Categories: U.S. and Canada

Abolitionist Law Center calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Note: The following statement was issued by the Abolitionist Law Center on Oct. 23, 2023.

The Abolitionist Law Center is committed to building collective resistance to the genocide in Palestine and the ongoing suppression of the Palestinian right of self-determination. We call on people within the United States to commit to calling for an immediate ceasefire, ending U.S. military aid to Israel, ending U.S. participation in crimes against the Palestinians, and building movements powerful enough to drive war criminals from power in this country and hold them accountable.

We unequivocally support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and recognize that international law respects their right to resist occupation, colonization, and apartheid including through the use of armed struggle. International law is unambiguous in its endorsement of “armed struggle” for peoples who seek self-determination under “colonial and foreign domination.” United Nations resolution 37/43 “reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.”

Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison — half of its population are children — and it has been under an inhumane and illegal siege for 16 years and under a murderous and illegal military occupation since 1967. Israeli occupation has deprived the Palestinian people of peace, tranquility and opportunity.

Israeli occupation has deprived the Palestinian people of statehood, leaving them no recourse but to fight for it. As the occupying power, Israel has two primary obligations, both of which it has steadfastly ignored for well over 50 years: Protect civilian life and property and end the occupation. Instead, Israel has chosen colonial expansion through the construction of illegal settlements over peace. As abolitionists we are always in solidarity with subjugated people fighting for their freedom.

As propaganda, misinformation, and deception rage, it is important to resist efforts to weaponize the history, fears, and collective grief of Jewish people to advance the nation state of Israel and imperialism. We reject the false and dangerous narrative that equates Israel with the entirety of Jewish people. We further recognize that international humanitarian law prohibits the targeting of any non-combatants and requires all belligerents in a conflict to protect civilians.

The United States is not a failed peace-broker in this conflict: It is an active, criminal participant in the crimes against the Palestinian people. For decades, the U.S. government has provided Israel with weapons of technological terror and shielded it from criminal liability at the United Nations and elsewhere. Now, the military and political leadership of this country are actively complicit in genocide as U.S.-supplied weapons are carpet-bombing Gaza in a scorched-earth campaign of mass murder while U.S. politicians and media institutions attempt to normalize the genocide being perpetrated in Gaza.

As abolitionists, we hold true to the axiom that none of us are free until we all are free! It is imperative that we take action in support of an immediate ceasefire, and that we intensify our actions and organize for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel, an end to the occupation, and a free Palestine.

In solidarity,

The Team at Abolitionist Law Center

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