SJP chapters commend Movement for Black Lives for pro-Palestine platform
Chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) from across the United States, under the banner of the National SJP (NSJP) network, released a statement last week expressing solidarity with and gratitude towards the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) for including in its recent policy platform strong language in favor of Palestinian rights and against U.S. complicity in Israeli apartheid.
In the “Invest-Divest” portion of its platform, M4BL pointedly condemned U.S. support for Israel’s “genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.”
The platform aligns the group with the international movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, calling not only for divestment from (among many other oppressive institutions) companies complicit in the occupation of Palestine, but also for vigilance in opposition to repressive anti-BDS bills in state legislatures.
The NSJP letter commended M4BL for its strong pro-Palestinian policy positions and, in turn, affirmed its support for black liberation in the United States as a parallel struggle to that of the Palestinians.
“We hear M4BL’s call for societal transformation –– from self-determination and investment in Black education to universal healthcare and civil rights protections for queer, trans, and non-binary Black communities –– and for an end to the centuries of violence against Black peoples,” the statement reads. “We recognize and condemn the harm caused by colonialism, militarization, incarceration, surveillance, resource theft and destruction, and erasure to Black communities in the U.S. and around the world.”
This statement of solidarity from Palestine activists comes as Israel advocates took to mainstream media outlets to decry the M4BL statement and, often, to withdraw their support from the Black Lives Matter movement for its “anti-Israel” stance.
The letter can be viewed as a milestone in the nascent alliance between U.S. activists fighting for black and Palestinian rights and against occupation, a union that began to take shape during the summer of 2014, when the Ferguson anti-police brutality protests and Israel’s 51-day military assault on Gaza drew notable, often uncomfortable comparisons between the between struggles against racial oppression in the United States and Israel-Palestine.
Urging others in the Palestine solidarity movement to pledge their support to black liberation, the NSJP statement asserts, “While the struggles of Palestinians and Black people are not identical, we recognize that the same systems and structures contribute to global oppression. To envision and build a world rooted in liberation, we must and will carry forward the legacies of Black and Palestinian solidarity.”