We Demand an Immediate Ceasefire in the Israeli War on Gaza
The devastation of Gaza in the increasingly desperate and unequal conflict must end. It is not just the witnessing of ever-escalating violence–which has claimed the lives of 11,000 Palestinians, the majority of which are women and children–but the increasingly divisive, dehumanizing culture that has arisen against this backdrop.
We must care for the lives of Palestinians, including their right to live freely and justly on their lands. We must care for the lives of Jewish people who have faced historic persecution, displacement, and growing acts of modern-day antisemitism. We are able to hold both these struggles for self-determination.
To be clear, we condemn the disturbing rise of racist, Islamophobic, and antisemitic acts and rhetoric both abroad and in America. We must also recognize the vested interests of governments and institutions in keeping us divided as they seek to uphold power and control public opinions. This includes the U.S. government which continues to provide diplomatic, financial, and military support to Israel. It is up to us to reject reductive narratives that validate the erasure of one group of people over another. The violent loss of civilian life is always an atrocity and one that must be stopped. This is a time to speak up and not be silent.
So, we say clearly and unequivocally: ceasefire now!
Reports of censorship of those speaking out against the violence in Gaza are a stark reminder that, as Angela Davis proclaims, “freedom is a constant struggle.” It is a struggle that requires solidarity across differences so we can work together to liberate ourselves. Solidarity was heavy on our minds when our Just Future Summit took place last month on October 19 and 20.
Amidst the violence unfolding, we were honored and excited to welcome Linda Sarsour, brilliant Palestinian-American activist, to our mainstage for the Summit’s opening plenary, Centering Joy to Sustain our Movements. Linda gifted us with wisdom gained from her journey fighting for liberation for oppressed people in the US and around the world. She spoke of her love for her people, and her intergenerational commitment to movements against oppression:
“Indigenous people teach us to work for seven generations to come…Everybody wants to get free tomorrow. You’re not gonna be free tomorrow, and it probably won’t be next year and it may be not even in 10 years…I work every day knowing that I may not see a free Palestine in my lifetime. But you better believe I’m going to work for free Palestine because I know my great great grandchildren are going to experience it.”
Her words rang true for me and my colleagues at Greenlining, where we are fighting for a future not yet realized–one where communities of color thrive. In our work, we know that a crucial part of maintaining the “ongoing struggle” we are fighting is solidarity. We know we must hold each other as we fight against unjust systems that seek to divide us. Systems rooted in racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy created the problems we seek to remedy in our advocacy. So we will not look away in the face of systemic oppression. We never have and we never will. And we can not deny the way these societal systems have and continue to shape what is happening to Palestinians on their land.
There are those who want us to grow weary and desensitized to the unjust brutality of a people. Weary so we will not stand in solidarity and demand peace and recovery in a complete ceasefire. We are even more resolute in our demands for humanity against those who seek land, power, and control–both domestic and abroad.
We must find humanity and commit to each other in this moment–and hold the grief, heartbreak, and desperation–so we can move together to demand peace.