Palestinians salute the Movement for Black Lives emphasizing common struggle against racial oppression

Activism

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society that leads the global BDS movement, endorses the inspiring and liberating policy platform issued last week by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) with concrete policy demands for Black power, freedom and justice. We pledge to firmly and consistently stand in solidarity with our black sisters and brothers in the United States and around the world by supporting the demands and policy proposals in this platform.

The BDS movement is deeply inspired by the US Civil Rights Movement and the many struggles by Blacks and other people of color for racial and economic justice. Your refusal to stay silent in the face of massive and systemic state violence targeting black bodies and your resistance against repression and disenfranchisement in black communities are a source of inspiration to our own struggle against Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

From Florida to Ferguson to New York to Baltimore to Los Angeles to Minneapolis and beyond the unapologetic cry of “Black Lives Matter!” has shaken the system of racism and white supremacy that allows police to gun down black people with impunity, to cage black people in obscene numbers, and to systematically impoverish and degrade the black community as a whole.

The BNC has been honored to have met in Palestine with multiple solidarity delegations of leaders from Black Lives Matter, the Dream Defenders and other organizations within the Movement for Black Lives and has learned much from these interactions. The 2015 Black for Palestine statement shed a brilliant light on the organic relationship between the US’s domestic racial oppression and its racialized imperial oppression against people of color worldwide while sending a powerful message to all Palestinians about this movement’s commitment to solidarity with Palestinians and all oppressed people around the world.

We cannot thank the Movement for Black Lives enough for the powerful words of solidarity in the invest-divest section of the platform specifically endorsing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) measures against Israel’s occupation and apartheid in line with the 2005 Palestinian civil society call until all Palestinian human rights are respected.

We warmly welcome the Platform’s call for an end to US military aid to Israel and for the billions of dollars in military aid that currently enable Israel’s endless wars of aggression and what the prominent Israeli historian Ilan Pappe calls, “incremental genocide” in the “Gaza ghetto,” to be reinvested in education, health, employment, social programs, and the economic uplifting of communities of color in the U.S.

While the fastest growing Jewish group in the US, Jewish Voice for Peace, has endorsed the M4BL Platform in its entirety, predictably, anti-Palestinian groups in the U.S. that work to protect Israel’s regime of colonial oppression by ensuring the unconditional flow of billions in US taxpayers money denounced it loudly. The latter feel that the growing joint struggle between Blacks and Palestinians, which is evolving through sustained and long-term intersectional grassroots efforts among our two communities and supported by progressive Jewish communities, may threaten US support for Israeli apartheid.

This thinly-veiled racism of the “white moderate” reminds us of what Malcolm X once said:

“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.”

We in the BNC are honored to be listed as a resource in the Platform and will provide whatever support we can to the Movement for Black Lives. We will work with our partners in the U.S. and around the world to ensure stronger ties of solidarity between our movements and to mobilize the Palestine solidarity community in support of actions and policy recommendations of the Movement for Black Lives. We will work against anti-blackness wherever we find it, including within our own movement. And we will continue to say loudly and proudly those three words that in a just world would be completely uncontroversial but in the unjust world we live in have inspired a movement: Black Lives Matter!

Stephen Biko, the South African liberation leader who founded the Black Consciousness Movement wrote, “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” This M4BL Platform is an empowering policy platform that shows how to liberate the minds of the oppressed to achieve justice and liberation.

About Palestinian BDS National Committee

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. For more information, visit www.bdsmovement.net/BNC.

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15 Responses

  1. mcohen.
    August 9, 2016, 4:21 pm

    common folk fighting the good fight

  2. silamcuz
    August 10, 2016, 1:37 am

    Not only Palestinians who are identifying with the struggles of BLM, but also many Jews of Colour themselves, who are increasingly finding themselves as second or third class Jews within the Israeli caste system dominated by the white, Euro-Jews.

    We need to reach out to these Israelis and give them strength and an avenue for them to speak against racism within Israel, not towards the Arabs, but towards any non-white Jewish groups.

