Like so many, our hearts are heavy bearing witness to the real-time genocide of Palestinians and unfathomable violence in Gaza and Israel against civilians and hostages. We feel profound horror and grief over the Palestinian and Israeli lives lost in community with the survivors connected through the trauma of last week. Many of us feel fear, helplessness, triggered, and worried about loved ones in Israel and Palestine, and our people close to home. Emergent Fund is checking in with grantees during this time, and centering their organizing and healing needs. We uplift the voices of Palestinian-American, Muslim and Jewish organizers mourning unbearable loss in their own communities while facing the harm of weaponized disinformation, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic tropes, and the rapid escalation of violence. And, we understand that this week is far from the start of violence against the occupied people of Palestine. We both honor our grief and refuse the manipulation of our sacred grief into violence in any of our names. We reaffirm our committed solidarity with the people of Palestine as they fight for complete liberation and self-determination with more than words.
Here’s how to show up and take action: Uplift and flank the leadership of directly impacted leaders such as… Palestinian Youth Movement, The Adalah Justice Project, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Jews for Racial Economic Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace, Palestinian Feminist Collective, Muslims for Just Futures, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights Take urgent life-saving action HERE by demanding immediate deescalation, protection and humanitarian aid for civilians, access to water, electricity, internet, fuel for medical facilities in the Gaza Strip, and more. Move from despair to disciplined hope by revisiting Deepa Iyer’s social change ecosystem framework to clarify your values and role within the current landscape of solidarity, justice, and equity work. Check Deepa’s Instagram post (@deepaviyer) on examples of the social change framework for solidarity with Palestine. Follow the lead of Palestinian and Jewish voices that have long warned us against the spiritual and human cost of equating identity with colonial genocide and protect them from constantly case-building for their humanity. Pay close attention to oppressive power underwritten by millions in unaccountable money behind the media, news, and pop culture we consume. To reject the false violent narrative that a free Palestine is “anti-Semitic”, we’re reading Zena Agha’s “Palestine: Ways of Being” and Arielle Angel’s “We Cannot Cross Until We Carry Each Other (Jewish Currents)”. Give organizers space to heal and strategize in community which will be crucial, today, and for the long term. We will be advocating for and moving safety resources to defend and protect organizers, online and on the streets. In the US, we’re already seeing doxxing, internet harassment, people losing jobs for speaking out against the occupation, and threats of incited gun violence at direct actions against Palestinian activists and their allies including Jewish solidarity leaders. When we say LAND BACK, that includes FREE PALESTINE. As Indigenous Peoples’ Day, International Day of the Girl and the 50th anniversary of U.S. mass incarceration converged this week, decades of violent occupation in Gaza – the world’s largest open air prison – demonstrates just how inextricably interwoven land sovereignty, gender justice and reproductive justice are. In Kelly Hayes & Mariame Kaba’s “What Preceded the Killings in Israel and Gaza Was Not “Peace” — It Was Apartheid”, this violence is part of 70 years of brutal occupation by the Israeli state. Palestine is occupied by one of the most powerful militaries in the world fueled by billions of US tax dollars, American manufactured weapons, and learned tactics from our police departments waging war on Black and Brown communities on our own soil. And as we watch genocide, displacement and land theft of Palestinians, half of whom are young children, unfold on a world-wide scale, we affirm that colonization and displacement is violence, state gendered violence is violence, and apartheid is violence. Worldwide, we all lose when fascism wins by shutting down and criminalizing free speech and dissent including any Pro-Palestinian protest, BDS organizing, increased policing, and tear gassing protestors. We know that to the state– any affront to hegemonic power is a threat and there will never be a protest deemed acceptable.
Our liberation is bound with each others. We are clear that a world aligned with Black queer feminist abolitionist values is a world in which Palestinian people and all people are safe, free, self-determined and cared for. Now is the time for philanthropy to put abolition into practice. Join us in organizing and allocating resources to support groups led by and in solidarity with Palestinian communities to demand an end to escalated genocide.
With Love and Solidarity,
alicia and angela
The Emergent Fund