Thousands of Palestinians have been killed by the state of Israel, and almost half of those people are children simply because they make up roughly half the population of Palestine. It’s difficult to point to a specific number of people who have been murdered because of how much it is constantly increasing due to the unyielding attacks by the state of Israel, a state who has chosen to punish the many for the acts of the few. In terms of the rhetoric used by both the state of Israel and their allies, they are merely pretending to the fact that they’re not indiscriminately attacking civilians in Gaza. In reality, they are committing a genocide.
We cannot ignore this, and we cannot (and should not) remain silent about it.
More people—those who are still with us, anyway—have lost so much. Safety was already tenuous and difficult to come by, but it’s clear that there is nowhere that’s safe for the millions of people in Gaza. They have lost their families, and they have watched as their homes have been destroyed and made entirely unlivable by the munitions Israel has used against them. It is impossible to describe the actions taken by the state of Israel as anything other than genocidal in nature, and it is abhorrent that its allies continue to support and provide aid to further endanger the Palestinian people. What has happened and what is being done is the culmination of decades of actions that have othered, displaced, and targeted the Palestinian people.
The rhetoric used by both the politicians of Israel and those of allied nations indicate that there is little desire to do anything that would prevent this, with many governments choosing to silence and arrest protesters who demand a ceasefire and support Palestine. In Germany, a government that has repeatedly failed to fight their own internal antisemitism on many levels has decided to propose legislation that would harm any migrant for whatever acts they define as antisemitic, which can include punishing someone who voices any form of support for Palestine or engages in any action that can be seen as “against” Israel. So many people who oppose the actions of the Israeli state are being censored through official policies in countries outside of it, though this isn’t new for any of us. It’s already been happening for decades to many who have openly supported movements such as BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions), and the silencing and policing of people for demonstrating—the most mundane of political action—is a natural extension of it.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine in their struggle against the ongoing genocide perpetrated against them by the state of Israel. This occupation has lasted for over 70 years, and it would be irresponsible to ignore the many historical events that led to the present situation. It would be irresponsible of us to ignore how nations like the UK and the US have supported both the creation and ongoing expansion of the state of Israel to varying degrees. It would be absurd to not recognise the irony of nations in the UN debating resolutions for “humanitarian pauses,” even as they themselves are committing the same crimes against people in other regions.
Further still, it is absurd that many of these governments and their officials openly continue supporting Israel’s assault on Gaza and provide justification for it even while they continue to provide resources and support via the UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). Many of those who they claim to be their own colleagues have been murdered in the attacks on Gaza, and there have been many words said and written about how sad and angry they are that it’s happened. Yet, the most they’re willing to do is continue to debate something as weak as a “call” for a “humanitarian pause?” It’s beyond grotesque and a further example of why statehood will continue to fail everyone.
The settler and military government of Israel is killing the Palestinian future and resistance systematically, and it is beyond clear that this is their intent. They also continue to dispossess more Palestinian people of their homes and their land, and they have been actively denying them access to necessary services such as water, food, fuel, and healthcare. That the state of Israel has outright denied access to services such as electricity has made it almost impossible for doctors to continue providing care to their patients, forcing many into extremely precarious and desperate situations that can and almost inevitably will lead to their deaths. The fact that fuel is still denied to them means that their water and sewage systems are not working, something that we know will lead to people getting sick.
And even when aid is allowed into Palestine, only the most paltry amounts are made available. They may receive some food, but it is nowhere near enough for the millions of people living there.
It must also be said, however, that it is entirely is possible to condemn the murders committed by Hamas on 7 October 2023 while also condemning both the previous and current settler and military attacks against the Palestinian population. It is possible to simultaneously recognise the murders that they committed while recognising the disproportionate punishment that Palestinians are now suffering. It is also necessary to recognise the murders of people who have been caught between both the attacks by Hamas and the exploitation of the Israeli state, such as the Thai workers who were killed in the October attack. In condemning the actions of Hamas, we should not conflate their organisation with the entirety of the Palestinian people because they are not the same.
At the same time that we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, it must be clear that we also stand strong against the rising antisemitism that Jewish people are experiencing around the world. Many Jewish people have been demonstrating their disdain for the Zionist project in Israel, stating that they do not want the state of Israel to commit acts of genocide in their name. Many have been demanding peaceful solutions, calling for an end both to this attack and to the ongoing occupation. Many do this at great risk to themselves and their own livelihoods, knowing that they will likely suffer both consequences for their support and also endure antisemitic attacks.
