In these times of militant and radical uprisings, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle stands in fervent solidarity and fights alongside the people of Palestine against Zionism and settler-colonialism. In the week leading up to the 73rd commemoration of the Nakba, ILPS US is resolute in its support of the Palestinian people and their liberation.
On May 2, Israel’s Supreme Court ordered 40 residents of Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, be removed from their homes, which would subsequently be given to Israeli settlers. This is a direct act of ethnic cleansing and is in violation of international law. As Palestinians took the streets to protest these awful and illegal evictions, the Israeli Police and settler militias attacked worshippers at Al-Aqsa with rubber bullets and stun grenades during the holiest week of the year for Muslims. During this siege, 300 people were injured, 200 of whom have been hospitalized, culminating in Israeli settlers shouting celebratory chants that encourage the ethnic cleansing and death of Palestinians. In this period, there was also the murder of 16 year old Saeed Odeh in Nablus, who was shot and denied medical care. The last few weeks of mounting violence from the Israeli forces are emblematic of the 73 years of oppression at the hands of Zionist settlers and European colonizers in the region.
Seventy three years ago on May 15th, Zionists enacted a mass expulsion of indigenous Palestinians from their land. In 1948, 700,000 people were violently removed from their homes in cities like Haifa and Safad. 20,000 Palestinians were brutally murdered as they fought to keep their ancestral land. Today, Palestinians around the world mark this day as al-Nakba — the catastrophe.
Just in the last few days of protests, 53 Palestinians were murdered by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Two Palestinians were murdered in Al-Lydd. 14 children are included in the death toll and we say their names in remembrance: Ibrahim Al-Masry (11), Yazan Al-Masry, Marwan Al-Masry (6), Ibrahim Abdullah Hassanien (14), Hussein Muneer Hamad (10), Mohamed Suleiman, Mohamed Obeid (11), Mohammed Saber Ibrahim Suleiman (16), and Baraa’ Wissam Al-Gharably (4).
This is the horrific reality of Zionist settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid. Since 1948, the Israeli government has effectively imprisoned Palestinians in their own homeland, stripped them of their rights, and murdered them with impunity.
This is not a simple two-sided conflict of differing views. We must choose either to side with the oppressor or the oppressed. As anti-imperialists living in the largest imperialist power in the world, we have a role to play in the liberation of Palestine. The struggle for liberation begins with solidarity with Palestine, and ends with tearing down imperialism.
Palestine may be physically far from us, but the support system to the fascist Israeli state is at our front door. In the United States, there are countless institutions that bolster apartheid — from the Jewish National Fund that helps settlers colonize Palestine, to Hewlett-Packard that provides computers and technology to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The United States continues to provide the Israeli government with over $3 billion a year in military aid. That’s money taken from our pockets to commit flagrant human rights abuses.
On this commemoration of the 73rd Nakba, we remember the lives lost to apartheid, and we uphold the martyrs who gave their lives for liberation. We recommit to supporting Palestinian organizations and individuals who center day in and day out the liberation of their homeland. Today and every day, we chant, “Long Live Palestine!”
End U.S. funding to Israel!
Hands Off Sheikh Jarrah!
From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!
Return All Ancestral Land to Palestinians!