The confluence of George Floyd’s murder with the coronavirus pandemic has made it possible for Black Lives Matter’s abolitionist message to be adopted by millions. This message is increasingly including Palestine.
George Floyd’s death and the violence that Palestinians who live under Israeli occupation face both reflect the oppression of racist, unjust societies.
On May 30, Eyad al-Halaq, a Palestinian with autism, was hunted and executed by Israeli Police in Jerusalem near the school that gave him joy in life. The oppressive occupation is at the root of his killing.
The inextricable similarity between the murders of George Floyd and Eyad El-Halaq has reinvigorated the longtime bond between the struggle for Palestinian liberation and the fight for black liberation in the US.
A demonstration in Haifa led by groups working with disabled Palestinians makes connections between the murder of Eyad al-Halaq and the Black Lives Matter movement.
A hasbarist argues there’s nothing wrong in the killing of Eyad al-Halaq. Palestinians may “ask to become Israel’s ‘blacks’,” Nave Dromi says, but we won’t let them be equal citizens. In fact the history of nationalism is the history of racist distinctions, and persecution, that the world has been seeking to outlaw since WW II.
Many British Jewish organizations have condemned racism at the heart of George Floyd’s murder. It’s impossible for even liberal Jewish supporters of Israel to recognise the structural and institutional racism they inhabit while they cling to the idea that only an exclusive Jewish sovereignty in Israel/Palestine can guarantee Jewish security.
George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police on May 25 has caused many to liken American policing methods to Israeli occupation policing, and to point out that US police have gotten training from Israeli officials under the sponsorship of Israel lobby organizations. The ADL sponsors such trainings, even as it says George Floyd murder exposes “systemic” racism in the U.S.
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank City of Bethlehem gathered on Tuesday outside the Church of Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus, to hold a vigil in honor of George Floyd and Eyad al-Halaq. Mahmoud Zawahreh, a local activist, told Mondoweiss that “it is important for Palestinians to stand with all the oppressed people in the world, of all nationalities, who are the victims of racism and persecution.”
It’s been two days since Ranad al-Halaq’s only son, 32-year-old Eyad al-Halaq, was gunned down by Israeli police in the Old City of Jerusalem, where he was enrolled at a center for Palestinian adults and children with disabilities. “He was the light of my heart, the light of my eyes, my soul, my angel.”