Palestine is Free (If You Want It)

The right to a free and united Palestine from the river to the sea, the right of return, and the right to live in dignity under a just and lasting peace.

A powerful Joint Statement by Palestinians in North America published on 15 May, 2021 on the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba reads:

We commemorate the loss experienced by Palestinians in 1948 when hundreds of thousands of our people were forced into exile and saw their homes and villages stolen or destroyed by Zionist militias. To this day, colonization and dispossession remain ongoing processes, where Palestinians continue to endure land theft and encroachments on their basic rights. Despite the multiple decades of Zionist brutality, our resilient people remain committed to resisting Zionist settler-colonialism and to the liberation of Palestine.

We must renew our commitment to our rights: the right to a free and united Palestine from the river to the sea, the right of return, and the right to live in dignity under a just and lasting peace.

We are providing a round-up of sources and resources below, during what many are calling the Third Intifada.

This documented was last updated on 14 June, 2021.

VIDEO

“Tamer Nafar, one of the co-founders of DAM, gives an incredibly honest interview here on what’s happening right now. DAM was the first hip-hop group ever in the region. Their impact on Palestinian activism is just as important as their impact on music.” source

Mohammed el-Kurd and Muna el-Kurd, age 10:

Congresswoman Cori Bush upholds the memory of Bassem Masri: “The fight for Black lives and the fight for Palestinian liberation are interconnected. We oppose our money going to fund militarized policing, occupation, and systems of violent oppression and trauma. We are anti-war. We are anti-occupation. And we are anti-apartheid. Period.”

Political scientist As’ad AbuKhalil (starts: 01:08:20) with historical context and regional significance.

Human rights attorney Noura Erakat on the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah; the Gaza blockade must be lifted “to allow Palestinians to live.”

“I am only 10.” Palestinian girl Nadine Abdullatif‘s powerful testimony after Israeli air strikes destroyed her neighbor’s house, killing 8 children and 2 women.

How is Black Lives Matter changing the US conversation on Palestine?

Professor Joseph Massad: Zionism, Imperialism & Why the Arab Uprisings Failed

“The Electronic Intifada has obtained a complete copy of The Lobby – USA, a four-part undercover investigation by Al Jazeera into Israel’s covert influence campaign in the United States. The film was made by Al Jazeera during 2016 and was completed in October 2017. But it was censored after Qatar, the gas-rich Gulf emirate that funds Al Jazeera, came under intense Israel lobby pressure not to air the film.”

STATEMENTS

“To our Palestinian sisters, your steadfastness to hold ground, at the risk of injury and death, and against all odds is our fortitude. Gendered violence is core to settler colonial practice. We stand with you as you resist this masculinized and militarized colonization. We share in your pain from this renewed assault on Palestinian life and land. We are enraged as settlers wreak havoc and call for the death of our people. We stand vigilant as you withstand airstrikes in Gaza, and stun grenades, tear gas, skunk water, rubber bullets, and the desecration of our sacred sites in Jerusalem, no less during the month of Ramadan. We stand with you as you resist the media’s violent erasure of the Palestinian struggle.”
—Palestinian Feminist Collective, “A Love Letter to Our People in Palestine

“As Palestinian scholars write under the threat of settler colonial erasure and imposition of exile, it is understood that their ideas and experiences are inextricably bound to the intellectual project and tradition that is Palestinian studies. Living within a political context that challenges their very existence, it is imperative that we not enact their replacement and erasure within our own scholarship, as Palestinians are barred from the academy. Approaching Palestine as a field of knowledge, rather than a case study or site of theoretical extraction, demands engaging with the intellectual labor of its people as a genealogy of subjugated knowledge in praxis. Resisting their erasure from the historical record requires a citational practice that both names Palestinians as intellectual subjects and challenges the very intellectual discourse that relegates them to the margins.”
Scholars for Palestinian Freedom

“To promote and protect the human rights of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation and to ensure that United States taxpayer funds are not used by the Government of Israel to support the military detention of Palestinian children, the unlawful seizure, appropriation, and destruction of Palestinian property and forcible transfer of civilians in the West Bank, or further annexation of Palestinian land in violation of international law.”
H.R.2590 (Rep. Betty McCollum)

“To the Editors of the New York Times: Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergency in the newly created state of Israel of the ‘Freedom Party’ (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.”
—Albert Einstein et al, letter to the New York Times, 1948

