Statement on behalf of Struggle-La Lucha for the International Day of Quds Online Event.
On this International Day of Al Quds, May 7, 2021, we stand in solidarity with the heroic people of Palestine in their century-long battle to defend their rights, their land and their very existence against a twisted, racist, colonial project conceived in the imperial capitals of Europe in the 19th century and funded since 1948 by Washington and Wall Street.
We stand with the Palestinian people in their struggle for independence and return, for the right of every Palestinian to live in peace and freedom in every inch of the land of Palestine. We honor Rehab Zaoul and all the martyrs of that struggle, who will be remembered forever in a free Palestine.
Today the city of Al Quds itself, also called Jerusalem, is the front line of that battle. Her people are fighting to defend their ancient city from Ku Klux Klan-like lynch mobs of hate-filled settlers, many from the United States and Europe, who chant “Death to Arabs” and “We’ll burn your village down!”
The media call these rightwing Zionist gangs extremists. But their slogans express in words what the racist Israeli state has done in deeds since it was created in 1948 by Western powers on the stolen soil of Palestine. And they are backed by the full might of the U.S.-armed Israeli state, which now seeks to evict Palestinian families in East Jerusalem from homes they have lived in for centuries.
The Zionist dream, the very goal of the Israeli state’s existence, is the eradication of the Palestinian people from their homeland. But they will never achieve this goal.
This year, the Day of Quds falls little more than a week before the 73rd anniversary of what Palestinian people call Al Nakba, the catastrophe of exile and occupation that continues to this day.
73 years of catastrophe
Seventy-three years ago, the majority of the people of Palestine were expelled from their homes. Thousands were executed in cold blood for the “crime” of being born Palestinian. Entire cities were depopulated and 530 villages were destroyed so that a Western settler state could be erected on their ruins.
Today that state, which declared its so-called “independence” on May 15, 1948, directly occupies 85 percent of the land of Palestine and part of Syria.
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem live under a daily reign of terror from Israeli troops and settlers, who murder and kidnap them and destroy their crops and animals in an effort to drive them from their land. Every year more families see their homes demolished or stolen by settlers from the U.S.
In the Gaza Strip, nearly 2 million Palestinians live under a constant state of siege, locked inside a giant open-air prison where water is not fit to drink, electricity runs only a few hours a day and people die from lack of medicine. They are subject to regular bombardment by the latest weapons in Israel’s U.S.-supplied arsenal.
On any given day, nearly 5,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of children, languish in Israeli prisons, many of them under “administrative detention,” denied the right to trial.
The very existence of “Israel” has been a 73-year-long war against the people of Palestine and the neighboring countries of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan — and now Yemen and Iran as well. For 73 years this war has been subsidized by the U.S., which provides an endless flow of arms and dollars to the settler fortress in Palestine.
Last May 22, while millions of workers in the U.S. worried about their next meal, the U.S. Senate Foreign Aid Committee approved a new $38-billion aid package to Israel.
Enforcer for U.S. oil profits
For the corporate agents in Washington, D.C., the racist state of Israel is a critical instrument in their war machine, a weapon in their bloody quest to keep the wealth of the world flowing to the U.S. ruling class.
Israel is an apartheid state, but it is also part of a global system of apartheid that divides the world into rich and poor. It is an enforcer in a giant protection racket run from Washington that has extorted trillions of dollars from the oil-rich countries of the region. Keeping those petrodollars flowing has been the object of U.S. intervention in West Asia and North Africa since 1945.
Regimes like the monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula that pay their oil revenues in tribute to U.S. banks, oil companies and the military-financial complex get protection. Those that refuse get attacked. That’s why Israel attacked Egypt and Syria in 1967; that’s why it wages covert war against Syria, Yemen and Iran today. Meanwhile, Chevron plans to use gas stolen from Palestinian waters in its battle for the European energy market.
Let us also be clear: The racist state in Palestine in no way represents or benefits the vast majority of Jewish people on this planet, many of whom stand in solidarity with Palestine. It only serves the interest of an elite ruling class of bankers and billionaires, very few of whom are Jewish.
Forty years ago, Reagan’s Secretary of State Alexander Haig called Israel “the largest U.S. aircraft carrier in the world, and the only one that can’t be sunk.” In 2017, aboard the USS George Bush, moored in Palestinian waters, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “A few miles from here, there is another aircraft carrier for our common civilization — it’s called the State of Israel.”
When Netanyahu speaks of “common civilization,” he speaks of a commonality of racism, oppression and dispossession. The scenes of Israeli occupiers beating and brutalizing Palestinians in Jerusalem today are so much like the scenes of racist police violence against Black and Brown and Indigenous people in the United States.
Many U.S. police departments have joint training programs with Israeli occupation forces in Palestine. The NYPD even has a branch in the Israeli settlement of Kfar Saba.
The rock of resistance
The creation of the racist state of Israel was a re-creation of the Trail of Tears and the many other massacres and land thefts of the Native peoples of North America.
And today, in Al Quds and the West Bank, the settlers seek to recreate the horrors of Rosewood, Tulsa, Elaine and many other Black communities in the U.S. destroyed by racist terror.
But racist oppression is foundering on the rock of people’s resistance, from Black America to Palestine.
Seventy-three years of murder, terror and repression have not broken the resistance of the Palestinian people, their will or their determination to live free on their own land. We see that today in the streets of Jerusalem and Nablus and Bethlehem, where the occupation’s genocidal schemes are provoking a new Intifada. And the world has changed much since 1948 and 1988.
In Washington, politicians claim they will end “forever wars” and “endless wars.” Yet they still vote endless funds to the monstrous Pentagon war machine and its giant base in occupied Palestine.
It will take a huge fight by the people to get the war machine off our backs. And you cannot end “endless war” without ending the flow of U.S. arms and dollars to the Israeli occupation state.
The week of May 15-22 has been proclaimed an international week of action for the liberation of all Palestinians. Here in the United States, we need to be on the streets on those days. In New York and New Jersey, there will be rallies in Brooklyn and Paterson on May 15 and May 16. If you are in the area, please join us on those days.
We need money for human needs, not racist wars!
End all aid to the racist state of Israel!