Thousands of miles away, reasonably detached from us, Israel is bullying Palestinians into submission — punishing any sort of resistance or display of autonomy with violence of the most overt variety. While any rational person would agree that Israel’s actions are abhorrent, many would question advocating for people so far away when so much of our own country is mired in turmoil.
But, communities all across the United States share a common struggle with those Palestinians engaged in the struggle against the injustice of Israeli apartheid.
When communities of color in the United States resist forcible eviction from their homes caused by unscrupulous and predatory banking practices, Palestinian families resist the occupation of their homes by Israeli settlers.
When climate change activists call for divestment from fossil fuels which poison the world’s atmosphere, Palestinian civil society calls for the boycott of Israeli universities which are complicit in the maintenance of the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
When immigrant rights activists in the United States stage sit-ins protesting against our nation’s current policy of mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, Palestinians living in the Tel Rumeida section of Hebron conduct sit-ins protesting against the Israeli authorities’ declaration of their neighborhood as a closed military zone.
When student activists in the United States demonstrate for publicly-funded tuition-free institutions of higher education, Palestinian university students in the West Bank demonstrate for unimpeded access to their schools and an end to the arbitrary closure of their universities by the Israeli military.
Injustice is a universal reality, and by banding together, we are more equipped for our collective struggle. You deserve better — we all deserve better. We have the power to change ourselves and our surroundings together — if we don’t, we are still going to meet the same inevitable fate.
Israel will not suddenly become benevolent if the Palestinian people become docile. Montclair State won’t stop raising tuition if we keep acting like a raise is permissible. Our employers won’t pay us more or give us a reasonable work week if we just do what we’re told. We must resist as a way of life.
You might feel scared reading this, as we are taught not to rock the boat. We are scared too, but if we do not take risks, we are guaranteed a monotonous life struggling to keep up with the demands of our oppressors, blaming ourselves in the process. Remember that the voice of reason that tells us not to rebel has not managed to make our suicidal thoughts, anger and helplessness disappear.
Resistance is autonomy and self-determination, which is a state of being. By resisting, you take the first step towards your liberation, claiming your life as your own.
We will resist with you, so we ask: will you resist with us? This is your moment and your right.