WORD Stands with Palestine

palestine.jpgThe summer of 2014 witnessed one of Israel’s most brutal attacks on Gaza and the Palestinian people as a whole. More than 2,100 people were killed, more than 11,000 injured and 100,000 homes were destroyed. Just a few months ago we saw an escalation of Israeli violence against Palestinians that resulted in more than 30 deaths in only a few weeks. Israel’s one-sided war on the Palestinian people is not the result of an accident. Rather, Israel is engaged in a genocidal war targeting women and children with the goal to eventually ethnically cleanse the entire Palestinian population. Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the occupation forces have consistently targeted homes, families, and neighborhoods.

During the attack on Gaza in 2014, 89 families were completely exterminated; 89 families who simply don’t exist anymore, whose lives and names will no longer be carried on.

This genocide is not caused by one corrupt politician or a few racist leaders and soldiers. Rather, this strategy is embedded in Zionist ideology.

Ayelet Shaked, an Israeli politician and parliament member and a woman, said: "They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists," She added, "They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists.”

Zionists refer to the Palestinian people as a “demographic threat.” Mordechai Keder, a former Israeli military intelligence officer has advocated “raping the wives and mothers of Palestinian combatants” to deter attacks by Hamas militants.

The racism and misogyny of Zionism are more than rhetoric; this rhetoric is enacted as Israel carries out policies targeting the Palestinian women who will give birth to new generations of fighters. Israel purposely sustains high rates of miscarriages by blocking basic resources such as water and medical supplies, forcing women in labor to wait at military checkpoints on their way to a hospital, and generally creating inhumane and unlivable conditions for Palestinians.

Despite the death and destruction caused, as well as the intensifying hate speech in mainstream Zionist rhetoric, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 498 to give full support to Israel's actions in July 2014. The United States government gives Israel over 3.1 billion dollars EACH year in aid. Israel uses that money for its military and industrial development and building settlements on stolen land.

Hillary Clinton, a self-proclaimed feminist and Democratic candidate for President, stated recently that if elected she would reaffirm the “unbreakable bond” the U.S. has with Israel and Netanyahu. Clinton is an outspoken supporter of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which seek to grab more and more land from the Palestinians.

Clinton has made a point to publicize her support of women’s issues as being at the core of U.S. foreign policy. She has visited states all over the world, from South Africa to the Democratic Republic of Congo, talking to rape survivors and condemning systematic violence against women. But while she addresses these issues, she simultaneously advocates for policies that directly oppress Palestinian women.

Clinton’s support of Israeli settlements in the West Bank pokes holes in her claims of being an advocate for rights for all women because it demonstrates how narrow, selective and oppressive her feminism is. By supporting imperialism and Zionism, she is perpetuating white supremacy and colonization. It is our duty as women in the United States to dismantle this system of contradictions. We must demand an end to war and occupation because if we don’t raise our voices, women like Hillary Clinton will be the only ones heard.

On Sunday, March 20, 2016, there will be a National March on Washington, D.C., to support Palestine and the Palestinian people. The National March and Rally is timed to coincide with the opening of the AIPAC Convention in downtown Washington, D.C.

Palestine is calling and the world must answer. Solidarity can make the difference, as it did in bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa. This must be a united effort for justice. We must stand together to reject the hypocritical claim of U.S. leaders to be liberators of women around the world.

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