Solidarity with Palestine against Settler Colonial Apartheid
South Feminist Futures denounces the normalised tsunami of anti-Palestinian racist rhetoric, hate speech and inflammatory misinformation in response to Palestinian resistance against the illegal Israeli occupation.
The racist dehumanisation of the Palestinian people has always been a means for the apartheid state of Israel to pursue its settler colonial project, and justify atrocities committed to that end.
Normalising, defending or trivialising speech with genocidal intent towards Palestinians endorses the continuation of an illegal settler colonial apartheid regime and enables mass killings in full view of the world with impunity.
The profoundly racist and genocidal statement by Israel’s defence minister,“There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we will act accordingly” has gone without censure not just by Israel’s allies but also officials of the UN.
Western media plays its part in enthusiastically repeating unsubstantiated reports of rapes, beheading of children–all colonial tropes designating indigenous and colonised people as less than human, and thus deserving of occupation, apartheid and settler-colonial violence.
Despite the deployment of racist colonial tropes against the indigenous people of Palestine to frame them as the aggressors, the facts are incontrovertible: the settler colonial apartheid Israeli regime has throughout its history committed egregious breaches of the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions and multiple international treaties and conventions that lay out the duties and obligations of States in international law.
This has included illegal annexations, forced evictions and displacement, land confiscation, collective punishment, excessive use of force and torture, targeting of activists and journalists, detention of children, economic deprivation, arbitrary detention, all designed to enforce and maintain a system of apartheid. Above all, the Israeli occupation has meant the denial of the right of Palestinian self-determination.
Under imperialism, colonialism and apartheid, dehumanisation has been the basis to justify the worst atrocities including slavery and genocide. As was the case with apartheid South Africa, the Palestinian struggle is a struggle against racism and imperialism, apartheid, settler colonialism and occupation which calls for transnational solidarity from all anti-racist, anti-colonial and feminist movements, as ours is a common cause.
We will resist in solidarity with Palestine. In our lifetime, Palestine will be free.
Statement by Nalafem Collective
Nala Feminist Collective joins progressive feminist voices around the world to acknowledge the generational pain, sorrow, and grief meted on Palestinian people for decades, and their legitimate resistance against erasure and their rights to live free from violent occupation. The violence today is a continuation of a harsh historical reality. Each day their life is a resistance and we have witnessed over and over again the indifference and ineffectiveness of international community responses to their suffering.
We condemn the continued killing of civilians and rampant violation of human rights protections. With several thousand killed in the region, it is civilians who are paying the toll; this needs to end immediately.
We stand in solidarity with Palestinian civilians and stand with the millions of Pan-African voices that have consistently called for collective liberation through an end to Israel’s apartheid. The struggle of Palestinian people is connected to the struggles of Indigenous and oppressed people in Africa and around the world, which demands of us, as people of conscience and human rights champions worldwide, to commit to decolonization and stop the bloodshed and all forms of violence and subjugation.
- Urge for immediate end of war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza including the denial of basic human needs, water, food and access to medical services
- Call for a ceasefire immediately to stop the killings, the use of weapons of war that aim at collective harm including white phosphorus. We call on all the nations responsible for the manufacture and supply of weapons being used to exterminate Palestinian families to respect international humanitarian law and act quickly to stop this ethnic cleansing and genocide before our eyes
- Call on the United States, the European Union and all allies and enablers of the state sanctioned apartheid in Israel to act now
- Support the continued resistance of all people of conscience through boycott and divestment from Israeli and international companies and banks that are complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity
- Call on our Nalafem community of young feminist associations, trade unions, social networks, student unions or other organizations to support the Palestinian people by committing to be the Apartheid Free Zone to end all relations with the state sanctioned apartheid in Israel and companies that are complicit in its system of oppression
- Urge for immediate human rights protections for all civilians, safety, peace and an end to all forms of violence and subjugation.
We believe the only way to achieve a lasting, just peace is to address the root causes of the struggle.
- Hon. Emma Theofelus, Namibia
- Hon. Joanah Mamombe, Zimbabwe
- Hon. Filsan Abdullahi, Ethiopia
- Hon. Bogolo J. Kenewendo, Botswana
- Aya Chebbi, Tunisia
- Emtithal Mahmoud, Sudan
- Rosebell Kagumire, Uganda
- Zulaikha Patel, South Africa
Feminists in Kenya’s Statement of Solidarity with Palestine
Grounding ourselves in transnational feminist solidarity and guided by our feminist responsibility to name and confront oppression whenever, wherever and however it happens, we Feminists In Kenya (FIK) stand in unwavering support and solidarity with the people of Palestine.
Recognising the historical context of Israel’s colonial legacy in Palestine and the unfolding power dynamics in this conflict, we unequivocally denounce the resulting collective punishment, civilian killings, attacks on humanitarian support, forced displacement and internet shutdowns.
In endorsing the public statement issued by the African Union, we emphatically reiterate that the “denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, particularly that of an independent and sovereign state, is the main cause of the conflict.”
Reaffirming our commitment to intersectional feminism, we condemn the double standards upheld by western nations in deciding which struggles merit support. We affirm the right of Palestinians to advocate for their self-determination.
Recalling the expressed interest of different western governments in prioritizing feminist foreign policies, we remind them that a true feminist foreign policy is inherently anti-imperialist and prioritizes demilitarization and de-escalation of war.
We urge western governments aspiring for feminist foreign policies to uphold their dedication to human rights, address problematic inconsistencies that compromise their commitments, and prioritize continuous learning as they formulate and action the feminist foreign policies.
We urge western feminist organizations, especially those prominently visible to reject dishonest and neutral discourse on the ongoing conflict. We remind them of the critical need for their allyship at this time and encourage them to intensify decolonial educational initiatives in the west.
In elevating truth and shunning engineered dishonesty, we invite the general public to look out for and refrain from spreading, manufactured propaganda and disinformation used as tools to delegitimize the struggle of the Palestinian people.
In condemning the biased and partisan reporting from western media outlets, we urge western journalists to maintain ethical standards and adhere to factual reporting in their coverage of this conflict. We express solidarity with journalists in Palestine risking their lives to report the current genocide.
Abiding by the principles of feminist funding, we urge feminist funders to provide material and tangible support to their grantees in Palestine, where feasible. We encourage feminist funders to openly register their unwavering solidarity with their grantees in West Asia/MENA.
We call upon international human rights bodies to demand the de-escalation of the ongoing conflict and to urge governments to uphold the freedom of assembly as global protests unfold. We call for accountability through established mechanisms, ensuring that justice prevails and will not only be done, but will be seen to be done.
Reiterating Audre Lorde’s wisdom- our silence will not protect us-we strongly urge feminist activists everywhere to collectively acknowledge Palestine as a critical feminist issue, amplify the Palestinian struggle through their different platforms and offer material support and voice to Palestine.
In acknowledging the powerful activism of the Palestinian people both at home and in exile, we draw on their powerful movements and words and wholeheartedly join the global call to #FreePalestine.
Feature photo: Pro- Palestinian march in Cape Town, South Africa ON April 6, 2023.