Vicious attacks by the terrorist settler-colonial state of Israel have murdered dozens of Palestinians and injured more than a thousand in recent weeks. Calls for emergency actions in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance have been heeded around the world. On October 10, the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) held a powerful demonstration with hundreds of people holding down both sides of the street in front of the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco.
Their statement read in part: “This month alone over thirty Palestinians have been murdered, mostly children gunned-down in cold blood, and at least six Palestinians have been lynched by racist mobs within the ‘48 territories. Numerous Palestinians have been killed from alleged knife attacks that are simply the latest scapegoat…the General Union of Palestine Students calls upon you not only as student organizers, but as Palestinians living in the Diaspora, to rise with Palestine, to rise for our liberation, as there will be no peace until there is liberation. There will be no justice until every Palestinian refugee is allowed to return to their homeland…we will not be erased!”
Israel’s role in the defense of U.S. Empire was explained by many of the speakers at the demonstration. A representative of the Haiti Action Committee revealed that “Israel has been intervening in Haiti for some time, and you know on whose side. In 1991, when there was the first coup d’état against democratically-elected President Aristide, who came to power on the back of a tremendous mass movement of the people that got rid of Baby Doc Duvalier and the fascist dictators…with the aid of Israel a death-squad government was established to overthrow the government of President Aristide. When the second coup happened against President Aristide, supported by the United States in 2004, immediately Israel sent people to train the Haitian police.”
Mazda Majidi of the ANSWER Coalition was one of the many speakers condemning U.S. imperialism for the atrocities committed by the Israeli occupation. He stated that, “It is our responsibility here, in the belly of the beast, to support the Palestinian people. If it weren’t for U.S. imperialism, the Zionist settler state of Israel would not exist today. So, Israel has the bombs, the rockets, the missiles, they have the nuclear weapons, they have the tanks, they have all that stuff, but they have not been able to and will not be able to break the resistance of the Palestinian people.”
A speaker from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network made the statement: “We say as Jews that we know the events of the last week are just a continuation of more than a century of the desecration by Zionist forces of that which is sacred to Palestinians: the destruction and theft of land , of holy sites, family, and life itself. As Jews, we also reject the twisted racist delusion of Zionism that Jewish lives are more valuable than Palestinian lives. There is nothing safe about a violent, racist, ruthless colonial state for anybody. It is also important for U.S. Jews that we speak-out and recognize that it is our U.S. tax dollars that make possible the scale of the repression and destruction in Palestine, and that the very land that we stand on and live in here is also stolen land.”
The demonstration was energized by a large youth and student presence, including the League of Filipino Students from San Francisco State University. Jordan Ilagan, the League’s Chairperson, remarked, “We recognize that the war machine of the United States is the same one that exists in the Philippines and the same one that exists in Palestine. The troops deployed by the United States are the same troops training soldiers in the Philippines to continue to repress the resistance, to continue to target, continue to torture, continue to execute activists…people that are serving the community. We recognize that as youth and students here in San Francisco that we must continue to fight against occupation, against imperialism, against the forces that are oppressing and killing our people.”
Maram Kamal and Zac Barghouti of the Palestinian Youth Movement made the case for solidarity and resistance here in the U.S.: “Let us remind everyone that the entire Israeli population is a settler population and that even the most left-wing governments of Israeli colonization have never ceased to attack our people or expand their settlements on our land. Today’s Israeli population sees among them walking vigilantes, protected by its criminal army, while our indigenous population faces attack after attack…American politicians send flirtatious messages to the Israeli government while ignoring our martyrs, our blood, and our suffering. Will we let them continue their unwavering support for the terrorist state of Israel and the dehumanization of our people? Will we let them continue to provide unlimited funding to the Israeli war machine at the expense of public services, education, and housing here in this country?”
Liberation News asked Lubna Morrar of the General Union of Palestine Students if she believed there was any support for Palestinian self-determination among the current crop of ruling-class presidential candidates. She responded by saying, “Historically, the U.S. has never aligned with Palestine or the Palestinian resistance…so I don’t necessarily think they will align with Palestine because they’re afraid to, and if they choose to align with Palestine that’s an end to their political career.”
The first round of Presidential debates in the U.S. has shown the world that Democrat and Republican candidates alike are first and foremost dedicated to upholding the status quo of capitalism, which uses fascist-led states like Israel to fulfill its imperial ambitions. The courage and determination of Palestinian youth resisting Zionist terrorism by any means necessary reveals a path to liberation of all oppressed peoples through unified militant struggle.