Palestine is a feminist issue

 Palestine Update 533
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Palestine is a feminist issue

Khitam Saafin Khitam who was detained by the Israeli occupation in 2020 said: “We, Palestinian women, can face anything. We are stronger and we are all united against racism and colonialism”. She spoke of how Palestinians live under colonialism and the Zionist occupation of Palestine. She noted that “our people continue to face this colonial attack, clearly backed by the global imperialism spearheaded by the United States of America. More than half of the Palestinian people still live as refugees, in their homeland or elsewhere, as a result of the great forced displacement of 1948. We are learning that all of us Palestinians are subjected to the control by the occupation over all aspects of our lives”.

In the article we see how Palestine is a feminist issue and how the feminist movement seeks to resist gendered violence, settler colonialism, capitalist exploitation and oppression in all its forms.

We urge all our readers of Palestine Updates, specifically feminists to study this pertinent statement. Men included!. Feminist thinkers would argue that gender should be no barrier to full and active participation, while some would argue that feminism is ingrained in the women’s liberation movement, a movement founded by women for the advancement of women.

Palestine Updates has a constituency that is equally balanced between women and men. Our intent is not to start up a debate on the nature and orientation of feminism. It is, as the opening comment underlines: “The F-Word Collective stands in solidarity with the people of Palestine, recognizing the struggle for liberation from occupation is part of the broader feminist project against the oppression of all people”. We urge ask readers to further explore this discourse and to disseminate this issue of Palestine Updates widely.

Ranjan Solomon

“Israel’s war against the continuance of Palestinian life targets women in every sphere. Certainly it targets women as potential or actual agents of the reproduction of life itself, as mothers and as caretakers, but it also targets women as reproducers of social and cultural life, as if the targeting of women—as so often in colonial regimes—were understood to be the royal road to the destruction of indigenous social and political life. Living under Israeli occupation or within the borders of its racial state has been devastating for all Palestinians, but is especially destructive for Palestinian women.” ( https://uscpr.org/feministpalestine ) 

Solidarity with Palestine- Why the struggle for Palestinian liberation is a feminist issu

The F-Word Collective stands in solidarity with the people of Palestine, recognizing the struggle for liberation from occupation is part of the broader feminist project against the oppression of all people 

2021 saw an unprecedented level of international support for the Free Palestine movement following 11 days of airstrikes, and this support must not dim now. Amnesty International’s recent report, which concluded that the Israeli government is enforcing a system of apartheid against Palestinians under international law, has brought renewed focus to the cause, calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider these allegations

We stand in solidarity with Palestinians: Palestinians in occupied Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinians in Israel and the millions of Palestinian refugees who have no right of return to their homeland.
Since 1948 nd aided by the British and US governments, the Israeli government has systematically displaced Palestinians, destroyed their homes and restricted Palestinians’ human rights and movement.

To this day, the Israeli government puts restrictions on Palestinians’ freedom of movement, demolishes Palestinian homes, builds unlawful settlements and arbitrarily detains peaceful protestors. In Gaza, here the economy is largely dependent on international assistance, the Israeli government restricts the movement of people, food, water, electricity, construction materials and other necessities. Palestinians living in Israel are afforded fewer rights than Israeli nationals, while Palestinians in the occupied territories are governed by military law. In 2000, during the Second Intifada (Palestinian uprising), which included high-casualty suicide bombings carried out by Hamas, the Israeli government erected a 400-mile separation barrier (see below) in the West Bank (25 feet high in places) that separated Palestinians from their land, jobs and neighbours.

