Palestine solidarity conference, Australian Palestine Solidarity Network, Melbourne 27-29 January 2023

Kamal Fadel with members of the Australia Western Sahara Association provide conference attendees with information about Western Sahara

The representative of the Polisario Front in Australia, Kamal Fadel, participated in the Palestine solidarity conference held in Melbourne in January 2023.

The Palestine Solidarity Conference brought together a diverse range of people who are passionate about the Palestinian and Saharawi cause, and are interested in campaigning, organising, and advocating for the just causes. Over three days, participant engaged in workshops and plenaries, and explored avenues in which the movement can work together to achieve a bigger and more sustainable impact.

A workshop was organised on the striking similarities between the issue of Western Sahara and the Palestinian cause.

The workshop explored the historical background of the question of Western Sahara, its similarities with the Palestinian issue and how both Saharawis and Palestinian could cooperate to assist each other in their uphill struggles to achieve their legitimate rights and regain their freedom and dignity. Both Morocco and Israel have defied international legality and committed heinous crimes such as us torture, execution, arbitrary arrest, unlawful detention, enforced disappearance, and various forms of repression to control the populations that defy their occupations. Both regimes seem to get away with their crimes while the international community remains largely silent.

Western Sahara representative to Australia Kamal Fadel, who spoke during the workshop, highlighted that both Western Sahara and Palestine are occupied by foreign powers which transferred a huge number of settlers to occupy the land and create new facts on the ground in addition to building walls to cement their illegal occupations.

The Saharawi representative added that Morocco and Israel have worked together closely on military and intelligence matters, assassinations, and migration of Jews to Israel. The Sahrawi representative underlined the close cooperation that characterized the Moroccan regime’s relations with Israel in secret and in public over the past six decades, which included military and intelligence aspects, in addition to their cooperation in carrying out political assassinations particularly the role played Israel’s Mossad in the assassination of Moroccan opposition leader Mehdi Ben Barka in 1965.

The Saharawi representative stated that the Sahrawi and Palestinian peoples are subjected to the worst forms of injustice and tyranny, and that building separation walls and encouraging settlement are mere examples of what the occupying countries are pursuing to consolidate their illegal occupation, noting, however, that the Sahrawi and Palestinian people have shown their determination and defiance of the occupation by adopting the methods of intifadas to defy the illegal occupiers.

The workshop included a lengthy discussions in which the attendees asked questions and offered comments confirming the public’s support for the two just causes.

It should be noted that the Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) held an exhibition on the sidelines of the conference, which included books, publications and clothes to raise awareness of the Sahrawi cause.