We unapologetically express our solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for justice, peace, and dignity! We lament the decades long reign of terror, dispossession, and demonization that this religiously, ethnically, and culturally diverse group of people have endured. As followers of a Palestinian Jew who lived under the tyranny of Roman occupation, we ground ourselves in his revolutionary call to love our neighbors, as we love ourselves. A call that begins with the oppressed and vulnerable of the world–the last and the least.
We see it as our responsibility to bear witness to Kin-dom of God in the face of Christofascist evangelical forces that do the bidding of white supremacy and empire. We maintain that “Christian zionism” is one of the most abominable outgrowths of Euro-colonial Christianity. Quiet as kept, in addition to it being anti-Palestinian, its most dominant form is insiduously anti-Jewish. It weaponizes what should be a healing Gospel for the entire world, into “a miracle weapon in service of the mighty.” Along with many of our peace and justice–loving Jewish comrades, we reject the conflation of Zionism with Judaism. We reject the idea that to be anti the oppression of Palestinians is to be pro the oppression of Jewish people. We hold the lives of all people as precious and sacred, and contend that any political regime that engages in genocidal activity must be outright condemned and resisted. Whatever supposed continuity one sees between ancient Israel and the modern (secular) nation-state of Israel, it cannot be denied that the Hebrew prophets of old stood against the kind of “trampling of the poor” that is part and parcel of this modern regime. Jesus carried this prophetic tradition forward. As his followers we embrace it with the humility that our finiteness requires, and the urgency that the situation demands. Babies and children and civilians are being bombed. Families are being expelled from their neighborhoods. Death-dealing forces are having their way.
We understand ourselves to have a unique responsibility as disciples of the Lamb who live in the “belly of the beast”: the U.S. Empire. We refuse to let this nation go unchecked for its deep complicity in all of this. We name the reality that the U.S. has mastered what Martiin Luther King Jr. called “the peculiar genius of imperialism.” Under the guise of “protecting” persecuted groups and expanding “democracy”, the U.S. has sought to protect and extend its unholy power and ability to exploit. In 1986, our current President Joe Biden said:
“It’s about time we stop….apologizing for our support of Israel. There’s no apology to be made. None! It is the best 3 billion dollar investment we make. Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region.”
Joe Biden referred to this statement with pride in 2015 as Vice President under Obama. The nakedness of Biden’s statement demonstrates the U.S.’s true intentions in the present and the past. An honest reading of the historical record will show that the U.S. was slow to rise to the occasion of fighting the anti-Jewish fascism of the Hitler regime. In fact, Jewish people seeking asylum during this era were rejected by the U.S. James Baldwin correctly pointed out that “Europe had nothing against Hitler, and neither did [the U.S.], til he turned his guns against them.” We must not allow the virtue signaling of a nation founded in the fascistic violence of settler colonialism, to throw us off the trail of solidarity.
Secondly, as practitioners of the Black Radical Tradition we carry forward the legacy of Black (American) solidarity with Palestinians. As a people who have been the victims of settler colonialism and apartheid we know that our struggles are linked. The very same forces that constructed and upheld chattel slavery, Jim Crow, and Jim Crow Jr. in the U.S. have been at work in the land of Palestine. Our respective contemporary movements face police forces that have trained and coached each other in racial profiling and the violent suppression of protests through what are called “police exchanges.”
Angela Davis wrote:
“Palestine has always occupied a pivotal place, precisely because of the similarities between Israel and the United States–their foundational settler colonialism and their ethnic cleansing processes with respect to indigenous people, their system of segregation, their use of legal systems to enact systematic repression, and so forth.”
Again, our struggles are intertwined and bound together. Therefore, we call for the end of settler colonialism everywhere. From the U.S. to Australia, from South Africa to *Palestine. We reject the “both-sidesism” propaganda of the U.S. media. Settler colonial violence is asymmetrical. Palestinian resistance forces cannot be falsely equated with the Israeli state’s massively funded military. (A military made possible by the cover and backing of western imperial powers.) This is not a mere “conflict”, it is a genocide! Love requires that we speak plainly and honestly. Love requires our solidarity.
Drum Majors Alliance | May 13th, 2021