We write this at a time when we have been watching with horror and anguish the forced eviction and displacement of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, alongside attacks during Eid at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Islam’s 3rd holiest site.
As a Convivial Thinking Collective committed to decolonial thought, scholarship and solidarity, we see the continued eviction and persecution of Palestinians as an expression of a settler-colonial logic, where Israel continues to expropriate homes and land from Palestinians in favour of Jewish settlers. The expulsion of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah is simply the most recent Israeli land expropriation to extend its territory, acts deemed repeatedly to be against international law by the UN. According to Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, these continued encroachments and annexations of Palestinian home and lands have resulted in an apartheid-style hierarchy of rights, with the formalisation of this hierarchy in Israel’s Nation State Law, enacted in 2018 that protects the Jewish right to self-determination above all others.
We stand in solidarity with all comrades – Muslim, Jewish, other faiths, secular – who oppose Israel’s continued persecution of Palestinians and associated annexation of Palestinian land. We explicitly reject any attempts to demonise Jewish people for the actions of Israel, for which they are not responsible, anymore than innocent Palestinians are to be held responsible for the actions of regional representatives/authorities like Hamas, who similarly do not represent all Palestinians. We support all good faith dialogue and action seeking to challenge expressions of Israeli state power that continues to marginalise Palestinian people as part of the expansion of the Israeli settler-colonial project.