This statement, released Nov. 2, has been signed by over 20 organizations and hundreds of individuals.
We, Korean people living in the United States, stand with the people of Palestine. Since 1948, when over 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their ancestral lands, the Palestinian people have resisted colonization, apartheid, and genocide. Over the last few weeks alone, the Israeli occupation has slaughtered over 8,000 Palestinians, including thousands of young children. Despite a U.N. [United Nations] resolution calling for a ceasefire, Israel has refused to stand down.
Our hearts break for Palestine. As Koreans, we cannot help but look at Palestine’s history and see reflections of our own. We know what occupation means because we lived it under Japanese colonialism. And we remember that our own freedom fighters — Koreans who gave their lives fighting for independence and liberation — were also once called terrorists.
Like Palestine, Korea’s history is one of war, occupation, and division. The Korean War was the first “proxy war” of the Cold War. Nearly 5 million Koreans were killed, entire cities were turned to ashes, and our country was divided in two. The Korean War shows us that a ceasefire does not end an occupation. Despite the ceasefire in 1953, our homeland remains divided and at war today. The ceasefire did not end the war — it only gave it new life. Therefore, as Koreans, we know that we need more than just an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. We need an end to the Zionist occupation of Palestine, once and for all.
We denounce the ongoing genocide in Palestine and extend our love and solidarity to the Palestinian people. And we put forward the following demands to the government of the United States:
- Support an immediate ceasefire to put a stop to the killing so that the people of Gaza can focus on rescuing the living and mourning the dead.
- Immediately cut all foreign aid to Israel, which currently amounts to more than $3 billion per year from the U.S.
- Lift the 16-year siege of Gaza and allow crucially needed medicine, food, fuel, water, power, and other supplies to reach people before it’s too late.
We call on the Korean community in the U.S. to speak out and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. Bring this statement to your churches, your schools, your workplaces, and your families and friends. And join us in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4 for the National March on Washington to Free Palestine. (peoplesforum.org/events/national-march-on-washington-free-palestine/)
In South Korea, the Yoon administration has abstained from U.N. votes calling for a cease-fire. Corporations like Hyundai have done business in Israel for years and profited from the oppression of the Palestinian people. And the U.S. sells weapons to Israel that are made by South Korean defense companies. We reject South Korea’s allegiance to Israel. We speak out as one people to join the international chorus demanding Palestinian liberation. We will not allow Israel to kill Palestinians in the dark. 팔레스타인 해방을 위하여!
The Korean community in the U.S.
To add your name or organization to the list of signatories, please go to tinyurl.com/3yutpp22.
Signing organizations include:
- Nodutdol for Korean Community Development
- Korea Policy Institute
- 6.15 Committee for Reunification of Korea – DC
- Koreans 4 Decolonization
- Washington Butterfly for Hope
- Keep Beyond
- Korea Peace Now! – PNW Chapter
- Center for Korean Affairs
- Decolonizing Korean Studies Collective
- People’s City Council – Los Angeles