Biden in Occupied Palestine and the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’

Samidoun Palestine Prisoner Solidarity Network issued this collective statement with co-signers “in struggle and solidarity” July 16. The full list of signers, including Workers World Party and the International Action Center, is at samidoun.net. Organizations can endorse at bit.ly/bidenpalestine.

Protesters hounded U.S. President Joe Biden in Palestine, including July 15 in Bethlehem where boys carried the photograph of Shireen Abu Akleh, Palestinian-American journalist murdered by Israeli Defense Force troops while on assignment in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin. Credit: Abbas Momani

The joint declaration of U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid reveals not only the fundamental bankruptcy of the imperialist and Zionist systems they represent but also underlines the necessity to act and stand now in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their resistance, to liberate their land from the river to the sea. This strategic partnership of violence, warmongering, repression and colonialism must be met with our own anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist strategic partnership for justice.

Issued in occupied Jerusalem, itself a signal of the declaration’s alignment with impunity for ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity, the document boasts of “shared values and shared interests.” It is clear that the shared values referred to here are those of imperial domination, settler colonialism and the violent oppression of Indigenous peoples. We reject these “shared values and shared interests” and instead uphold the shared values of humanity: the dismantling of apartheid and settler colonialism, the liberation of the land, and the protection of peoples’ rights, not war profiteers’ greed and colonial land theft.

The declaration repeatedly attacks the Palestinian resistance and all forces and nations in the region that seek to defend their right to sovereignty and self-determination. It labels Palestinian resistance as terrorism while remaining silent on the ongoing extrajudicial killings of Palestinians, mass incarceration, land theft, siege, and the exile of millions of Palestinians denied their right to return home. Israel and the U.S. are waging colonial war. Their declaration asserts a right to unilateral war, the logic of the colonizer, and boasts of the over $3.8 billion in U.S. taxpayer money sent to further arm that war (while enriching U.S. arms developers). The Palestinian people, like all colonized people, have the right to defend themselves.

Biden and Lapid reinforce their attacks on boycott campaigns, the growing call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and the “delegitimization of Israel,” and clumsily attempt to link campaigns for justice and liberation in Palestine with anti-Semitism. In reality, the campaign to boycott and isolate Israel is growing on our campuses, in our community centers, labour unions and academic associations, in our food co-ops and social justice organizations, in the streets of our cities and communities. Such statements do nothing to legitimize a fundamentally illegitimate project — the colonization of Palestine and the dispossession of Palestinians.

While Biden and Lapid trumpet their military alliance, we must respond with a peoples’ alliance: that is, an alliance that firmly rejects imperialism and Zionism, that builds the very boycott campaigns they seek to undermine or even criminalize, that supports the Palestinian people and their resistance by all means, and that stands together against the systems of domination, injustice, settler colonialism, and exploitation that they represent. Together, we organize and struggle until return and liberation, from the river to the sea.

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