Uhuru! Peace, as-salamu alaykum, which means peace be upon you. I appreciate the space we’ve been given to speak here and stand in solidarity with our black sisters and brothers as we have for the 15 years we’ve been in this organization that I co-founded with my brother out of New York. I’m also the Executive Director of Eyewitness Palestine. And what we do is we take people to Palestine.
You could read a million books, you could watch a million movies and documentaries but that’s someone else’s experience. And so we take people there so they can see the f*ckery that’s going on. So you don’t have to believe other people’s words. You don’t have to believe the lies that are coming out of there.
I have a lot that I want to say. I can talk about my personal experience. Every Palestinian has a story. But I made a few bullet points, so I don’t go off.
On Oct. 7, our Palestinian brothers and sisters broke out of a prison called Gaza—that they [Israel] have put them in for 20 years under siege. Gaza has been bombed almost every month. You only hear about it every few years when they kill thousands of people. So we’ve been doing this for years; we’ve been marching for years.
My parents, my family, my father was born in 1939 when it was Palestine. This didn’t start three-four weeks ago. This started over 75 years ago when the Jewish militias came in. And people say to me, how [was] Israel created? You’re watching how they created that satanic state right now. They’re doing exactly what they did to our people in the ‘30s and ‘40s right now in 2023. Our babies are being slaughtered and they’re out here talking about “they’re defending themselves.” What part of murdering ten thousand people is f*cking self-defense?
Palestine is not just Gaza and Gaza is not [separate from] Palestine. The whole country, from the river to the sea is Palestine. And they are murdering them all over the country. They’ve got people bamboozled with what’s going on in Gaza, but they’ve murdered hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank.
I was contemplating, “Should I talk about this? Should I not talk about this?” Because I felt guilty a couple of days ago. I was floored, and stuck, because [someone that could’ve been my brother] was murdered in the West Bank. But every single Palestinian that is murdered is somebody’s child, is somebody’s brother, is somebody’s father, is somebody’s uncle, is a human being that deserves to be uplifted.
So I want to remember my brother Fayaz Arafat from Balata refugee camp who was shot with an explosive bullet, four days ago, in his hip. An explosive bullet, which is illegal under international law, but why does Israel give a shit about international law, they’ve broken like 60. And nobody holds them accountable. An explosive bullet goes inside your body, and it explodes inside your body–so they can make sure that you don’t live.
In 48, Palestinians were being arrested. When they talk about releasing the hostages, yes, release the hostages when you release our 11,000 plus Palestinian political prisoners that you are holding in your dungeons–over 200 Palestinian children. Israel counts Palestinian children from 16 and younger as children. They try them over 16 as adults. If you’re Jewish, over 18 is an adult. Four thousand four hundred and fifty Palestinian political prisoners were being held prior to October 7. That was three and a half weeks ago. Now they have over 11,000, that’s how many they’ve arrested just in the past few weeks.
Under administrative detention, they can hold you for six months with no charges. Palestinians, thousands of them, are being held with not a single charge. And after the first six months they can renew it for another six months, and another six months. And some Palestinians have been under administrative detention, held by Israel, for 20 years. Not to mention, Israel hasn’t even tried to get the hostages, they just bomb the shit out of Gaza.
I also want to say about language, this is not a war. If they gave us the weaponry and the money that we give Israel from our tax money every year, them motherf*ckers would’ve been left and gone home.
I also want to say that the Zionists have been trying to shift the narrative. They say, “Well, what about Sudan, what about…” but we stand with our brothers and sisters in Sudan, [in] DR Congo. And when they call on us, I will be there. I can speak for [myself], I will be there. And we can talk about how Israel is raping DR Congo for its resources–billions of dollars every year.
Like I said, we’ve been doing this work for years. I really appreciate this space. Palestinians have now decided it’s freedom or death. That’s not just a slogan. Freedom or death. And people need to choose a side. Either you’re with the oppressor, or you’re with the oppressed.
Thank you! Peace! Uhuru!