‘Ebony’ article explores ‘Why Black People Must Stand With Palestine’

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Kristian Davis Bailey

Ebony has published an excellent article by Kristian Davis Bailey, Why Black People Must Stand With Palestine. Bailey, a journalist an editor for Stanford’s The Daily, has written numerous articles about Palestine in the past. But this article encapsulates much of his past coverage and is a must read. 

Be sure to open Bailey links, especially the video he took while traveling with an Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) group last summer. Their tour guide, Issa, attempts to walk them down Shuhada Street but is prevented by the soldiers; “I felt like I was watching some dystopic mashup of the pass laws Blacks faced in apartheid South Africa and the cruel humiliation of the Jim Crow South.”

Here’s an excerpt:

I learned how the police brutality African Americans and other minorities face in the US is directly tied to violence in Palestine. Since 2001, thousands of top police officials from cities across the US have gone to Israel for training alongside its military or have participated in joint exercises here……. Our governments literally share resources and tactics with each other that directly harm our respective communities.

The experiences of African Americans and Palestinians with systemic mass incarceration are also strikingly similar.

I had heard story after story about how the Israeli military had used the “security threat” argument to justify the closing of Shuhada Street, shooting tear gas into a house full of women and children, barring my Palestinian-American friend from re-entering the country to continue her study abroad. Palestinians, Blacks and other groups in colonialist countries are “security threats” by our very existence of surviving under systems that seek to destroy us.

What is “safety” when the thing people are safe from is us? Who is looking out to protect the lives of Fadi or Trayvon? Why do our societies dismiss our narratives? And when our tax dollars fund the police and military systems that kill our communities here and abroad, what can we do to claim safety and protection for ourselves?

To me, our hope for this century may come from joint solidarity with marginalized people all over the world. Palestinians appeal not to the government that occupies and oppresses them, but to international bodies and universal principles of human rights for freedom. Similar to the Palestinians’ call for people of conscience to boycott and divest from companies that support their oppression, we might call on people abroad to pressure an end to “the New Jim Crow”—mass incarceration…….

…….Most of us know very little about the Palestinian struggle and mainstream Palestinian society seemed to think everything is okay in terms of race in the United States today. In our separation, both of our relative struggles as Blacks and Palestinians remain ignored by the larger society. The time is ripe to rebuild those connections. Strong Black solidarity with the Palestinian struggle seems necessary and urgent. We must work together to address the effects of money, policing and militarism here and in Israel/Palestine.

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Yes, about time for this! What’s wrong with the Black Caucus in Congress?

This is what it is all about, solidarity between communities that face the same structural injustices. Bravo to Kristian Davis Bailey for helping to bridge the divide. Last year, Michelle Alexander wrote an amazing article also highlighting this same theme: Breaking My Silence – For years I have written about… Read more »

former JVP writer explains what a One State solution MUST look like: “I have nothing against a one-state outcome in principle; as long as that one state guarantees it will always offer safe sanctuary to Jews fleeing persecution– the kind that didn’t exist in World War II ” asymmetric right… Read more »

@ adele

“Let’s keep on connecting the dots and building bridges of solidarity!”

Agreed, adele. They can’t conquer if we don’t allow them to divide.

Connecting the dots…so important