Palestinians continue quest for freedom after 70 years of dispossession, while U.S. opens embassy in Jerusalem

(WASHINGTON, D.C. 5/14/2018) – American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a national education organization, condemns Israel’s massacre of more than 50 and injuring more than 2400 Palestinians peacefully protesting in Gaza. AMP asserts the military actions are just further proof of Israel’s intent to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland, even as a confluence of events that could see irreparable changes in the quest for Palestinian self-determination as Palestinians and their supporters mark the 70th year since the beginning of the Nakba.

On this day, AMP recognizes that for the past 70 years, Israel has pushed Palestinians out of their homes to create and maintain a Jewish majority, privileging Jews over non-Jews. We call on the international community to support Palestinians’ efforts for justice and freedom and to hold Israel to account for policies that contravene international law and are used to oppress an entire nation of people.

As a delegation of U.S. officials descended on Jerusalem today to announce the symbolic opening of the U.S. embassy there, Palestinians in Gaza continue to die for staging the peaceful March of Return and demanding the universal and individual right of return for Palestinian refugees. The United Nations once predicted that Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020 because of Israel’s siege and the three massive military attacks in the past 10 years on the 2 million people there. But, it has since amended that prediction to say Gaza is on the brink of total collapse. Still, residents there have been waging their peaceful March of Return since the end of March, while Israeli military snipers line the hills and routinely “pick off” children, youth and others just trying to bring international awareness to the inhumane conditions under which residents of Gaza live.

And yet, the Trump administration continues to ignore this suffering by advancing Zionist interests over Palestinian human rights. Shifting decades of U.S. policy that considers Jerusalem as a final status issue in so-called peace negotiations, and thwarting an international consensus, President Donald Trump paid homage to his pro-Israel funders in December and recognized the city as Israel’s capital and announced his decision to relocate the embassy there from Tel Aviv. In doing so, he sent a loud message to Palestinians, that they can no longer rely upon the U.S., and that the White House has no interest in Palestinian self-determination.

As we commemorate the Nakba on May 15, we cannot help but realize that Trump’s decision is the result of years of Zionist efforts to erase Palestinians’ heritage, history, religion and culture from the landscape. Israel declared its state in 1948 and in the process drove two-thirds of the indigenous Palestinian population – 750,000 people – from their homes and destroyed or depopulated 530 villages. The Nakba continues today through occupation policies that not only contravene international law but continually deprive Palestinians of their basic human rights. The siege on Gaza, home demolitions, massive incarceration and restrictions on freedom of movement are just some of the egregious, inhumane and illegal policies Israel perpetuates on the Palestinian population and that the United States supports diplomatically, financially and politically. These policies are a continuation of Zionist plans to possess a land that never belonged to them and rid it from its indigenous residents.

Far worse than those who are desperate to keep the U.S. white and Christian, Israel is using its military might to maintain the privilege of Jewish Israelis at the expense of millions of indigenous Palestinian people simply because they are not Jewish. In the Trump era, there is a global divide between those who believe in freedom and equality for all, and those who believe in racial and religious supremacy.  Both Trump and Netanyahu believe in building walls and prisons to maintain power and privilege.

We must challenge these racist and harmful systems of oppression.

We must stand with Palestinians’ efforts for justice. Palestinians, like everyone else, simply want to live freely and safely in their homes, to be treated equally in their country, and to give their children and families a brighter future. After decades of having their rights denied, Palestinians are tired of waiting for politicians to do the right thing. They are taking to the streets and the courts, using boycotts and joining with other communities around the world to build a future where all live with freedom and full rights.

It is clear to those who believe in equal rights, liberty and freedom, that Palestinian liberation is an urgent moral imperative and an integral part of the progressive cause. AMP calls upon its supporters and all people of conscience everywhere to raise your voices to call for justice for Palestinians.

Take Action

  • Take to social media with the hashtag #Nakba70 to send messages to your elected officials and the media. Engage with your members of Congress and take the message to your own community groups, family and friends.
  • Organize a rally or vigil for Palestine in your community.
  • Contact your elected officials and express your disapproval of the U.S.’s biased policy in the Middle East.
  • Reach out to AMP for help or direction: [email protected]
  • Check our Nakba website for resources.
  • Open an AMP chapter in your city: [email protected]
  • Get more tips on what you can do to support Palestinians in their quest for peace and freedom on our resource page.