Statement of Solidarity with Palestine
Drafted by the Anti-War Working Group/ Passed by the National Action Committee May 21, 2021
On the morning of one of the holiest days on the Muslim calendar, Eid al-Fitr, residents of the Gaza Strip woke to Israeli government aerial strikes. The attack came immediately before May 15th, the 73rd anniversary of Nakba, the day when 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homeland.
Over this past week, over 1200 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been wounded, and 232 Palestinians have died — amongst them, 65 children. After 11 days of fighting, Israel and Hamas announced a ceasefire agreement.
The Socialist Party expresses solidarity with the Palestinian peoples and their struggle against Israeli apartheid. We acknowledge Israel's brutal subjugation of the Palestinian people and stand unequivocally against it, as well as against the imperialist forces which protect and bolster Israel.
Israel not only has one of the largest militaries in the world, but also nuclear weapons. Many of the weapons it uses for its genocide and demolition are largely American products. We stand to denounce the United States' relationship with Israel and urge comrades to begin or continue supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which our Party has endorsed since 2011.
Al Jazeera reporter Safwat al-Kahlout stated that Israeli forces are "warning many families to evacuate and leave their homes, which they will destroy later." Al-Kahlout claimed more than 20 homes have been reduced to ruin thus far.
A Human Rights Watch report from 2017 states that Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip violates numerous international human rights laws, including: "unlawful killings; forced displacement; abusive detention; the closure of the Gaza Strip and other unjustified restrictions on movement; and the development of settlements, along with the accompanying discriminatory policies that disadvantage Palestinians."
This is the context in which Israeli Forces attacked the Palestinians protesting their evictions in Gaza. While Israeli policies have classically favored Jewish Israelis and Israeli-Palestinian towns do not typically coexist peacefully, the current violence and agitation in mixed cities is "unprecedented" according to Mairav Zonszein, senior analyst from the International Crisis Group. This oppression is not new, but it is now worse.
Indeed, recent months have seen Palestinian sit-ins in east Jerusalem, protesting Israeli-ordered evictions. Over forty percent of the West Bank is controlled by illegal Israeli settlements which were provided roads and infrastructure. This April, a Human Rights Watch reported that the effects of Israeli government actions such as unlawful creation and maintenance of settlements and Palestinian evictions amount "to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution."
Dar Al-Shifa Hospital director Mohammed Abu Silmiya, said: "Our operating rooms have been suffering from a lack of supplies over the past 15 years – medicines are in short supply in the entire Gaza strip. This hospital has been running on the same devices and appliances for the past 20 years." The coronavirus exacerbated the issues of this collapsing healthcare system.
Moreover, President Joe Biden said that Israel has the "right to defend itself" without mentioning the Palestinian civilians the government has executed. The Socialist Party supports the land rights of the abused and exploited Palestinians and rejects the false narrative that the "right to defend" requires the mass deaths of civilians.
The United States has justified its intervention in the war in Yemen by saying it helps Saudi Arabia target only militants rather than civilians. Palestine is not legally allowed a military and is now defending itself with the only weapons it has — those which are obviously not of the same technological advancement of the Israeli weapons which have killed many more civilians. This blatant hypocrisy must not go unnoticed.
While most world media is portraying the conflict as an equally matched conflict, the reality is anything but. Hanan Ashrawi, a former leading member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) summed the controversy up by saying: "You have here an unbridled use of violence by the strongest army in the region targeting innocent civilians, targeting residential buildings in an area that has been totally closed in, besieged without any means of defense, with no air force, no shelters, with no sirens and at the same time the Israelis claim self-defense."
The Socialist Party supports the right of return of Palestinian refugees, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, and the end of occupation in the Palestinian state. We condemn all aid to Israel and the apartheid policies of the Israeli government. We encourage you to consider applying to join the Socialist Party today and become involved in our Anti-War Working Group.
Free Palestine. Solidarity.