“As architects and planners, it is our moral and ethical duty to acknowledge that the tools of our profession have been co-opted to violate the legal rights of the Palestinian people.”
Architecture and Urban Planning Organizations Stand in Solidarity with Palestine, 2021

“What if academic freedom is defined precisely by the fact that it is a thing that can be enjoyed by peoples such as the Israelis and not by peoples such as the Palestinians? What is academic freedom that it can be exercised by Israelis and not by Palestinians and why would Palestinians, and those in solidarity with them, want it? Corollary, but absolutely subordinate, to that question is the question concerning the cost of academic freedom that Israelis are asked to pay. Like the evil song says, freedom isn’t free. What does academic freedom cost those who are said to enjoy it?”
—Fred Moten, Statement in Support of a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions, 2016

“We also acknowledge that the Zionist movement, a diverse set of linked ethnonationalist ideologies, also was and is still shaped by settler colonial paradigms that saw land settlement as a virtuous means of solving political, economic, or cultural problems, as well as modern European Enlightenment discourses that assumed a hierarchy of civilizations and adopted the premise that technological progress and development of an ‘underdeveloped’ territory would be an unqualified good.”
—Scholars of Jewish Studies and Israel Studies, Statement on Israel/Palestine, 2021

“We, the undersigned Palestinian artists, writers and our listed allies in the arts ask you to join us. Please don’t let this moment pass. If Palestinian voices are silenced again, it may take generations for another chance for freedom and justice to arise. We ask you to join us now, at this critical juncture, and show your support for Palestinian liberation.”
A Letter Against Apartheid, 2021

“We are calling on journalists to tell the full, contextualized truth without fear or favor, to recognize that obfuscating Israel’s oppression of Palestinians fails this industry’s own objectivity standards.”
An Open Letter on U.S. Media Coverage of Palestine, 2021

“The comparative silence of the office of the Chancellor on anti-Arab and especially anti-Palestinian racism, both this time and in the past, has elicited a response from UCLA faculty members, convened by Professor Saree Makdisi, who wish to express concern over what seems to be a blind spot in the university’s claim to embrace diversity, equity, and the inclusion of all communities.”
Blind Spot on Palestine and Palestinians at UCLA: An Open Letter,” 2021

ESSAYS

“Home demolitions are another brutal Israeli practice to have continued over the past year, even amid the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 2020, more than 163 homes and structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, displacing 359 Palestinians, including 167 children.”
Jalal Abukhater, “Israel is trying hard to erase Jerusalem’s Palestinians,” 4 May 2021

“We are exhausted. Day after day, we watch the bombs fall on homes where our friends and family live and buildings where our colleagues work, wondering if we will be next. And we wait in vain to hear our humanity recognized by the international community in words and actions. Receiving neither, we are left to feel that our rights don’t matter, that our lives don’t matter and that as human beings we don’t matter. When a cease-fire is eventually declared, we will once again dig out from the rubble and begin to rebuild, only to wait for another cycle of bombardment to destroy what we have done.”
—Laila Barhoum, “In Gaza, we dread the darkness and wait for the next strike to land,” 14 May 2021

“In Palestine, the insistence on ‘reconciliation’ while Israel continues to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people amounts to an insistence on surrender. After all, Palestinians’ first ask has always been: stop. Peace and reconciliation before justice and liberation is submission. But this is precisely why the terms remain so attractive to colonizers and their supporters: They allow crimes to continue unabated while diminishing any emotional anguish felt by the culprits. This is always preferable to confronting the soul wound at the core of the Zionist enterprise, which will only be healed by concerted material programs of reparations and decolonization that return Palestinian lands, homes, and dignity.”
—Kaleem Hawa, “The Nakba Demands Justice,” 14 May 2021

The Hebrew-language media reported on the violence inside Israel in-depth, but the chief site of blood and death between the river and the sea yesterday was Gaza—and the media barely touched on it.
—We Beyond the Fence, “You are completely helpless in the face of your child’s terror,” 14 May 2021

“Two lessons have emerged. First, the quiescence of the Palestinian people—accused, often most forcefully from within their own communities, of apathy and indifference—never amounted to acceptance of defeat. They have shown that Israel cannot persist in its policies without paying a price. Second, regardless of whether a broader movement emerges out of the current moment, the collective eruption across historical Palestine shows that the Palestinians remain a people, despite the false hope of partition, the all-too-real separation of their territories, and the deep fragmentation of their political and social life.”
—Tareq Baconi, “Sheikh Jarrah and After,” 14 May 2021

