rates as one of them. She’s issued a strong solidarity statement.


México has only a tiny Moslem population. Because indigenous people have also suffered repression, violence, and the theft of their land, the Coordinadora has supporters in Oaxaca and among the Zapatistas. But our main base of support comes from the big cities and some labor organizations like the electrical workers union.


In October, the Mexican government gave a strong statement before the UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlements in Gaza and human rights violations against Palestinians. What more do you want the Mexican government to do?


The AMLO government has given a public condemnation, but the government’s basic relationship with Israel hasn’t changed. We want the government to support an independent Palestinian state and stop buying arms and getting military training from Israel. And we want Mexican companies like Cemex — the multinational Cemento de México that expresses tacit support for the settlements out of the occupied territories.

How are you demonstrating solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle?


To get people to pay attention to international issues requires information and education. We host educational events at universities like UNAM and in other community venues. We wage media campaigns in the newspapers and through social media. We demonstrate. We support the international BDS — Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions — movement.

At bottom, we see this as a moral issue, an ongoing battle between the power of money and the power of the people.