On Gaza and Liberty City

Since March 30th, thirty-three Palestinian people have been killed in Gaza and thousands more have been injured by live fire. The reason? Peaceful resistance to a seventy year long military occupation of their homeland and a life made unlivable by  the right wing extremist Israeli government.

For more than a decade, a humanitarian crisis has escalated in Gaza with forced conditions of scarce food, water, electricity and aid due to an Israeli-imposed blockade with a highly militarized border that cannot be crossed. Unemployment in Gaza is the highest of any city on earth at 43%. The poverty rate is 80%. Gaza also has the highest rate of cancer in the world. These conditions are a result of Israeli’s extreme right wing apartheid policy, policy that can be changed.

March 30th, or Land Day, launched  the historic six-week #GreatReturnMarch. The march will continue until Nakba on May 15th. Nakba, or  “catastrophe” in Arabic, is the anniversary of Israeli forces violently expelling over 700,000 Palestinians from their land in 1948 in order to create the state of Israel. In the process, more than 15,000 Palestinians were murdered and more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed.

Israeli soldiers shot nearly 1,000 Palestinian demonstrators with live ammunition on the first day of the march. Video footage has shown Israeli troops celebrating as they shoot innocent protesters. Israeli officials have defended the killings and shootings, calling the demonstrators terrorists.

When the Palestinian demonstrators were killed and shot, some were burning tires. Others were marching along the border. Others praying. Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja was simply covering the protests happening around him. He had plans to make a documentary about the march. What does it say of a society that justifies firing tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition at weapon-less and land-less people who are simply making their voices heard in a world that has silenced them at every turn? What does it say about a government that calls itself the only democracy in the middle east but targets journalists for murder at a protest?

We believe that Palestinians have the right to return to their homeland and condemn both the Israeli government and the U.S. government for their role in enabling the violent and murderous response to the Palestinian protest.

In a moment when young people in the US are rising to fight a country that prioritizes the profits of the NRA and weapons manufacturers over the lives of its children, when young people are mourning the lives of their peers in the streets, it would be a failure to not fight on behalf of the lives lost in Palestine too.

Too often, American outrage only rises over American death -- and even that outrage has conditions. There has been a swell of support around young people who are rising up in this country right now and with reason. We are all devastated by the fact that our young people aren’t safe in what should be the one of the safest places they encounter -- the classroom - while children are killed by US and Israeli-manufactured weapons in their schools, in their churches, in their homes and in hospitals every day. Our politicians shouldn’t take money from the NRA, but we are failing to live up to our principles as freedom fighters, if we aren't demanding they stop taking money from Lockheed Martin, Blackwater, Raytheon, Elbit and Israeli Aerospace too. Israel remains one of the top weapons exporters and importers in the world, and those weapons are used to enforce a brutal and racist occupation in Palestine and in wars and human rights violations across the globe. Our outrage and support must extend beyond home.

No human life, regardless of what borders this life is born into should be lost at the hands of a weapon - not in Parkland, not in Liberty City, not in Aleppo and not in Gaza. And no human loss should be met with silence.  

Today, we mourn three young people who were shot and killed in Liberty City, Florida this past week - 4-year-old Nyla Jones, 17-year old Kimson Green and 18-year old Rickey Dixon. We honor these lives, along with the lives lost in Palestine, in Syria, in Yemen, and throughout the world. We are living in a time of great crisis. No life should be lost so that some rich CEO somewhere can make more money off of spreading killing machines around the world. This is senseless.

The only path forward is rising up together - all people in every corner of the world - to envision and fight for a new, collective path for society, a society where no child is considered less valuable than a dollar.  

In your honor, we fight:

  • Nyla Jones
  • Kimson Green
  • Rickey Dixon
  • Marwan Odah Qdeih
  • Hamza Abdul-al
  • Yassar Mortaja
  • Tha’er Mohammad Rabe’a
  • Ala’ Yahya az-Zamily
  • Osama Khamis Qdeih
  • Ibrahim al-‘Orr
  • Sidqi Faraj Abu ‘Oteiwi
  • Mohammad Sa’id Mousa al-Hajj Saleh
  • Hussein Mohammad Madhi
  • Majdi Ramadan Shbat
  • Shadi Hamdan al-Kashef
  • Mojahed Nabil al-Khodary
  • Ahmad Omar Arafa
  • Fares Roqab
  • Mosab Zohair Salloul
  • Sari Waleed Abu Odah
  • Abdul-Qader al-Hawajri
  • Jihad Zoheir Abu Jamous
  • Bader Faeq as-Sabagh
  • Naji Abdullah Abu Hjeir
  • Ahmad Ibrahim Odah
  • Jihad Ahmad Freina
  • Hamdan Ismael Abu Amsha
  • Mahmoud Sa’adi Rohmi
  • Abdul-Fattah Abdul-Nabi
  • Ibrahim Abu Sha’ar
  • Mohammad Naim Abu Amro
  • Amin Mansour Abu Moammar
  • Mohammad Kamel Najjar
  • Wahid Nasrallah Abu Sammour

 

We pray and fight for a Free Palestine, a Free Liberty City and for the freedom of oppressed people all over the globe.

 

The Dream Defenders