Why the French Social Movement Should Support Palestine

Protest against the pension reform in France. (Photo: Roland Godefroy, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Claude Zurbach

For several weeks now, France has been undertaking large demonstrations against the proposed reform of the pension system.

With the proposed amendment, the retirement age would be raised from 62 to 64, and workers should contribute to the system for at least 43 years to qualify for a full pension and benefit from a minimum salary threshold of €1,200 (About $1,300 ) in the face of the years. month.

The reform is part of a series of measures implemented by successive governments over the years, between so-called right-wing and left-wing coalitions. The ultimate goal is to wage a frontal war on social and economic rights: health care system, unemployment benefits, family allowances, housing allowances, and so on.

In fact, all forms of social security have been called into question, opening new areas for privatization and forcing the use of private pension funds.

Meanwhile, the French government recently announced a budget of €400 billion (About $430 billion) for the military over the next six years.

The government’s move aims to ensure huge profits for the French military-industrial complex, with major consequences for French foreign policy.

The French constitution, which dates back to 1958, gives the president complete control over defense and foreign policy. This constitutional system is, in some ways, authoritarian since it reduces the power of the elected parliament. Now more than ever, the system does not reflect the expectations of French citizens.

With the current protests, it is clear to the French oligarchs that the workers have their own interests, which are in direct conflict with the interests that have dominated French society for a long time.

The radicalization of social movements, which often do not hesitate to attack the symbols of the state, is increasing. For example, buses of the ‘gendarmerie’, a body of the French army, were set on fire during a protest in the French department of Deux-Sevres in defense of the environment.

French President Emmanuel Macron has often used special constitutional powers to override parliament and pass the law. This move provoked and fueled a political crisis that Macron did not expect.

Apart from these decisions, which stretch the limits of constitutional legality, Macron is not represented. The only reason he was elected president for a second time was because he was running against a far right candidate. This pushed many to vote for her, albeit reluctantly.

No society in history can tolerate a prolonged lack of representation. It seems that French society is now reacting, despite the fierce repression by the police and the systematic displacement of the social movement in the mainstream media.

Moreover, the choice to open an internal front while waging war on Russia abroad is a great example of political blindness. It is more a creation of top-down impositions, enforced through the manipulation of institutions and the total interference of the mainstream media.

Perhaps French society has reached a breaking point as the social majority finally wants to impose its rights.

Any challenge to a fundamentally unjust and unequal economic and political order will only benefit the many struggles for justice at the international level, including the Palestinian struggle.

The latter has always been a model of fierce resistance against unjust and predatory military occupation. As such, he should receive massive spontaneous sympathy from all social movements around the world, including France.

– Claude Zurbach is the editor of Chronique de Palestine, the French version of the Palestine Chronicle website. A computer engineer by profession, he has been involved for many years in solidarity with the Palestinian national movement. There is his Twitter account https://twitter.com/ClaudeZurbach

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