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Friday, August 21, 2015

Black Solidarity With Palestine

Black Solidarity With Palestine

By Black For Palestine
August 21, 2015

On the anniversary of last summer’s Gaza massacre, in the 48th
year of Israeli occupation, the 67th year of Palestinians’ ongoing
Nakba (the Arabic word for Israel's ethnic cleansing)--and in the
fourth century of Black oppression in the present-day United States
--we, the undersigned Black activists, artists, scholars, writers,
and political prisoners offer this letter of reaffirmed solidarity
with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of
Palestine’s land and people.

We can neither forgive nor forget last summer’s violence.

We remain outraged at the brutality Israel unleashed on Gaza
through its siege by land, sea and air, and three military offensives
in six years.

We remain sickened by Israel’s targeting of homes, schools,
UN shelters, mosques, ambulances, and hospitals.

We remain heartbroken and repulsed by the number of
children Israel killed in an operation it called, “defensive.”

We reject Israel’s framing of itself as a victim.

Anyone who takes an honest look at the destruction to life and
property in Gaza can see Israel committed a one-sided slaughter.

With 100,000 people still homeless in Gaza, the massacre's effects
continue to devastate Gaza today and will for years to come.

Israel’s injustice and cruelty toward Palestinians is not limited to
Gaza and its problem is not with any particular Palestinian party.

The oppression of Palestinians extends throughout the occupied
territories, within Israel’s 1948 borders, and into neighboring countries.

The Israeli Occupation Forces continue to kill protesters—including
children—conduct night raids on civilians, hold hundreds of people
under indefinite detention, and demolish homes while expanding
illegal Jewish-only settlements.

Israeli politicians, including Benjamin Netanyahu, incite against
Palestinian citizens within Israel’s recognized borders, where over
50 laws discriminate against non-Jewish people.

Our support extends to those living under occupation and siege,
Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the 7 million Palestinian refugees
exiled in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.

The refugees’ right to return to their homeland in present-day
Israel is the most important aspect of justice for Palestinians.

Palestinian liberation represents an inherent threat to Israeli settler
colonialism and apartheid, an apparatus built and sustained on
ethnic cleansing, land theft, and the denial of Palestinian humanity
and sovereignty.

While we acknowledge that the apartheid configuration in
Israel/Palestine is unique from the United States (and South
Africa), we continue to see connections between the situation
of Palestinians and Black people.

Israel’s widespread use of detention and imprisonment against
Palestinians evokes the mass incarceration of Black people in the
US, including the political imprisonment of our own revolutionaries.

Soldiers, police, and courts justify lethal force against us
and our children who pose no imminent threat.

And while the US and Israel would continue to oppress us without
collaborating with each other, we have witnessed police and
soldiers from the two countries train side-by-side.

US and Israeli officials and media criminalize our existence, portray
violence against us as “isolated incidents,” and call our resistance,
“illegitimate” or “terrorism.”

These narratives ignore decades and centuries of anti-Palestinian
and anti-Black violence that have always been at the core of Israel
and the US.

We recognize the racism that characterizes Israel’s treatment of
Palestinians is also directed against others in the region, including
intolerance, police brutality, and violence against Israel’s African
population.

Israeli officials call asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea,
"infiltrators" and detain them in the desert, while the state has
sterilized Ethiopian Israelis without their knowledge or consent.

These issues call for unified action against anti-Blackness,
white supremacy, and Zionism.

We know Israel’s violence toward Palestinians would be impossible
without the US defending Israel on the world stage and funding its
violence with over $3 billion annually.

We call on the US government to end economic
and diplomatic aid to Israel.

We wholeheartedly endorse Palestinian civil society’s 2005 call for
Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and call on
Black and US institutions and organizations to do the same.

We urge people of conscience to recognize the struggle
for Palestinian liberation as a key matter of our time.

As the BDS movement grows, we offer G4S, the world’s largest
private security company, as a target for further joint struggle.

G4S harms thousands of Palestinian political prisoners illegally
held in Israel and hundreds of Black and brown youth held in its
privatized juvenile prisons in the US.

The corporation profits from incarceration and deportation
from the US and Palestine, to the UK, South Africa, and Australia.

We reject notions of, “security” that make any of our groups
unsafe and insist no one is free until all of us are.

We offer this statement first and foremost to Palestinians,
whose suffering does not go unnoticed and whose resistance
and resilience under racism and colonialism inspires us.

It is to Palestinians, as well as the Israeli and US governments,
that we declare our commitment to working through cultural,
economic, and political means to ensure Palestinian liberation
at the same time as we work towards our own.

We encourage activists to use this statement to advance solidarity
with Palestine and we also pressure our own Black political figures
to finally take action on this issue.

As we continue these transnational conversations and interactions,
we aim to sharpen our practice of joint struggle against capitalism,
colonialism, imperialism, and the various racisms embedded in and
around our societies.

Towards Liberation,

http://www.blackforpalestine.com/read-the-statement.html

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