STOP THE GENOCIDE, FREE GAZA - Feminist statement against Apartheid, Facism,Colonialism and Genocide
Updated: Oct 23
In the past 12 days, hospitals and schools have been bombed in Gaza, thousands of civilians - of which more than 1000 children - have been killed, and hundreds of thousands of people forcibly displaced. This is happening on a densely populated 365 m2 piece of land, with 2,2 million inhabitants - of which half are children - who have experienced suffering, torture, killings, violence, loss and grief for severall decades, in a context of occupation, apartheid, colonialism and genocide by the Israeli government. We strongly condemn the violence, killings and hostages of Israeli civilians by Hamas. We also firmly believe the reaction in the name of "self-defense" by the Israeli state, backed up by the United States and Europe, and in relation to the historical context and the global political position of Palestine, is totally disproportionate and unacceptable. In this moment of horror, our thoughts are with all the civilian victims. Human suffering should never be in competition with each other, because every life is sacred. These sufferings are connected to each other, and the vicious cycle of violence needs to stop immediately.
At New Women Connectors, we, women and non-binary people from Kashmir to the Netherlands, Norway to Syria, United States to Spain, Sweden to Kurdistan, France to Palestine firmly stand against colonialism, occupation, apartheid and the genocide that is currently unfolding in full sight of the world. We condemn killing, torture, kidnapping, bombing, hatred and any other form of violence, as it will never lead to peace. The violence and weapons of war are significant factors in the construction and maintenance of toxic masculine identity, and fundamental for the reproduction of patriarchy. As feminists, we refuse to support any colonial patriarchal power structure.
We are therefore calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and for the Israeli government to open up the borders surrounding the area for humanitarian help to safely and quickly reach the civil population. We are also calling for international courts to, in the future, hold both the Israeli government and Hamas responsible for the war crimes committed in the past years. Finally, we are calling for Hamas to immediately release all civilian hostages.
The current situation sheds light on the unjust silence of Western officials when certain groups of population are victims of violence, and on the unfair treatment of certain communities compared to others. Unfortunately, it is not only innocent Palestinian civilians that have lately been facing unjustified violence and hatred, and paying the horrible price of war, occupation and colonialism. In this dark moment for humanity, our thoughts also go to all the communities of the Middle-East region that have been under massive pressure in the past years, often with disturbing silence from Western governments and media. We believe that every human life is equal in worth, and we will continue to work to make that value a reality. Rather than pinning up against each other, we are hoping that the communities whose fundamental rights are being violated will come together, to seek support and understanding in each other's pain. At New Women Connectors, we will do our best to accompany these communities, and help them in their process of grief and reconstruction.
Finally, as these tragic events are being used by far-right movements and other extremist groups to justify further violence and hatred, it is important to stress that we firmly condemn racism, anti-semitism, islamophobia and hate speech against any religious or ethnic group of people. We denounce and condemn political parties, groups and movements that are using the current situation to spread anti-semitic, anti-islamic and anti-arab ideas and discourses.
The Deluge And The Tree - by Fadwa Tuqan.
Fadwa Tuqan - "Poetess of Palestine" - was a poetess known for her unique chronicling of the suffering of her people, the Palestinians, in particular those under Israeli occupation. Among other things, she har written about and is known for her representations of resistance to the Israeli occupation.
Photo in the middle by A. Batarseh, from the Palestinian Feminist Collective