Activists protest National Museum of Mexican Art’s complicity with Israel
Tuesday night approximately thirty people from the Latino, Palestinian, and Jewish communities gathered outside of the National Museum of Mexican Art to protest the museum’s cooperation with the American Jewish Committee (a Zionist organization with ties to Israel).
The protest was organized by Justicia en Ayotzinapa Comité Chicago, a group supporting the struggle of 43 students who were disappeared by the Mexican government and drug cartels. Also in attendance were members from MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanos de Aztlán) and Students for Justice in Palestine from various schools throughout the city.
While the event centered on the experience of Jewish people in Mexico, the activists said that they were protesting the fact that the event was sponsored by a vehemently Zionist and pro-Israel group, not the event itself. A member of the Comité also stated that the Museum received funds from the American Jewish Committee and that this type of influence leads to a lack of accountability to the community that the museum claims to represent.
The event showed how much Latinos and Palestinians have in common, many of the speakers connected the occupation of Palestine with U.S. imperialism in Latin America pointing out how U.S. aid to Israel closely resembles the way that U.S. aid is being sent to corrupt and violent governments in Latin America like the Mexican and Honduran governments, both of which have histories of human rights violations.
Ironically Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump also made a connectionbetween Palestine and Mexico at Tuesday night’s Presidential debate when he said “if you think border walls don’t work, ask Israel”. This follows his racist comments about Mexicans earlier this year, comments that closely resemble the way many Israeli and U.S. politicians talk about Palestinians.
The connection between militarization in Palestine and the U.S.-Mexico border has also been brought up by Latino activists before, with some of the technology being used on the border being tested on Palestinians before it is marketed towards the U.S. government.