BAJI Stands Against Genocide in Gaza and Is In Solidarity with Palestine
The past two weeks have been traumatizing as we collectively witness the continued genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, carried out by the Israeli government with the military and moral endorsement of the U.S. and other western governments.
As Black immigrants, many of whose homelands have been destroyed by colonization and ethnic cleansing, we know intimately what it means to lose everything and everyone and for the world to look away. As Black people displaced from our homes, who know all too well the yearning for safety and freedom. We stand with the 2.2 million Palestinians in Gaza.
From social media to independent media, we are seeing and hearing from Palestinians directly experiencing this massive violence on a genocidal scale. Israeli airstrikes are leveling vast swaths of Gaza, flattening homes, mosques, churches, schools, and hospitals, resulting in the deaths of over five thousand (and counting) Palestinians, many of them children.
For 75 years, Israel has systematically made it impossible for Palestinians to exist, denying them self-determination and basic rights. Since 2015 the UN has issued warnings about the increasingly deteriorating living conditions in Gaza due to the economic blockade, Israel’s bombing campaigns, and the routine disruption of water and other resources critical to the survival of Palestinians.
As we focus our attention on Palestinians, history and current affairs force us to remember that Israeli militarism is a danger to those fighting police brutality and military violence. Israel is the world’s Cop City, training the most violent police departments around the world, including those here in the US.
For current and formerly colonized people, this ethnic cleansing and Israel’s occupation of Palestine demonstrate how our people were displaced and murdered for land and resources. We are watching in real time the violence of borders and the creation of nation-states, what we call “countries”. Settlers fear the outpouring of support for Palestinians in this moment, as it inspires uprisings from indigenous people around the world desiring freedom from settler colonialism.
Israel is modeling a practice of enacting genocide and ethnic cleansing without fear of consequences. If Israel can act with impunity, what is to stop France, for example, from invading the Sahel region? The French ambassador has defiantly refused to leave Niger despite an ultimatum by the Nigeriens. If Palestinians are suffering this level of violence as the world watches, what does that mean for people currently suffering invisibilised colonizer-supported genocide and ethnic cleansing in countries like Sudan, Ethiopia, Congo, Cameroon, and many others? In Sudan, 7.1 million people have been displaced and over 5,000 killed. The number of people killed in the Congo over the past 23 years comes to 2000 a week. How does the violence of white settler colonialism embolden others hell-bent on total control of people and their resources?
#FreePalestine protests around the world show that outside of the political class, institutions, and mainstream media, people are paying attention. Palestinians and Jews calling for an end to the Israeli occupation are being arrested for their courageous stance. We have not been bamboozled by propaganda and misinformation that positions this as a war between Israel and Hamas. It is a genocide of Palestinians by the state of Israel to take Palestinian land.
In the US, protesters are also demonstrating that the United States government is losing its faux moral superiority as it is monetarily and ideologically supporting genocide.
We stand firmly in solidarity with Palestinians. We also stand with all who are being silenced for protesting, expressing criticism for the state of Israel, and for supporting a free Palestine.