Discussions on Palestinian solidarity, identity in the diaspora
Academics Noor Ali and Jennifer Moghanem led a panel, “Palestine and Palestinians: A Discussion on Solidarity and Identity in Diaspora,” at the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) Conference: “Reclaiming Our Narrative.”
Session began with a group activity in which attendees were asked to mark on large sheets of paper brief comments about their family’s immigration story: When did they come to the United States, from where and for what reason.
Moghanem discussed the importance of Palestinian led movements, rather than solidarity groups. She discussed the evolution of various Palestine solidarity groups, including General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), and the transition from Palestine led groups to Palestine solidarity groups post Oslo accords. Two Palestinian-led groups that have remained. The U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) and the Palestine Youth Movement (PYM).
Moghanem warned about authenticity politics (comparing Palestinian-ness between people based on how much they know about Palestine or how radical they are); we need to recreate our own agency; “We are part of the struggle, we are not in solidarity with ourselves.”
“As Palestinians we need to be the protagonists of our own struggle,” she added.
She discussed the problems that arise when we only focus on the humanitarian aspect of the conflict instead of also having political aspirations. She said, Palestinians need to be think about long term goals for the liberation of Palestine.
She ended with addressing the need to focus on connecting local struggles to Palestine because the success of the liberation movement depends on the successes of other vulnerable populations.
“Working locally helps us build a transnational struggle,” she said.
The session ended with another group activity, which give students the chance to learn from one another.