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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #308 - International, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah: a Lebanese revolutionary in the chain since 1984 (de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sun, 25 Oct 2020 09:47:09 +0200

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, Lebanese communist activist and fighter for a free and democratic Palestine, has been imprisoned in France since 1984. Releasable since 1999, his continued detention is a matter of state revenge and the maintenance of the imperialist interests of France, of the states -United and Israel. --- During the civil war in Lebanon 40 years ago, the Palestinians represented a revolutionary hope for all the peoples of the region. The Palestinian refugee camps in the country are bubbling with this hope. Israeli troops will then invade Lebanon twice (1978 and 1982) to expel the Palestinians, causing tens of thousands of deaths and terrible destruction. At the same time, Western troops (France and the United States) landed in Beirut in 1982 and tried to impose a puppet regime led by the phalangists, allies of Israel.

During the civil war in Lebanon, Israeli troops invaded the country and Western troops attempted to impose a puppet regime led by the Phalangists.
In resistance to these invasions, the Lebanese Communists are fighting alongside the Palestinian resistance. A group, the Lebanese Revolutionary Armed Fractions (FARL), decides to take the war outside. He claims, in 1982, the execution in Paris of a member of the Mossad and a member of the CIA. Accusing the FARL of terrorism recalls the Red Poster where the resistance members of the Manouchian group (of which the father of the author of these lines was a member) were described as "the Army of crime" .

When one meets Georges Ibrahim Abdallah in the prison of Lannemezan (Hautes-Pyrénées), he is always both whole and of great modesty. He is uncompromising on the legitimacy of his commitment: "I must not say that I am innocent" . Any hope for the authorities that he "renounces" is absurd.

Arrested in Lyon in 1984 for possession of false papers, he will justify the action of the FARL during his trial. The prefect Yves Bonnet at the origin of his arrest and who then headed the DST, does not hesitate to say today that Georges is not guilty of what he was condemned for and that the evidence has been fabricated. Georges will be condemned for "complicity in murder" ... to life imprisonment.

Arrested in Lyon in 1984 for possession of false papers, he will justify the action of the FARL during his trial. Prefect Yves Bonnet at the origin of his arrest and who then headed the DST, does not hesitate to say today that Georges is not guilty and that the evidence has been fabricated.
A release that should have already taken place
The perpetrators of attacks in France linked to Iran or Hezbollah at the end of the 1980s will be quickly released or exchanged. In Lebanon, after 1990, all warlords with bloody hands will be cleared or amnestied and will share power. But when one is called "Abdallah", one is necessarily an "Islamist terrorist". In this secure France and leading an imperialist policy, Georges, who is a Marxist-Leninist born into a Christian family, will pay a heavy price.

Our leaders repeat over and over again the words "Rule of law", "Republic", "human rights", terms which they never cease to empty of their meaning. What our police and legal system will inflict on Georges is astounding: a life sentence for complicity in terrorism when the victims are members of the secret services of foreign countries regularly guilty of state terrorism. Whoever had him arrested explains that the evidence was fabricated. His first lawyer admits having been recruited by the French secret services.

However, there will be no new trial. Since 1999, Georges has been "released" since real life imprisonment does not exist in France. But this liberation will never take place. Justice will however pronounce this release on several occasions. In 2012, all of progressive Lebanon rushed to the airport to welcome him since liberation was accompanied by deportation. But nothing will happen. The governments of Israel and the United States (through Hillary Clinton) demand that France continue to be detained. And among the French leaders, it is the ineffable Manuel Valls, then Minister of the Interior, who will refuse to sign the release and expulsion.

Since then, Georges refuses the humiliation of asking for his release once again. In torn and bankrupt Lebanon, Georges is no longer a subject of conflict. President Michel Aoun has officially requested his release and deportation. The Lebanese Ambassador visited Georges in Lannemezan. But nothing helps. As Georges explains himself: "Lebanon is a small country, decisions are made elsewhere" . And France, which is trying to criminalize anti-Zionism and the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign against the State of Israel, behaves like a valuable ally of Netanyahu by treating George as the main Palestinian leaders are treated.

The activist and his humanity
We do not come out of a meeting with Georges unscathed. While it is he who fights, day after day, the slow destruction inflicted by the eternal prison, he remains the revolutionary militant of his youth. There are two dangers in prison, he insists: not keeping your mental integrity and believing yourself to be the center of the world. He was able to avoid these two pitfalls.

In the prison, he established excellent relations with his fellow prisoners, in particular the Basque separatist activists of the ETA, also sentenced to very long sentences. He is respected by his guardians. He keeps himself constantly informed through newspapers, radio or television. He sometimes gets up in the middle of the night to listen to Sudanese radio which is not very scrambled at that time. He speaks little of himself, but the dialogue with visitors allows him to refine his ideas on the state of the Arab world, the limits of the Arab Spring, Palestine, the Sudanese revolution, the class struggle, the yellow vests, the revolution. Despite everything he goes through, he remains very optimistic.

When the Palestinian prisoners go on a hunger strike against their conditions of detention, Georges calls one out of solidarity. When a demonstration or a rally for his release takes place, Georges has a message read. Not to lament, but to analyze the situation and give leads. (When the Raid landed violently at the author of these lines on June 9, 2015 following the hacking of his telephone line by a far-right Zionist, one of the first messages of solidarity that I received came from Georges. He explained to him that the Zionists and the French state did not miss the wrong target, since it supports the Palestinian cause.

On Palestine, which is at the heart of his commitment (he joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine very early on), Georges has very internationalist views. He can be very critical, vis-à-vis the Palestinian bourgeoisie and Arafat. Georges denounces the capitulations, the departure of the PLO from Lebanon, the Oslo accords. He shares the idea that after the defeat of Zionism, the inhabitants of the region will have to live together with the same rights. He is very appreciative of what the French Jewish Union for Peace (UJFP) is doing, which shatters community clichés and brings concrete solidarity to the peasants of Gaza.

Every year, on October 24, around 500 people demonstrate in Lannemezan for his release. It is significant but it is too little. Whether you are revolutionary, for the rights of the Palestinian people or quite simply for fundamental human rights, you must be there and there will have to be many more and more numerous next October. For now, the far left is by far the main component of the movement for his liberation. Georges receives an increasing number of visitors. There are now, in addition to the Lebanese ambassador, some elected officials (PCF, France Insoumise). In Lebanon, demonstrations are held in front of the French embassy. Two films and a book will be released very soon. Fedayeen, produced by members of the Palestine Vaincra de Toulouse committee, retraces Georges' journey from his village in North Lebanon until his arrest. Several interviews allow us to understand how this incredible scandal is perpetuated.

Strengthen solidarity
Pierre Carles wrote in Le Monde diplomatique in August an article "Terrorist one day, always terrorist? » And he completes a film entitled Who wants Georges Ibrahim Abdallah in jail ? Saïd Bouamama will soon publish a book entitled The Georges Ibrahim Abdallah Affair. It's time to get moving so that he finally comes out.

Pierre Stambul (French Jewish Union for Peace)

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