    We will never win this fight against Zionism until we realize that Jewish nationalism or ethnic pride is not the problem here. It’s white supremacy cunningly clothing itself in as a Jewish ethno-religious movement. Many Jews love their heritage, their faith, their culture and their scriptures without hating Palestinians or the concept of a unified nation of Palestine for people of all colour and faith. White Jews that founded Israel despised the Torah, resented their Jewish culture and ancestry, and were emotionally attached to their European identity.

    Israel and Zionism has quite a few Achilles heels internally, that we must ruthlessly attack and focus our energy on, apart from BDS of course. I’m talking about white European Zionists who had appropriated a 2000-year old religion to themselves and unashamedly discriminating against other Jews due to their deep sense of White Supremacism.

    We must reach out the Mizrahi Jews, the Yemenites, the Ethiopians, the Iraqis, the Moroccan Jews and bring them into our group of allies. They have been the victims of Zionism just as much as Palestinians and other national groups in the Middle East.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 10, 2016, 2:24 am

      Israel and Zionism has quite a few Achilles heels internally, that we must ruthlessly attack and focus our energy on, apart from BDS of course.

      of course… or not. btw, are you familiar with Smadar Lavie? israeli [Mizrahi] anthropologist and author of The Knafo Chronicles: Marching on Jerusalem With Israel’s Silent Majority, she’s written extensively about the Mizrahi plight in israel. here’s her bio >> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smadar_Lavie and here are some excerpts from my interview with her: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/10/smadar-lavies-lesson-on-global-neoliberal-restructuring-israeli-style/

      we also covered her most recent book, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/mizrahi-loyalty-smadar/#sthash.TdQvo584.dpuf the book is an anthropological study of a group of Mizrahi women written for foreigners/westerners:

      Lavie describes the demographics of Israel, the power structure, classism and sexism. She tells some of the history of political movements involving the ethnic majority in Israel (Mizrahi Jews), showing how the minority elite (Ashkenazi Jews) suppress political demands. She includes anthropological descriptions and statistics, describes reasons that the majority ethnic group leans politically to the right, and quotes from her diary, giving compelling testimony to the truly bureaucratic torture that impoverished single mothers must suffer in Israel.

      i highly recommend the The Knafo Chronicles.

      So you avoid me. You make valiant efforts to set yourselves apart from the regime as feminists and pacifists. How long can you keep your lies going? There’s a boycott going on. Academics and NGOs now document your compliance. Never mind that you have cultivated your precious Mizrahi and Palestinian academic pets.

      The Education Ministry may surveil your syllabi. But the Propaganda Ministry sends you across the Atlantic to universities that dare let students have an Israel Apartheid Week. The ministry pays your honoraria to entice their cash-strapped Mideast Centers to place you on their speakers’ lists (Traubmann, 2006). But you will not acknowledge that you are willing participants in the Nicer Face of Israel’s antiboycott campaign.

      You prattle on in English about transnational feminist alliances. With whom? Your donors? At your conferences abroad, when you schmooze with editors of academic journals to get your papers published? And for whom? Not moms in the ‘hoods. These mothers graduate from underfunded slum schools barely proficient in standard Hebrew. Proper English is not even on the menu. From the podium, you quote Frankenberg (1993), but do you ever contemplate creating a support group to undo your own intra-Jewish apartheid?

      “we must ruthlessly attack and focus our energy … apart from BDS of course”. yeah, of course.

      • silamcuz
        August 10, 2016, 4:32 am

        Thank you for introducing me to Smadar Levi and her body of work. I was not familiar with her before and I appreciate being able to get to know her and her work.

        However, it’s is ridiculous to think she is the only significant POC to be given a platform against Zionism on MW. There are literally thousands of highly accomplished, highly respected journalists, academics, political leaders, artists and poets originating from Middle Eastern ancestry that are anti-Zionist and pro-Palestine.

        And unlike many white progressives featured on MW, these folks have a greater self-interest in defeating Zionism and hence, are more potent in their activism and in building strategy. White progressives speaking on Zionism and Palestine will always provide an outsider-looking-in perspective that would not convey the sense of urgency and radicalism needed to bring about the liberation of Palestinians.

        If we are serious about hurting Zionism, we absolutely MUST provide a greater platform for voices from the non-white pro-Palestine community to reach the masses. We must help the victims to demand justice for themselves.