“It is clear, then, that the army knows the number and names of children, women and elderly who live in every residential building it bombs for any reason.”
—Amira Hass, “Israel is Wiping Out Entire Palestinian Families on Purpose,” 19 May 2021

The land theft that is happening in Sheikh Jarrah and across Palestine is not new; it’s what the Israeli state was founded on. In fact, back at the playground in Sheikh Jarrah, I learned how to ride a bike in the shadow of an Israeli government building that sat on my own grandfather’s land. The building houses the National Headquarters of the Israel Police—the very police force that kills and brutalizes Palestinians, illegally detains us, and routinely tramples on our rights. Till the day my grandfather died, he could not get over the fact that his land had been stolen. Anytime we passed by the building, he would point to it and say, ‘That’s on my land.’”
—Abdallah Fayyad, “I learned how to ride a bike in Sheikh Jarrah,” 25 May 2021

“What could result is a new type of Palestinian mobilization, one that belies the idea of a fragmented people and unites all Palestinian people in a joint struggle.”
—Maha Nasser, “Protests by Palestinian citizens Israel signal growing sense of a common struggle,” 13 May 2021

“[A]s Palestinians took to the streets in recent weeks, defiantly raising their national flags and chanting against their subjugation, Israelis awoke to the reality that for Palestinians, the divisions between Gazans, residents of the West Bank and Palestinian citizens of Israel do not exist. Palestine is not ‘over there’ but is everywhere around them. With their bodies and their feet, Palestinians were acting out the lines of the famed Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish: ‘I am from here. And here I am. I am me. And here is here.’ They have reasserted that they are all Palestinians, with one flag and one struggle.”
—Yousef Munayyer, “This Moment is Different,” 19 May 2021

“[I]f we want to assess Jerusalem’s current status in the peace process, and if we want to come to a full understanding not only of Israel’s designs and accomplishments in the Eastern city since 1967 but also of what Palestinian designs and accomplishments have amounted to, we must be prepared to admit that an astonishing disparity exists between the two sides in the contest over Jerusalem. This was certainly true in 1948. It is, I am very sorry to say, equally true in 1995…”
—”Edward Said’s Lost Essay on Jerusalem,” 1995, intro. by Rashid Khalidi

“Colonial occupiers have long claimed a ‘right’ to defend themselves from the resistance of native communities, including by committing mass murder. The history of African colonisation is littered with the corpses and mass graves of those who dared to resist the militarily superior Europeans.”
Patrick Gathara, “The fallacy of the colonial ‘right to self-defense’

“During the Gaza war, South Africa expressed strong solidarity with the Palestinians. No one here has forgotten the collaboration between Pretoria and Israel under apartheid, and many see parallels between the Palestinian situation today and that of black and coloured South Africans back in the days of white rule.”
—Alain Gresh, “Palestine: The View from South Africa,” 2009 (paywalled)

“It will take time to understand the true scope of what damage the recent bombardment has done to Palestine, but the damage comes on top of the other ecological injustices, ones that will only worsen due to climate change. The UN has deemed 96% of water in Gaza ‘unfit for human consumption,’ largely due to damage sustained by the 2014 war to both water infrastructure and the electricity infrastructure needed to power it. The Israeli government caused the damage, then refused to let Palestinians repair it, worsening the water crisis.”
Brian Kahn, “Palestine is Suffering an Ecological Apartheid,” 25 May 2011

“It’s extraordinary to report on Israel/Palestine without ever disclosing to readers the tie Kershner has to someone in the heart of Israel’s security establishment whose job is precisely to make sure that Israel receives favorable media coverage.”
Alex Kane, “New Conflict of Interest at NYT Jerusalem Bureau: Isabel Kershner’s family tie to pro-government think tank,” 1 May 2021