We also stand against antisemitism in any form and condemn the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in recent years. We see the antiracist goal of the eradication of racism as integral to the feminist project. As Jewish people form an ethno religious group, we recognize that antisemitism has its roots in racism and must be dismantled alongside other forms of racism.  However, we reject the idea that supporting Palestinian liberation is inherently anti-Semitic. Our criticism is aimed at the actions of a government, not Jewish people or culture. The fight to end racism – and antisemitism – and the support for Palestinian liberation come from the same place –  the goal of ending the oppression and marginalization of people in all its forms. Indeed, there is significant support from Jewish people for the Free Palestine movement. Notable groups include Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

The Free Palestine movement: a feminist issue
The feminist movement seeks to resist gendered violence, settler colonialism, capitalist exploitation and oppression in all its forms. Bell hooks, among others, has made this argument for decades. Many of these issues are at the heart of the current conflict in Palestine. Systems of oppression, regardless of how they manifest, cannot be fought in isolation. They are interconnected and require global efforts to be eliminated. This is particularly the case when the oppression is happening at the level of one country’s behaviour towards another, and is why it is important for institutions without a direct role in the conflict to demonstrate solidarity with its victims.

Another key aspect of the feminist movement has been to end war and militarism. Haim Bresheeth-Zabner, a Jewish scholar who was born and raised in Israel, has written a book about the Israeli Defence Force and its central role in the establishment of the Israeli state, published by Verso.. Gendered violence also tends to go hand-in-hand with hyper militarism, and is a key concern in Palestine. In addition to facing arrest, indefinite detention and incarceration, Palestinian women have been subjected to sexual violence and other gendered forms of coercion at the hands of the IDF.

There are long legacies of solidarity movements between Palestinian, Black, Indigenous, working class and queer communities, who have struggled side-by-side within larger anti- colonial, anti-capitalist and anti-racist movements across the world. For more feminist analyses of the Palestinian liberation struggle, see this petition from the Palestinian Feminist Collective and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.
Source:

Resources
Explanations of the origins of Palestinian oppression
Glossary on key terms related to the issue from Visualize Palestine 101
https://101.visualizingpalestine.org/resources/glossary

Visualize Palestine 101 – A visual guide to the historical context in Palestine
https://101.visualizingpalestine.org/visuals#historical-context

Animated explainer video from Jewish Voice for Peace

Jewish Voice for Peace’s Approach to Zionism

JVP’s Approach to Zionism

How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland – Ramzy Baroud, Al-Jazeera
https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2018/4/10/how-britain-destroyed-the-palestinian-homeland

Debunking the myth that anti-Zionism is antisemitic – Paul Beinart, Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/mar/07/debunking-myth-that-anti-zionism-is-
antisemitic

Short video on Britain’s role in the occupation of Palestine, TRT world

The Complex History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Promises & Betrayals – Documentary
from Timeline – World History Documentaries

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and how language used in mainstream media distorts the reality of Palestians’ lives https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkQ4HZAepYc

Decolonize Palestine, including  Palestine 101  (History of Palestine),  Myths on Palestine  and a  reading list  https://decolonizepalestine.com/

Center for Jewish Nonviolence:  https://cjnv.org/

Na’amod British Jews Against Occupation:  https://naamod.org.uk/

Noam Chomsky – Why does the U.S. support Israel?

Letters to Palestine
Extract from ‘Teju Cole: Bad Laws’:  https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3214-teju-cole-bad-
laws

‘Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians’: Amnesty International report  https://www.amnesty.org/en/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/MDE1551412022ENGLISH.pdf

Ways to be in solidarity
Petitions to support Palestine: ​​ https://helppalestine.carrd.co/
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement
https://bdsmovement.net/what-is-bds

University student? A 10-step guide to starting an #apartheidoffcampus campaign at your
university, from the Palestine Campaign.  https://www.palestinecampaign.org/wp-
content/uploads/AOC-guide-2020.pdf

Were you ever a University student? Use  this link  to find out if your alma mater funds complicit
companies and write to them asking to divest from them.

Petition for Google to put Palestine on its maps –  http://chng.it/HqNYZkzSvN

PCRF Palestine Children’s Relief Fund –  https://www.facebook.com/ThePCRF
Image description: The feature image shows a child with the Palestinian flag painted on her
face at a protest in Berlin. Image used with permission by  Montecruz Photo  via Flickr. The in-
text image shows the separation wall that separates Israel from the West Bank. The picture is
taken from the ground and shows a high concrete wall. There is rubble on the ground. Image
used with permission by  Justin McIntosh  via Wikimedia Commons.