The following is a statement made by the St. Petersburg, FL local organization of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement on January 6, 2009 opposing the Israeli genocide assault on the Gaza Strip in Occupied Palestine and calling for increased actions in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for self-determination and return of stolen land.
Over the past two weeks, the world has watched as the U.S.-supported, illegitimate settler State of Israel has been waging a holocaust against the people of Palestine using a U.S.-funded military force. We have seen deliberate targeting of schools, churches and mosques including the bombing of a United Nations school. This genocidal assault using American helicopter gunships, tanks and other heavy artillery to exterminate Palestinian children, women, men and elderly people is part of a longstanding effort to expand the Zionist state’s occupation of stolen Palestinian land.
The Uhuru Movement recognizes that the settler State of Israel is an illegitimate occupying force. We reject the notion that the Palestinian people should be dispossessed and wiped out based on some claim that god, functioning as a real estate agent, gave Palestinian land to Jewish settlers. In fact, it was the British government’s Balfour Declaration of 1917 “giving” land belonging to the Palestinian people to Zionist Jews. In fact, there were several places claimed to be the national homeland of the Jews before Palestine, including Uganda in Africa.
The reality is that the establishment of the illegitimate settler State of Israel in 1948 was a political determination that came through genocide against the Palestinian people.
The U.S. government’s funding of the Israeli State’s genocide in Occupied Palestine is complicity. Israel functions as a military outpost for U.S. government interests in the Middle East region. It is exposing that the U.S. government can provide billions to the illegitimate settler State of Israel for its continuing genocide while it can find no resources to relieve people in the U.S. who have lost their homes as a result of the bankers’ subprime mortgage scams that targeted African and Latino people. We also recognize that U.S. president-elect Barack Obama’s refusal to speak to the holocaust being waged against the Palestinian people is a statement that with his presidency, the U.S. government will continue its participation in genocide in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.
We in the African community have a natural unity with the people of Palestine because the occupation experienced by the people of Palestine is not unlike the occupation experienced by African communities in the U.S. Just as the People in the Gaza Strip experience containment, African communities in the U.S. experience police containment. Just as Israeli military forces use brutality, prison and murder to repress and prevent the Palestinian people from exercising their right to self-determination, so do police in African communities in places like Chicago, New York and St. Petersburg use brutality, prison and murder to contain and repress the African community. So it is easy for the African community to support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
The Uhuru Movement supports unconditionally the struggle of the Palestinian people to end the occupation and take back all of their stolen land. We are calling on all freedom-loving people to increase actions in support of the Palestinian people and an immediate end to the Israeli military offensive against the 1.5 million civilians in the Gaza Strip.
We will be holding a forum on Thursday, January 8 to expose the history of the occupation of Palestine and the U.S. role in the continuing genocide of the Palestinian people and to consolidate opposition to the current genocidal assault in Gaza. This event will include participation from the Refuge Ministries, St. Pete for Peace, the Green Party and other progressive organizations and individuals in the area.