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  • Writer's pictureRising Voices

Rising Voices Statement of Solidarity with Palestine

Rising Voices stands in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

We call for an immediate, complete ceasefire and end to the occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. We call for an end to the United States’ provision of billions of dollars in military aid to Israel’s apartheid government, call for the immediate provision of full humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and call for a diplomatic path to peace.

We call for a free Palestine.

Over the past few weeks the world has witnessed the displacement of two million Palestinians, the indiscriminate bombing of civilians, a systematic destruction of infrastructure essential for life and a brutal humanitarian blockade in the Gaza strip. These atrocities by Israel’s far-right government are not a mere response to the attack by Hamas; the catastrophic death and destruction raining on Gaza now follows decades of occupation and oppression and are the continuation of a long-term, US-backed strategy of ethnic cleansing that has escalated to full-scale genocide.

As an organization that advocates for Asian American women, youth and families, we understand that the liberation for our communities we seek is inextricably bound with the collective liberation of others. Our own communities have suffered the anguish of colonialism, military occupation and genocide, also backed by US imperial interests. The plight of the Palestinian people and their fight for freedom binds us as siblings in the worldwide struggle for survival and self-determination.

These family ties require that our solidarity with marginalized peoples does not end at our state or national borders. Just as we oppose evictions and displacement here in Michigan, we also oppose the forced evictions and illegal settlement expansion in the West Bank. Just as Rising Voices is in solidarity with our Black siblings in the movement against police brutality and state-sponsored violence here in Michigan, Rising Voices must be in solidarity with our Palestinian siblings against US-funded and backed, state-sponsored violence in Palestine. Just as Rising Voices advocates for mothers and women and young people in Michigan; we are in solidarity with Palestinian mothers and women and children and grieve for those who have been killed by the violent actions of Israel’s far-right government.

The systems of oppression that impact Asian Americans here in the United States–racism, scapegoating, anti-Muslim hate, white supremacy, rising fascism–are deeply tied to the fates of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. The murder of six-year old Palestinian-Muslim American Wadea Al-Fayoume due to inflammatory rhetoric is a sorrow too familiar to our own communities, scapegoated and targeted during the COVID pandemic and after September 11th. We deeply mourn the Al-Fayoume family’s loss, and our hearts are with them as Hanaan Shahin, Wadea’s mother, recovers from the attack.

We mourn for Wadea. We mourn for the thousands of Palestinian and Israeli lives lost in the violence of this occupation. We mourn for the families around the world who grieve deeply for their loved ones and children killed in the wake of colonialism, militarism and war.

In their memory, we reaffirm our call for a free Palestine. We call for an end to Israeli apartheid and an end to the United States’ unconditional support for Israel as its primary financial, military and diplomatic sponsor, complicit in the genocide unfolding before us. We mourn the attacks on Palestinian and Israeli civilians, and call for leaders who condemn the attack by Hamas to also stand against the collective punishment of Gazan civilians and continuation of the violent occupation the Palestinian people have suffered for decades.

We urge our elected officials to back the Ceasefire Now resolution introduced in Congress and urge our politicians, media producers and community leaders to avoid inflammatory rhetoric and misinformation that can cause further harm to our Muslim and Jewish communities at this time of tension and deep grieving.

The beloved community we seek to build in Michigan for Asian Americans cannot end with our families or immediate communities; it must extend beyond any border, faith and ethnicity. We urge our Asian American communities to stand with the Palestinians in their struggle for freedom, which resonates so closely with our own.

Only in our mutual liberation will we find peace.

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