In the past week, the state of Israel has escalated its violence against Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel is expelling Palestinian families in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods to make way for more Jewish settlers. When Palestinians protested these expulsions, Israeli police responded with violent repression, including attacks on Arab worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during prayers nearing the end of the month of Ramadan. In Gaza, an Israeli bombing campaign has so far killed 103 Palestinians, including 27 children, and injured over 500 more. Israeli street mobs chant “death to Arabs.”
This violence is not new to the Palestinian people. May 15, 2021, marks the 73rd anniversary of Nakba Day, commemorating the Zionist expulsion of Palestinians from their homes. The Nakba began in 1948 when Zionist paramilitary groups launched an ethnic cleansing operation, killing 107 Palestinian Arabs in the Deir Yassin Massacre, including women and children. Zionist forces carried out other atrocities, displaced 700,000 Palestinians from their homes, emptied 400 villages and cities, and left tens of thousands of Palestinians dead.
This is how the Jewish state of Israel was created.
To Palestinians, the Nakba never ended. For decades, Israel has violated international law by creating hundreds of illegal settler colonies in the occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel has restricted Palestinians’ freedom of movement in the West Bank, and with the Gaza blockade, trapped 2 million people in an open air prison. Israel has created a system of apartheid: systematic discrimination and separation on the basis of ethnicity.
We, the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, condemn these continuing acts of ethnic cleansing and violence, and we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. We reject the media narrative of calling these atrocities “clashes” and “conflicts”, creating a false equivalence between a U.S.-backed settler colonial state and those they have dispossessed and violently oppressed for decades. We support the right of Palestinians under occupation to defend themselves from Israeli violence. We support the anti-racist Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005 to end Israeli apartheid, and call for an end to U.S. aid to Israel.
As socialists, we must fight racism and all forms of injustice, both at home and abroad. Removing Palestinians and denying their right of return is an act of deep injustice even in times without violent conflict. We understand the fight for Palestinian rights as part of the human struggle against capitalism, imperialism, and all forms of oppression. Palestinian liberation is our liberation too; until all of us are free, none of us is free.
Silicon Valley DSA invites community members to show support for the Palestinian people:
- Saturday, May 15 at 11am. 20th Annual Palestinian Cultural Day. 70 W Hedding, St. San Jose.
- Saturday, May 15 at 2pm. Rally for Palestinian Liberation – Palestine Action Network. Valencia and 16th in the Mission, San Francisco.
- Sunday, May 16 at 6 pm. Join us to Protest for Palestine at San Jose City Hall.