Samidoun leader slams Israeli ‘terrorist designation’ of Palestinian prisoner solidarity group
Minneapolis, MN – Responding to Israeli Minister of Defense Gantz’s February 28 terrorist designation of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Charlotte Kates, International Coordinator of Samidoun, stated, “Israel – the Zionist state, is attempting to criminalize and label as terrorist any and all advocacy for the Palestinian political prisoners and the Palestinian people.”
The Israeli government claims the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is connected to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist group that is helping to spearhead opposition to the occupation of Palestine.
Speaking of the designation, Kates says, “This comes as no surprise, as there is a lengthy history of Israeli attacks and repression, with the complicity of imperialist powers, against Palestinian and Palestine solidarity movements and organizations, including imprisonment, assassination and criminalization.”
Kates continued, “We see this designation as an attempt to suppress the growing international solidarity movement with Palestinian political prisoners, including the recent launch of the campaign to free imprisoned Palestinian students with over 300 endorsing organizations. As Israel commits extrajudicial killings, home demolitions, arbitrary imprisonment, military occupation, settler colonialism, a bloody siege on Gaza and the denial of Palestinians' right to return home for 72 years, it has the audacity to deem Samidoun a ‘terrorist’ organization for engaging in public advocacy, demonstrations and international mobilization in defense of Palestinian rights and liberation.”
In the U.S. the label of terrorist is also been used against progressives. Material support for terrorism laws have been employed to criminalize solidary with Palestine, notably in the massive 2010 FBI raids on anti-war and international solidarity activists.
The U.S continues to call most of the organizations that are fighting for the Palestinian freedom terrorist, and the State Department has put the terrorism tag on many organizations that are fighting for national liberation, including those of Colombia, Lebanon and the Philippines.