“Colonial Zionism has consecrated itself across the Holy Land. Israel reluctantly granted citizenship to the Palestinian minority that remained on its land despite the Nakba, but it has actively discriminated against this minority in housing, education, employment, land access, and politics in favor of the Jewish majority. Meanwhile, it occupies and colonizes millions of other Palestinians who are not its citizens but whose land it covets. The Israeli state proclaims itself not to be the state of all its citizens and certainly not of its second-class Palestinian citizens, whom it refers to as ‘Israeli Arabs.’ Instead, it describes itself as the state of the ‘Jewish people,’ and in 2018 it openly affirmed that Jews alone have an ‘exclusive right to national self-determination.’ Purely by virtue of their Jewishness, Americans with no connection to historic Palestine can emigrate to Israel and become Israeli citizens; Palestinian-born refugees or exiles with generations of direct connection to Palestine are barred from returning to their ancestral land. My mother, who was born in Jerusalem in 1940, is one of these Palestinians.”
Ussama Makdisi, “Coexistences in the Holy Land,” 28 May 2021

“I regularly see some variation of the question these days—with predictably passionate, and sometimes acrimonious, responses. In short: yes, it is.”
Steven Salaita, “Is Palestine a Muslim Issue?” 7 June 2021

INSTAGRAM

Live feeds from Palestine:
@alaa_salaymeh96
@kharoufs
@mohammedelkurd
@muna.kurd15
@ramzi.ans
@tarekbakri
@kokym7
@eye.on.palestine
@ranaa_khoury

Plus:
@jewishvoiceforpeace
@letstalkpalestine
@cravingpalestine

TWITTER

Threads:

The killed.
—Fatima Said, @fatimazsaid

palestinians are reminding us that decolonization is not abstract. it is material. it is violent. it is not popular, it will be resisted and debated by the entire structures of the monstrous colonial world. and it is the only way forward, and it is the only path of life.
#SaveSheikhJarrah, @YouKnowFargo

“Israeli occupation authorities have permitted large pharmaceutical firms to experiment on Palestinian prisoners, and have been testing weapons on Palestinian children, a Hebrew University professor disclosed in a recent lecture series.”
faust flag, @influensopher

Israeli officials citing Nazi tactics, expressing genocidal sentiment.
Gumby, JD (murdered), @gumby4christ

Read this narrative of dispossession and ecocide; it would fit right in to any class on eco criticism.
Saree Makdisi, @sareemakdisi

DIGITAL PROJECTS

Know Their Names: Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces

Nakba 1948 | Institute for Palestine Studies

Key facts and figures on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine The Nakba did not start or end in 1948

Learning with Palestine | The Funambulist

Index of Cultural Institutions & Collective Stance Towards The Current Palestinian Liberation Movement

BOOKS

“The fate of Palestine thus represents and anomaly, a radical departure from the trend of contemporary world history. Scores of nations and peoples have come to enjoy their right to self-determination, at the very time when the Arab people of Paelstine was finding itself helpless to prevent sthe culmination of a process of systematic colonization to which Palestine had been subjected for decades. This climactic development took the combined form of forcible dispossession of the indigenous population, their expulsion from their own country, the inplantation of an alien sovereignty on their soil, and the speedy importation of hordes of aliens to occupy the land thus emptied of its rightful inhabitants.”
—Fayez A. Sayegh, Zionist Colonialism in Palestine (1965) (full PDF)

“Once the decision was taken, it took six months to complete the mission. When it was over, more than half of Palestine’s native population, close to 800,000 people, had been uprooted, 531 villages had been destroyed, and eleven urban neighborhoods emptied of their inhabitants. The plan decided upon on 10 March 1948, and above all its systematic implementation in the following months, was a clear-cut case of an ethnic cleansing operation, regarded under international law today as a crime against humanity.”
—Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2007)

“The Palestinian cause is not a cause for Palestinians only, but a cause for every revolutionary, wherever he is, as a cause of the exploited and oppressed masses in our era.
—Ghassan Kanafani, The 1936-1939 Revolt in Palestine

FILMS

Arna’s Children, dir. Juliano Mer-Khamis (free to watch with library access)

Palestine is Still the Issue, dir. John Pilger (free)

Sheikh Jarrah, My Neighborhood, dir. Julia Bacha and Rebekah Wingert (free)

FURTHER RESOURCES

Decolonize Palestine

BDS Movement

Cultural Boycott for Palestine

Palestine News & Info Agency

Adalah | The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Samidoun | Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Visualizing Palestine

Within Our Lifetime (NYC-based)

Freedom Within Reach: Palestine Action Kit | Palestinian Feminist Collective

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Handmade Palestine,@handmadepalestine

Sitti Soap, @sittisoap

Sarab handmade, @simplysarab_

kuvrd streetwear, @kuvrd

Daleel Tadamon, @daleeltadamon

EMERGENCY DONATIONS

Palestine Red Crescent

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund