The war in Gaza reminds Vietnam of the struggle for freedom it shared with Palestine | Israel War on Gaza News

Hanoi, Vietnam – In a private space in a small alley in the center of Hanoi, a group of more than 20 people listened with rapt attention to Saleem Hammad, a 30-year-old Palestinian, as he spoke fluent Vietnamese.

Hammad, who runs a business in Vietnam, shared an experience from his childhood in Jenin in the West Bank.

Those present listened as he vividly described being awakened one night when Israeli soldiers surrounded and attacked his family.

Earlier, he had told those who attended the meeting that the history of Vietnam fighting for freedom against the United States he mobilized the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation of their lands.

“The Vietnamese people, with a painful and glorious history, have been supporting the Palestinian people in our struggle for justice,” Hammad told his audience.

“We always look to you as an example.”

He was horrified by Israel’s war on Gaza and the number of deaths, especially young Vietnamese have started to raise their voices in support of the Palestinians. In doing so, he discovers the ties between Vietnam and Palestine and the wars they shared to liberate the country.

But the long-standing relationship between the two countries has been overshadowed by the recent promotion of Israeli business culture to the younger generation of Vietnamese.

Focusing on the success of Vietnam’s fast-growing free economy, many were inspired by Israel’s culture of entrepreneurship while knowing little about the dark side of Israel’s success in terms of its long-term occupation of Palestine.

At a conference organized late last year by Palestinian activists Trinh* and Vuong*, Hammad’s speech was inspired by the student activism the two experienced while studying in the US.

Trinh and Vuong are part of a growing movement among Vietnamese youth who have been drawn to the Palestinian cause since the Gaza conflict began in October.

But Vietnam’s strict policy against public and political gatherings means that Palestinian activists must come up with cheap and creative ways to organize events without attracting the attention of Vietnamese authorities.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Trinh and other friends organized talks about Palestine and art classes with a Palestinian theme. A designer by training, Trinh has also worked with fellow designers to create Palestinian legal, political and magical art.

Vietnamese youth develop skills to support Palestine [Courtesy of Tu Ly]

In November, a screening of documents and films on Palestine, the Nakba and the history of the Israeli occupation of Palestine was held under the title Films for Liberation: Palestine Forever with the aim, according to the organizers, to end the “demonization of Palestinians” by “Western and imperialist” theater.

On the social network, many sites that love the Vietnamese language have emerged with translated Palestinian poems, official Palestinian art and analyzing the history of the war where the Palestinian ambassador in Vietnam called the veterans of the war against the US, students. , activists and people at a memorial service for those killed in Gaza.

On November 29, which is the day of the United Nations known as International Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Vietnamese government also published a message from then President Vo Van Thuong where he spoke about the long history of relations between Vietnam and Palestine and “Vietnam’s. strong support and solidarity with the Palestinian people in the struggle for justice.”

But the relationship between Vietnam and Palestine is not what it used to be.

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