On Saturday, January 23, Arab personalities including artists, politicians, and activists, represented their communities in the UK and elsewhere to respond online to a call from the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB), which held an online event titled “Palestine is my case and normalization is treason."
They denounced the normalization agreements that several Arab States have signed with the Israeli occupation in the past a few months.
The London-based Hafez al-Karmi, head of the PFB, personally choose to title the event as “Palestine is a trust and normalization is betrayal,” adding that to surrender Palestine, through normalization with the aggressive occupation, is to betray this trust.
“Normalization means building various relations with the [Israeli occupation] or its representatives in a manner that requires recognition of their right to the seizure and dispossession of the land of Palestine and the desecration of the sanctities of Islam,” he said, adding that resisting normalization is consistent with the divine laws, customs and international laws, that call for boycotting the occupier, resisting the oppressor, and supporting the oppressed.
Resisting normalization is, thus, consistent with the nation’s strategy for liberating the occupied land, he said.
From Palestine, Jerusalem, activist Hanadi al-Halawani highlighted the importance of joining efforts against normalization and necessitated that parties to the agreements be exposed as supporters of shedding the blood of Jerusalemites, who are paying their lives and money to challenge the occupation and protect the sacred lands.
From Canada, the Syrian artist Yahya Hawwa presented paintings that protest normalization and express solidarity with the people of Gaza.
Lana al-Sumaidaie spoke on behalf of the Iraqi community. She said that her people reject to shake hands with builders of separation walls that besiege Palestinians.
You cannot give the right to someone who simply does not have it, and this is anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitism, she added.
For his part, Ahmed al-Shaiba al-Nuaimi, Secretary-General of the Anti Normalization League, called on people to boycott and isolate, in the media and economically, those who opted for normalization.
He stressed the fundamental role of the family, for parents have to implant the Palestinian issue in the hearts of their children, especially with the Palestinian cause’s absence from educational curricula.
"We must maintain our optimism, confidence in victory, which is optimism we derive from the Palestinian people themselves,” said Muhammad Kuzbar, head of the Lebanese Community Association in Britain, expressing his joy over participating in an event relating to a priority issue, such as the Palestinian cause.
The Palestinian issue must be supported despite the plots, challenges and tragedies that the Arab and Islamic world suffer from today, he added.
From Kuwait, the activist Haya al-Shatti emphasized Kuwaiti people’s stand against normalization and the growing awareness of the Palestinian issue and the dangers of normalization.
Lamia Allawi, on behalf of the Syrian community in Britain, spoke of rejecting normalization because it is a denial of all human rights and the right of the Palestinian people to their land.
“The normalization project has been in development in secret for several years on a political, commercial and popular level; some of it declared and some of it kept a secret,” said Muhammad Soudan, from the Egyptian League in Britain, confirming the failure of normalization, especially at the popular level.
“Whoever supports normalization is a traitor and will pursue the shame of normalization in their life and after their death,” he added.
The Moroccan artist Abdellatif Fadlallah also participated through a song, parts of which referred to the states who signed the normalization deals, saying: “You harvesters of shame, O sellers of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.”
Mona Douglas, the moderator of the event, thanked the attendees and the participants on social media platforms for their interaction, hoping that the next one would be in Palestine, freed from occupation.
“No peace treaties will change history and places. They will not be able to erase your name from our hearts, O Qiblat Al Mada'in (in reference to Jerusalem),” she concluded.