Furthermore, there have been increasing numbers of antisemitic attacks across Europe and North America from the far right. They have largely been utilising rhetoric that stems from the invasion, masking their antisemitic vitriol behind a supposed support for Palestine. It is sadly common that there are people who co-opt and weaponise the movement of support for Palestinians, as is possible in all other movements, to continue their bigoted attacks against Jewish people in their local communities.
But it is not only the far right who engages in antisemitism, as it is yet another bigotry that we all must continue to acknowledge and unlearn in our spaces. We cannot and should not allow these attitudes to infiltrate our movements, as it will only decrease our ability to stand in solidarity with each other and create further unnecessary divisions. These attitudes cannot be allowed to proliferate in our spaces, and we must remain vigilant to ensure that bigotries against either Palestinians or Jewish people remain firmly outside of our spaces. Though it should be obvious, bigoted sentiments must never receive our support.
Additionally, we feel that it is necessary to highlight the parallels between Israel and one of its closest allies: the United States. Since the establishment of the Israeli state, the US has provided them with billions of dollars in aid and additional military training and support. There have been close ties between the two nations, and it is unsurprising that some Palestinians and Jewish people of Arab descent have noticed similarities between both the colonial project in the US and that of Israel. Though some people have noticed the parallels between apartheid South Africa and the apartheid state of Israel and Palestine, we believe that it is necessary to look at the relationship between how Israel’s colonial project has functioned and how the colonial projects of its biggest supporters have been enacted.
There are pertinent parallels between both the handling and neglect of treaties with Native American tribes in the US and the UN resolution for a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel. There are parallels in the ways in which westward expansion in the US has functioned and how the continued expansion of Israel into Palestinian territory has operated, including the development of communities along a ‘frontier’ that would become antagonistic toward the people who were already living there. In fact, it should also be necessary to recognise the colonialism of both the French and British in the region prior to the establishment of the state of Israel. All of these are influences in the ways in which colonialism built the modern state of Israel and continues to operate there today.
However, it’s also entirely necessary to look at how the refusal of Israel’s biggest allies to deal with their own bigotries has helped, in their own eyes, to require the existence of Israel (with politicians like Joe Biden outright having stated that, if it did not exist, we should create it). A large part of why Zionist projects have received support of European governments is due to their own outright refusal to fight the antisemitism within their borders. The establishment of the state of Israel was seen as multiply beneficial to them, making it easier for them to cover up their own antisemitism while pretending they were actually supporting the Jewish people by ‘helping’ to relocate them to somewhere else. If we had actually learned the lessons that many governments, institutions, and individual people claim we learned from World War II, we would have done far more to combat antisemitism (among other bigotries) in our own societies. Instead, our minimal actions have perpetuated this abject hatred, which has further led to and fueled the events we’re seeing unfold before our eyes.
What we are demanding is a total end to the attacks on Palestinians by the state of Israel. More than that, we want the Palestinian people to be free and for their land to be returned. The state of Israel and its allies must all be dismantled in order to bring peace and freedom to both the Palestinian and Israeli people alike. No one will be free or safe so long as they exist, and it is impossible to fight imperialism, colonialism, or fascism if we maintain adherence to any modern state. As anarchists, we will never see the formation of any states or nationalisms as a liberatory measure, as we strongly believe that both will work to maintain internal hierarchies and oppressions that are already present. However, we recognise that Palestinians will have to and should decide for themselves what is likely to be the best course of action. We only hope that whatever decisions they make continue them toward the path of total liberation for all of their people.
Finally, we want to emphasise that all of us must remember to reflect upon this genocide and the many factors that have enabled it. If we do not take time to pause and make serious considerations about how we are going to prevent this—to be able to truly say “never again”—we need to seriously consider how we are maintaining the systems that help enable genocidal actions. We need to better understand how to stop settler-colonialism and their corporation-states all together. And we need to reflect upon all genocides that have happened or are continuing to happen as we speak, as this is something that we have not adequately or genuinely done for any of them.
We cannot merely shrug our shoulders and go back to whatever state of ‘normal’ we existed in after each and every time this happens. Even as this is happening now and is (for the moment) dominating many media narratives, there are far more problems that are happening that we are not seeing because they are not receiving air time. We need to recognise the connections between them, and we need to recognise that these assaults on many people will continue to happen unless we all actively do something.
These assaults and forever wars need to end.
We only have each other. The sooner we recognise this, the easier it will be to fight all of this in our many different capacities and locations.
Keep each other safe,