Like you, we are watching the escalating use of lethal force and violence by the Israeli military against Palestinians with immense concern.
As white people in the US, many of our beliefs about Palestine have been shaped by racist and pro-United States propaganda in our media, telling us that Palestinians are terrorists or that Israel is defending democracy against the terrorism of the Middle East or even that supporting Palestine means you’re anti-Semitic.
Nothing could be further from the truth, but like in many other parts of our work, we need to unlearn these teachings in order to be strategic and effective in the ways we take action together.
To understand how we got here, what is currently happening, and how Palestinian liberation is a racial justice issue that ties into the broader vision for collective liberation, we are hosting a webinar next Thursday, May 20th at 8pmET/5pmPT. Register here to learn from leaders from AROC, FOSNA, and Catalyst Project, and SURJ-Faith.
For introductory material, check out these resources:
- DecolonizePalestine.com, created by Palestinians.
- An intro to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from Jewish Voice for Peace that breaks down the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the US’s involvement.
- Learn more about Christian Zionism, a political and theological ideology that uses Christian texts to support the modern nation-state of Israel used to strategically confuse non-Jewish people and weaken Palestinian solidarity, from Friends of Sabeel North America.
- SURJ’s webinar from last year, “Palestine, Zionism, and Racial Justice”
At SURJ, we believe that everyone– everyone! — deserves to live in a world where they are safe and have what they need to thrive. We include all people of the world in this belief. We know that white supremacy, exploitation, and systemic oppression are global issues, and that the United States government has played a central role in perpetrating violence and oppression against people of color and non-European people across the globe for decades. The very same US-manufactured tear gas that is used against Black Lives Matter protests is also deployed against Palestinian protestors.
Our struggles across the world are connected. Those who benefit from the status quo want to keep our movements fractured and disjointed. Whether we’re fighting against police violence, deportations, or pipelines here in the US, or against the violent seizure of Palestinian homes and land, we can find power and connection in our collective struggle.
Here’s how you can take action this week to support Palestinians:
- Attend a protest near you. The Palestinian Youth Movement is keeping track of events.
- Sign this letter to your congresspeople to end the US’s sanctioning of Israel’s abuses of Palestine.
- Sign the petition to stop Israel’s forced displacement of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and then support one of the Palestinian-led organizations financially.
- Contact your lawmaker to support H.B. 2590, the “Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” or the Palestinian Children and Families Act. SURJ is proud to endorse this legislation.
Unlearning what we have been taught is a long-term process. Now is the time for us to recommit to leaning into that tension and rising in solidarity with Palestinians who have been murdered and displaced, while also committed to the longer struggle of understanding the context more deeply.
Ending violence against oppressed people across the globe creates a safer world for everyone.
Rev. Anne Dunlap, Faith Organizing Coordinator, SURJ
Jeff Ordower, past Board Member