London gets too much credit. Whenever right-wing Israel advocates complain about hotbeds of Palestinian solidarity politics, they look no further. Perhaps its because the British capital is guilty as charged. Or maybe it’s due to a fear of finding out how widespread support for the Palestinian cause actually is, throughout western Europe.
Italy is a great example. Visit any of the major cities in the north, and you’ll see a surprising amount of solidarity flyers and graffiti posted by local activists. Genoa, Milan, Turin, even Venice, all boast their fare share of anti-occupation messaging. With good reason. For decades, support for the Palestinians has been commonplace on the Italian left.
The flyer below, was photographed in Genoa. Advertising an event commemorating the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, it’s as good example of the kinds of solidarity literature one will encounter in Italy. As per the lead photo (shot next to the flyer,) sympathy for the Palestinians does not occur in a vacuum. It’s part of a broader set of political concerns shared by local progressives.
WAR AND CAPITAL:
TUNISIA, EGYPT, LIBYA, SYRIA
Between popular revolts and imperialist war. Towards a global war?
Emilio Quadrelli (essayist)
Francesco Piccioni (journalist)
(UDAP – Palestinian Arab Democratic Union)
Communist Association Old Town Centre
Genoa Student Union
On 15th and 16th of September, 1982 the Israeli army slaughtered thousands of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Chatila [refugee camps] in Lebanon. Palestinians are a people without a State, oppressed by Israel and by world imperialist powers. Also this year, we want to remember the massacre of Palestinian people. We’ll do it by analyzing the situation of the Middle East regionally, [as it has been] upset by rebellions, counter-revolutions, [and] wars. From Tunisia to Egypt, from Libya to Syria, the wind of rebellion must deal with the ambitions of imperialism, which, after the Libyan war, in Syria, is ready to provoke a conflict that may spread. Does the crisis of capitalism lead to imperialist war? What role can the anti-war movement, revolutionists, and communists play?
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21st, Starting at 3.30 PM
Genoa, Old Town Centre
At the end, dinner, [featuring] typical Palestinian and Middle Eastern dishes
Translated from the Italian by Giulia Pace. Photographs courtesy of Jennifer Crakow and Joel Schalit.