Now more than ever, Solidarity

I am deeply honored to be invited to write the editorial for this edition of the AURDIP newsletter. I write a time of great tragedy, and of crisis, one which….

I am deeply honored to be invited to write the editorial for this edition of the AURDIP newsletter. I write a time of great tragedy, and of crisis, one which demands more than ever acts of solidarity between us, as individuals and as organizations, to respond to the call for solidarity from the Palestinians. We must respond both spiritually and actively.

I write just days after the horrible murder-by-arson of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha, killed in the middle of the night by cowardly assassins who set his home ablaze as he and his family slept. Their crime? Simply existing on their rightful land, a land that Jewish settlers wish to appropriate totally. The very presence of Palestinians on land Israel wishes to annex entirely and permanently is an affront to these settlers.

The immediate rush to name these settlers as a radical fringe group, the condemnation by Netanyahu and others of this act, might be taken as a sign of some vestige of morality and decency within the state apparatus of Israel, but I am afraid that for me these declarations smack of political maneuvering. For to shift our eyes to these extremist acts of terror is to divert our eyes at the same time from the continuous terrorism of the state of Israel toward the Palestinians. In fact the only thing that Nethanyahu has done until now with regard to settler “extremists”, who are surprisingly unknown to the Shinbet, has been to threaten to place them under administrative detention (which has only been applied to a single individual so far). He thus kills two birds with one stone–he avoids any revelations that might come out of a public trial, and he legitimizes a process that runs counter to international law, but is nonetheless often applied to Palestinians.

The images of expulsion, murder, appropriation of land, destruction of houses that we see before us now are simply the latest instantiations of a history of such acts that began in 1947 and reached a formal expression in the Nakba of 1948. Simply put, what we see today is not the logical outcome of the Nakba, it is the sign of the fact that for all intents and purposes the logic of the Nakba has never ended.

Netanyahu will, perhaps, chase down the murderers, but he will continue to build settlements, thereby maintaining the mentality and the practice of throwing Palestinians out of their homes and destroying their lives. This is the Orwellian contradiction that he asks us to swallow. The legitimacy of the Occupation will certainly never be condemned, only the moments when its brutal logic is inconveniently exposed to the world.

There are signs of deep discontent in Israel. More and more Israeli Jews are finally coming to see the horrible consequences of the Zionist project not only in terms of such acts of violence, but also by noting how maintaining this posture of aggression and suppression is the draining of resources of their state away from social benefits, jobs, education, and health. They also note with concern the rising time of racism and hatred—against Palestinians, against gays, against African asylum seekers, that is part of Jewish supremacist reasoning as there was a white supremacist thinking in South Africa.

Now more than ever we need to form, maintain, and strengthen ties of solidarity—with other organizations around the world, with dissident Israelis who bravely show their commitment to BDS principles, and of course and primarily with the Palestinians.

I am delighted that my organization, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, has recently formed formal liaisons with AURDIP, BRICUP, and many other organizations, and we look forward to sharing resources, information, news with you.

In that spirit, I invite you to visit our newly redesigned website.