We Condemn the Israeli Slaughter of the People of Gaza and Express Solidarity with the People of Palestine
We, UAW Local 2865 and Palestinian Youth Movement, condemn the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.
Over 100 Palestinians have been murdered and 12,000 injured over the past six weeks in a prolonged military assault by Israeli Forces. Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem and across Historic Palestine sustained a vibrant protest, The Great Return March, from the end of March until May 14th, marking the 70 years of dislocation, displacement, ethnic cleansing, genocide and refugeehood known as The Nakba. The Nakba (or Catastrophe) from 1947-1949 saw at its inception the exile of over 750,000 Palestinians from their heritage lands with over 50% of the population being removed from their homeland in entirety without a path for Return.
Thus, what some celebrate as Israel’s “independence” entails the founding moments of protracted Palestinian refugeehood and enduring misery that has fundamentally changed the current realities of over 13 million Palestinians worldwide; in the Gaza Strip alone, over ⅓ of a population of 2 million are refugees from other parts of Palestine. They live in the world’s largest open-air prison, spanning just 139 square miles of land. At the time of this statement, 64% of Gaza’s population is under the age of 25, and we must fight for their future. We extend our unwavering support to Gaza’s Great Return Marchers in declaring that all Palestinians must be granted the right to return to their homes and live free from colonial occupation and oppression.
We also believe it vital to recognize the context in which we express our solidarity. The United States plays a primary role in normalizing Israeli hegemony in the region, funding the Israeli military through U.S. tax dollars. The U.S. buffers accountability for Israel’s slaughter and continual policies of ethnic cleansing, occupation, apartheid, and terror by contributing to Israeli legal impunity on an international scale.
Most recently, the U.S. objected to the U.N. intent to investigate Israel’s slaughter of Gaza protesters as potential war crimes through false appeals that Israel was being “singled out” by international communities of conscience. In reality, it is the U.S. and the Zionist state who are dead set on “singling out” Israel by ensuring that it continues to operate as a brutal military-colonial apartheid force free from any kind of international impunity or pressures.
The continued erasure of settler-colonialism benefits both the United States and Israel, as the United States is an active settler-colonial state that violently represses indigenous communities – those left after the brutal genocide and dispossession they’ve experienced at the hands of the state. Erasing the ongoing settler-colonialism of Israel helps to hide the ongoing genocidal treatment of indigenous communities by the United States; and so the United States is deeply invested in protecting Israel as a settler colonial state to justify its own racial and ethnic practices of segregation, occupation, and terror. Active support for Israel also allows the US to refine its own policies of criminalization, surveillance and repression of Black and Brown communities as Israel continues to export the military and crowd-control technologies and tactics honed on colonized Palestinian bodies to governments the world over.
The University of California also performs a key role in both indigenous genocide and the genocide of Palestinians through military weapons research and the repression and censorship of growing concerns about Israel’s genocidal project. We must speak up against injustice and hold our institutions accountable.
We–members of the UC Student-Workers Union UAW 2865 and members of the Palestinian Youth Movement, alongside all people of conscience–affirm our deep solidarity with the people of Palestine. Echoing the World Federation of Trade Unions, Black Alliance for Peace, and numerous other groups, we lift up rank and file Palestinians in the diaspora who have marched and worked in support of the Palestinian struggle back home. We move with the people of Palestine who are resisting settler colonial violence: your courage continues to inspire us to build international unity among all people seeking an end to global oppression and who are committed to realizing collective liberation.
In Solidarity through the Struggle,
The Student-Workers Union, UAW Local 2865 & Palestinian Youth Movement
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Palestine Educational Resources:
- Where is Palestine?
- Jerusalem by the Numbers According to the UN
- Palestine Syllabus
- An Introduction to Palestine – produced by Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA
- Gaza in Context – Short documentary film, teaching and lesson plan resources on Gaza
- We are Not Numbers – Stories and testimonies from youth in Gaza