To turn a blind eye to Israelâ€™s massacres in Gaza today is to be complicit about Israelâ€™s brutality and genocidal attacks against the Palestinian people. We are writing this statement to strongly condemn Israelâ€™s most recent massacres and war crimes committed against civilians and families in Gaza, and demand an immediate cease of the indiscriminate killings, an end to the siege, and fiercely reject the revengeful destruction of property, infrastructure and the livelihood of our people in Gaza.
The continuous dispossession of Palestiniansâ€™ right to life and to a safe future, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians since 1948, and indeed the constant uprooting, displacement, housing demolitions, fragmentation of families, land grabbing and incarceration, create desperate and hopeless life conditions and stifle our possibilities for the future. To be silent amidst the continuous criminalities, to accept military occupation and colonial violence, to accept the killing of women and men, young and old, rural, refugee and villagers, is to approve the various colonial modes of dispossession, and deny Palestinians the right to a dignified life.
In the name of â€œAl-tajamoâ€™ Al-nasawiy Almaqdasy, a group of â€œCoalition of Jerusalemite Womenâ€ and Jerusalemite feminists from all segments of society, we write to convey our deep condemnation to the continuous loss of lives, as we express our rejection to the silence of the global and regional communities and complicity with the cruel Zionist project. We women are appalled with the unending dispossessions and mundane suffering of our people in occupied Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. We refuse to accept violence as part of the daily lives of the Palestinian refugees in the various camps, as well as among Palestinians of 1948 in the Galilee, Naqab, Triangle and more. We are outraged with the terrorism of the Zionist settler colonial regime, as well as its machinery of oppression that inscribes pain and marks the bodies and lives of our families, daughters, sons, and communities as disposable objects, non-human â€œOthersâ€ and unrecognized entities, as naked bodies and lives, dispossessed of the right to life, to safety, and even to the right of dying in dignity.
Today we stand as Palestinian women who reject any denial of our right to rights and refuse to normalize or justify the violence of the Israeli occupation and colonization, while firmly demanding an end to the Zionist regime, machinery and its violent colonial structure. Over 60 years of Zionist structural violence have passed, a long period of continuous dispossession, displacement, and uprooting. And today, in Gaza, and throughout all of historic Palestine, we re- experience the displacement and fragmentation of our families and our communities; the creation of thousands of more refugees, we re-experience Palestinian death and crimes against our people, we re-live the annihilation of our future and rights for self-determination, while the world is watching.
Today we stand as Palestinian women insisting on our right to resist the brutality of the settler colonial regime, and asserting our inherent right to defend ourselves. We speak against the persistent criminality, against and victimization of our people, to demand an end to the silence, an end to the international communityâ€™s willful blindness and the colonial aphasia that surrounds our catastrophe, and to speak out about our trauma and our steadfastness. Today we stand with the power of our ancestors, the power of our steadfastness and the power of our just cause. Our hope for the future and love of life fuel our struggle against continuous injustices; we continue our long history of popular resistance against the Zionist state for a life of safety and dignity. We stand here to sayâ€” do not be voyeuristic observers, do not be gravediggers, and support our struggle to live life, not die it!
In the name of the justness of our cause:
1. First and foremost, we demand an immediate end to the massacres and war crimes that the Israeli state is now committing in Gaza. We demand an immediate end to the legality of our victimhood- despite our Sumud/steadfastness–and urge you to stop the continuous attacks and massacres that started in 1948 in Deir Yassin, Qufr Qasim, Eilaboon, continued during the incursions in Hebron and Jenin, and included Sabra and Shatila Refugee Camps in Lebanon, and continue today in Shejaiyya and other neighborhoods of Gaza. We demand an end to the brutality, dispossession and demonization that is marked on the Palestinian body, on the Palestinian family, on womenâ€™s intimacy, on womenâ€™s sexuality, on womenâ€™s bodies, on womenâ€™s pregnant bodies, on womenâ€™s birthing bodies, the pain that is inscribed even onto the bodies of our dead.
2. We call on the international community and the Arab world, its daughters and its sons, to pressure their governments, and stop the continuous Nakba, including the very bloody attack on Gaza today.
3. We appeal to civil society organizations, regional organizations and international human rights and humanitarian organizations to work together to help end the Israeli occupation.
4. We demand an immediate end to collective punishment that is caging Palestinians in closed and opened prisons, that is hunting people in their homes, in their places of worship, in their schools, and even in their graveyards.
5. We claim the preservation of safety for the brave Palestinian women that continue resisting colonial oppression through their daily contributions, including daily attempts to provide safety and security for the most vulnerable among our peopleâ€”their beloved ones, their babies even when in their wombs, their students, their youth, our children, the elderly, and those in needâ€”and to preserve our history, culture and continuity as a people.
6. We urge the international feminist community, including Nobel laureates and other feminist activists, to stand up against the continuous violence that is directed towards Palestinian individuals and our society as a whole, and to work harder in preventing continuous massacres, forced displacement, and destruction of our social fabric.
7. We call on all people of the world who have suffered from atrocities, dehumanization, displacement and war crimes to stand with us and make their voices heard.
8. We demand holding the criminals accountable, whether these criminals are representatives of the Israeli state, private organizations or individuals, and holding Israel accountable for its war crimes and compelling the state to respect international treaties including the 4th Geneva convention, the Rome statute, and other related treaties.
9. We urge all people of conscience to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, divesting from Israel, imposing economic sanctions on Israel and excluding Israel while defining it as a terrorist state.
Signed by the Coalition for Jerusalemite Women*
*The Coalition includes women from all segments of Palestinian society, with all its differences.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are the authorâ€™s personal views