Palestine Is In The Midst Of A Humanitarian Crisis. Here’s Exactly What’s Happening.
Photo by Thabo Jaiyesimi/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Over the last two weeks, we have seen state sanctioned violence increase in Palestine. With reports of censorshipgenocide and nonstop bombings from Israel, it is critical that we stand up and pay attention. 

In Palestine, the recent settler violence in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem and Israel’s continuous bombings of Gaza is evidence of an on-going colonial project. Since the creation of Israel in 1948, Palestinians have been resisting displacement, ethnic cleansing and Zionism on the land they have cultivated over the course of centuries. Make no mistake, this is not a conflict between “two equal sides,” or an “ancient religious dispute,” as media and government officials would like us to believe.

In 2009, the United Nations investigated Israel, coming to the conclusion that the country was committing war crimes against Palestinians. This is a reality that the United States is complicit in creating, as this occupation is sanctioned and funded by the U.S. government. In a 2016 agreement, it was decided that the U.S. would aide Israel by granting the country $38 billion over the course of a decade ($3.8 billion yearly), helping to make the country’s military one of the most powerful in the world.

Palestinians’ fight for dignity and respect, in the midst of U.S. interference in their governance, means all of our lives are on the line. We know that our struggles for an end to policing of all forms, a livable wage, and the destruction of racial capitalism are intertwined with other global plights.  This is evidenced by how the US and Israeli police forces collaborate and train to more effectively surveil, harass and kill our people, and how the U.S. has used our tax dollars to support wars and genocidal efforts in Palestine, Colombia and beyond. Furthermore, our tax paying dollars are being used to undermine movements and people committed to freedom instead of to the immediate health, education, and financial needs of our communities. 

Black liberation movements, such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Arts Movement, worked with Palestinian organizers in the fight for a free future. Additionally, longtime radicals, like Angela Davis have spoken out about the need for Palestine to be a free country that is uninhibited by oppressors. “Palestinian activists have long supported the Black people’s struggle against racism,” Angela Davis said during a Democracy Now! special during the summer of 2020. “When I was in jail, solidarity coming from Palestine was a major source of courage for me. In Ferguson, Palestinians were the first to express international solidarity…We have a profound responsibility to support Palestinian struggles.”

Read ESSENCE Girls United’s piece on what Angela Davis has taught us.

The global tirade of white supremacy must end. Our lives depend on it. The world where we get to live in our full humanity, dignity and without fear is within reach, and we can get there when we take action together. 

In this time, when police departments, corporations and many public institutions receive funding from Israeli lobbying groups, it is difficult to get accurate information on the needs of people on the ground. So, we’re sharing what you can do to help in this moment.  

1. Take to the streets this Saturday to protest the occupation and bombings of Palestine. Find an action in your city/town here. 

2. Uplift the stories of resistance of Palestinians. There is an intentional effort to censor what is happening on the ground. We must let the world see. Follow the hashtags #SheikhJarrah #SOSColombia #FreePalestine to stay informed.

3. Call your congress representatives to pass H.R 2590, a bill that stops U.S conditional aid to Israel that is being used to support seizure of Palestinian land. 

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