Solidarity with Palestine, now and forever.

TW: genocide, killings, dehumanisation, violence

I’ve been struggling to find the words to truly encapsulate my thoughts and feelings in a way that genuinely reflects them, but that is also worth adding to the mass right now regarding the unfolding crisis in Gaza.

Why must Palestinians and those in support of Palestine now condemn the actions of Hamas,

while the Israeli Defence Force has been committing these very acts for decades?

Why must Palestinians and those in support of Palestine now condemn the dehumanisation and desecration of Israelis,

while the Israeli government calls for the ‘extermination’ and ‘annihilation’ of ‘human animals’?

Why must Palestinians and those in support of Palestine justify and qualify their right to resist,

while Israel’s right to defend its security includes the ongoing carpet bombing of civilian residences and infrastructure, the use of white phosphorous shells against civilians, the cutting off of water, food, electricity, and fuel, and the bombing of the singular path out of Gaza?

Why must Palestinians be pushed towards ‘peace talks’ and an unequal compromise in order to exist,

while the side with the power and capability to ensure a peaceful resolution refuses to do so, and has continually suppressed and killed Palestinians in peaceful resistance?

Why must we now call for the application of the Western international legal order for the breaches of human rights and war crimes by Hamas,

while Israel has refused to be bound by or held accountable under international law for its gross violations of the most fundamental human rights and peremptory norms?

Why do we not care about Palestinian suffering and Palestinian lives?

Any and all deaths are horrible. The killing of civilians, the desecration of lives and human dignity, of men, women, children by Hamas and the Israeli Defence Force – it is deplorable and unacceptable. But those critical of the historical and present violence by Israel against the Palestinian people, those standing with the Palestinian people, and the voices of the oppressed – the Palestinian people themselves – should not have to denounce Hamas every single time in order to justify their calls for solidarity with Palestine. It is yet again a vile double standard we apply to the oppressed but not to the oppressor.

The overwhelming majority of Europe and the Global North raise the incomprehensible ‘right of Israel to defend its security’ yet have continually closed a blind eye to, if not enabled, the decades of persecution, subjugation, oppression, and subordination of Palestine and the Palestinian people by Israel.

The unfolding crisis is not a conflict between two parties. It is indefensible to term this a conflict when one party is an imperialistic global power and occupier, and the other an oppressed and occupied de facto stateless peoples. It is the culmination of decades of oppression of Palestine by Israel – a colonial, apartheid regime engaged in aggressive settler-colonialism and decades of desecration, torture, and mass murder of Palestinian civilians. Decades of oppression that has increasingly pushed a minority of Palestinians towards militant extremism as their resistance.

While we stress that this minority of Palestinians, mobilising through Hamas, PFLP, DFLP, Lions’ Den and other militant groups, do not represent the Palestinian people, this distinction falls on deaf ears to the Israeli government. The militant resistance has brought with it a senseless and disproportionate retaliation by Israel towards all of the people in Gaza that is now leading towards the settler-colonial state-sanctioned genocide of Palestinians, funded and supported by the Global North, and forcing the unthinkable question each day:

Will Gazans wake up to another tomorrow or be forced to the remnants of history?

Yet again, as it always is, ‘human rights for me, not for thee’ goes the Global North modus operandi. The core preaches of its values of human rights, of human dignity, of democracy, yet watches with glee as the periphery perishes. The liberal Western legal order is but a façade for an oppressive, racist, imperialist core.

A status quo that remains unchallenged by even the most progressive politicians, activists, and civil society in Europe. After years of alleged prioritisation of intersectionality, racial justice, and antiracism; of anti-imperialism, decoloniality, and Global South solidarity; of platforming voices and listening to the marginalised; of unpacking and addressing historical violence and injustice; of system change – has this all merely been performative?

Palestinian history is erased; Palestinian voices are ignored or silenced; Palestinian liberation is conditioned or derided; Palestinian livelihood, environments, and communities are destroyed; and Palestinian lives are terminated.

There are many vocal and steadfast anti-Zionist Israelis and progressive Western civil society standing up against the roots of this crisis, we applaud and need their voices too, yet they remain but a minority. To truly strive for a free Palestine, for a solidary global decolonial project, the Global North needs to look inwards and challenge its values and beliefs to truly speak truth to power.

So to the Israelis supporting the apartheid regime or choosing to remain silent on Zionism and on the injustices committed by the Israeli state and its apparatus,

to the Western politician stressing Israel’s ‘right to defend its security’ and fuelling Israel’s murderous retaliation,

to the liberal activist’s reductive ‘both sides’ argument equating Palestine with Israel and calling for ‘ceasefires’ and ‘peace talks’ while Israel continually disregards the agreements made in them,

I ask again,

Why do we not care about Palestinian suffering and Palestinian lives?

From the river to the sea, now and forever, I hope Palestine to be free.