        In summary, we need more POC voices against Zionism published on MW.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 10, 2016, 4:19 pm

        However, it’s is ridiculous to think she is the only significant POC to be given a platform against Zionism on MW.

        yeah, it is — who is claiming this ridiculousness? certainly not me. what would you do without your strawmen sillyman? but hey, i noted your perfunctory “thank you” intro w/nary a reference to anything levi wrote (did you even bother to read The Knafo Chronicles or the other embeds?) it’s clear you threw her away like a wet towel instead of taking the opportunity to engage in a discussion without talking down to people as if your declarations/claims are some grand revelations. many of us (commenters) have been here for many many years (think — even before your university hasbara classes) and we’ve published many many articles by non whites. (ie: try scrolling up to the top of the page and reading the article — get it? not written by white people) why don’t you go start your own blog if you think you can do better. me, i communicate with non white contributors all the time. in fact, one of them from gaza is visiting me for 10 days at the end of the month. you are just making a fool of yourself when you spout about as if you know who we are.

      • Mooser
        August 10, 2016, 12:51 pm

        The great and powerful “Cuz” has spoken! I am the great and powerful “Cuz”. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, or his ISP number.

      • Mooser
        August 10, 2016, 5:36 pm

        “If we are serious about hurting Zionism” “Silamcuz”

        What you mean-um “we”? Why not you go read “about” page, and not wail about broken treaties that were never written?

      • silamcuz
        August 11, 2016, 6:21 am

        why don’t you go start your own blog if you think you can do better

        This is such a hostile stance to take, from my perspective at least. I always believed that we progressives are stronger united than we are separated and disjointed. In that spirit, we are all responsible for helping keep each other accountable and build each other up in order to construct a robust front against oppressive systems of power.

        Please understand that feedback and criticism is a form of love. I wouldn’t waste my time here if I didn’t love the community and love what it stands for. It is because of this great love for MW that I insist on the right to criticize it whenever I feel the need to.

      • Mooser
        August 11, 2016, 5:11 pm

        “This is such a hostile stance to take…”

        “Violence is a perfectly natural, God-given right… in any form and in any scale. I have yet to know of a better way than to set a person straight through a old-fashioned slap, which is infinitely more efficient and effective compared to modern liberal techniques of preaching and explaining morality, right and wrong etc. “Silamcuz” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/silamcuz/?keyword=slap#sthash.GtIomoUH.dpuf

        Yup, “Silamcuz” you are a real progressive. Besides, everybody is completely enslaved by their genes, remember?

        I am grateful you are only “criticizing” (you mean ‘trolling and ranting’, but let it pass) and haven’t decided to set us all straight with one of your powerful “good old-fashioned slaps”.

  3. Scott
    August 10, 2016, 9:56 am

    Can you still support justice for Palestine if you think BLM is mostly thuggish nonsense?

    • YoniFalic
      August 10, 2016, 10:33 am

      Scott needs to read Slavery by Another Name: The re-enslavement of black americans from the civil war to World War Two by Douglas A. Blackmon.

      There is a real and long-standing problem of US police treatment of American blacks. The dangerous police culture never vanished even if formal re-enslavement ceased, and there is good reason to argue that re-enslavement resumed during the Reagan administration.

      • Mooser
        August 10, 2016, 12:47 pm

        “Scott needs to read…”

        FWIW, I ad my recommend to yours, “Yoni”. It’s a great book.

        And I think I can add “Atlantaiconoclast’s” endorsement without even asking him. I mean, he’s an iconoclast, this is right up his alley

    • Mooser
      August 10, 2016, 12:15 pm

      “Can you still support justice for Palestine if you think BLM is mostly thuggish nonsense?”

      “Scott” if that is what you want to do, nobody will stop you.

    • Emory Riddle
      August 10, 2016, 3:53 pm

      If you think BLM is thuggish, or nonsensical, the chances you will support justice for Palestine are essentially nil.

  4. genesto
    August 10, 2016, 12:30 pm

    Looks like, just maybe, the rainbow coalition is finally starting to come to fruition. The power elite, though, is frightened to death of the notion of oppressed people everywhere coming together to fight their common foe, and will do anything and everything to try to stop it from happening.

    When oppressed white people finally get it and join the movement, it will be unstoppable!

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