A message from our friend Katie Archibald-Woodward:
I greet you from Selma, Alabama, where two friends and I are walking to Montgomery over the next five days, participating in the 54-mile journey our neighbors took 63 years ago demanding the freedom to exercise their right to vote. Today I watched an illuminating interview on CBS with human rights attorney and associate professor at George Mason University, Noura Erakat, comparing the protests in Gaza to the marches in Selma. I was astounded. I had already noticed the evident parallels between the calls for justice during the marches and protests by our African-American neighbors and the Palestinians in Gaza--the demand to be treated as equal human beings, the brutal backlash they received for it, and the ways they persisted. Yet, to hear all this on national news was added confirmation.
So, I commend the interview to you. It's just 9 minutes long and full of information about the marches for return Palestinians have been participating in these 70 years since the state of Israel was created and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were either killed or force to flee the land. (For more information on international law of return see below)* The interview also clearly articulates the connection and lack of connection between the marches and the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem yesterday.
After watching, take a moment to WRITE you representatives! Urge them to take action for human rights, freedom, equality, and dignity.
Thank you for your time and I am ever grateful for your compassionate hearts and our partnership in the healing and wholeness of our world.
*Numerous legal sources, including international law, international humanitarian law governing rights of civilians during war, and human rights law, dictate "refugees have a right to return to areas from which they have fled or were forced, to receive compensation for damages, and to either regain their properties or receive compensation and support for voluntary resettlement." The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, established months after the Nakba, states in Article 13(2) that "[e]veryone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his own country." - Institute for Middle East Understanding
For more information:
See Kate Taber's Israel and Palestine Syllabus for 2018. Here's a sample of resources:
Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and the "Special Relationship" between the US and Israel: https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/settler-colonialism-white-supremacy-and-the-special-relationship-between-the-u-s-and-israel/
From Gaza to Ferguson: Exposing the Toolbox of Racist Repression: https://fpif.org/gaza-ferguson-exposing-toolbox-racist-repression/
Black-Palestine Solidarity in the Ferguson-Gaza Era: https://reblaw.yale.edu/sites/default/files/black-palestinian_solidarity_in_the_ferguson-gaza_era.pdf
Freedom Bound: Resisting Zionism and White Supremacy: https://uscpr.org/learn/togetherwerise/freedom-bound/
Noura Erakat on "The Nakba and Anti-Blackness": http://nakbafiles.org/2016/05/18/the-nakba-and-anti-blackness/