From the Heartland of Empire: a Roundtable on Palestinian Solidarity and Struggle in America

Block the Boat, 2014

As part of a dossier on the international movement for Palestinian liberation, we asked seven different organizations to tell us about their history, their priorities, their political orientations, and the broader state of the internationalist Palestine solidarity movement in the United States. Readers can explore their answers either by organization or, below that, by theme.


RESPONSES BY ORGANIZATION


Within Our Lifetime

Demonstration in NYC for the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, organized by WOL & NY4Palestine

“What does that mean for us if the movement driving this support remains fractured and atomized campus by campus, city by city, and organization by organization? We are willing to work with any group that fights for the freedom of the homeland and we build towards the day where the Palestinian diaspora in this country speaks for ourselves in one uncompromising voice rich in dignity and blossoming with the fruits of resistance.”


Samidoun

New York City rally protests 70 years of Nakba and supports Great Return March. Credit Joe Catron/Flickr

“When we speak of prioritizing Palestinian voices, we mean Palestinian prisoners, Palestinian refugees and the people paying the price and taking the lead in defending their land and their people – not those at the top benefiting from the disaster that Oslo has been. Keeping a class-based analysis on Palestine helps to sort out internal disagreements.”


Palestinian Youth Movement

PYM’s Lift the Sanctions campaign

“While the majority of PYM members currently reside in the United States and are not subject to daily military occupation, bombardment or siege, this does not make us any less Palestinian in the political sense. We recognize that our varying material conditions are a product of decades of dispossession and displacement, as well as differences in class, backgrounds. Our geographic distance does not diminish our stake in our own liberation struggle.”



Palestine Solidarity Committee

“We seek to use Palestine as a starting point toward a broader, internationalist politics and critique of empire as it manifests throughout the world, not just in Palestine and the United States.”



Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network

JPSN’s general body meeting

“People will claim that they are more Palestinian than other Palestinians and this is a major problem in the US. Even some Palestinians in Palestine will see Palestinians in the diaspora as less Palestinian than them. Palestinian, then, becomes almost a scale of measurement for some people. This is then a problem since the Palestinian experience is different wherever you are: in diaspora, under direct military occupation, etc.”




Arab Resource & Organizing Center

by Lara Kiswani

“If we understand Palestine as an internationalist and anti-imperialist struggle then it follows that while it centers on the will and resistance of the Palestinian people, it also surpasses the Palestinian people alone.”



U.S. Palestinian Community Network

by Hatem Abudayyeh, National Coördinating Committee Member

“The only way to weaken Israel to the point that it is forced to end its occupation and colonization of Palestinian and Arab lands is if the “belly of the beast,” the U.S., undergoes a social transformation that benefits us and the world as a whole.”



RESPONSES BY THEME


Organizational Structure and History

Resisting Repression

The Role of “Dialogue”

Black–Palestinian Solidarity

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions

Beyond BDS

Israel and International Settler-Colonialism

The Meaning of Solidarity

Palestinian Voices and Political Divisions

Visions of the Future

Author of the article

is an undergraduate student at UC Santa Cruz and a member of the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at UCSC.