“The Palestinian people will never surrender. We will win in the end,” Shamikh Badra, youth and students coordinator for the Palestinian People's Party in the Gaza Strip, told a public forum in the Resistance Centre on August 14. The forum was sponsored by Socialist Alliance and Resistance.
He passed around graphic photos of Israeli military attacks on Gaza to the audience. The photos showed “the war crimes of Israel; how the Palestinian people suffer from the Israeli occupation”. He asked: “Where is the rule of international humanitarian law in this.”
Badra said: “Gaza is more than an open jail; it is an example of genocide against a people. The Israeli government is destroying the homes and farms of the Palestinians, and leaving children without fathers, without families.
“In the West Bank, the Apartheid Wall separates families, farms, homes — even divides single houses in two. The peace process cannot succeed unless it recognises genuine Palestinian rights — an independent state based on realistic borders.
“But, with your support, the Israeli occupation will be defeated. We have many friends around the world. What we need from our friends is to build and expand the BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] campaign.
“We need solidarity visits to Palestine to see the truth about the occupation and our reality. I hope to see you in Palestine. I invite you all to meet us in Gaza and the West Bank, to see for yourselves the truth about Israeli war crimes and oppression.”
A lively discussion followed Badra’s talk, covering many aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the divisions within the Palestinian movement and the rise of democratic struggles throughout the Arab world.
“We in Palestine are in the forefront of the worldwide confrontation between imperialism and the people, not just between Israel and Palestine,” Badra concluded. “We in the progressive movement need to co-ordinate our struggles, and develop mutual solidarity on an international scale.”
On August 15, Badra spoke at a University of Sydney forum sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine and Resistance. About 20 people heard Badra and Michael Coleman — a member of the Gaza Flotilla 2011 and an organiser of the Gaza's Ark Project, — discuss Israel’s blockade of Gaza and the struggle to lift the siege.
Badra told the meeting: “Boycott Israeli products, isolate the Israeli regime. We need an independent Palestinian state, with full international recognition. Our situation is very difficult, but with your help and solidarity, we can win. The example of South Africa shows that an international campaign against Israel can be successful.”