The following are expanded remarks from B4P member K. Bailey at a Detroit-area rally for Jerusalem last week.
Black4Palestine joins millions around the world in condemning President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of “Israel.” Trump’s decision adds yet another assault to seven decades of Zionist theft of Palestine’s holiest city. It continues the US government's refusal to adhere to its basic positions in East Jerusalem, rooted in international law: opposing Israeli settlements and protecting its sovereignty for a future Palestinian state.
We know that Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine, just as we know that all of Jerusalem—East and West—is Palestinian land, and that all of “Israel” is Palestinian land.
The division of “East” and “West” Jerusalem is an illegitimate and colonial division. Palestinians of all faiths lived in all of Jerusalem prior to their ethnic cleansing by Zionists in 1948, when Zionists expelled nearly 40,000 Palestinians from their homes and land in “West Jerusalem. ” Today more than 5 million Palestinian refugees still have an inalienable right to return to their homelands in what is currently “Israel.”
We say this with an understanding that “Israel” is actually the land of over 400 Palestinian villages that were demolished to build the entire infrastructure of the state. And we say this with an understanding that the “United States” is actually the land of over 560 indigenous nations, for whom Palestine has already happened and whose capitals have all been destroyed.
Defenders of Israel point to a fear of Israel “being wiped off the map,” even though it was Zionists who literally wiped Palestine off the map. We reject the Zionist project on Palestinian land, under which the indigenous inhabitants of the land are dominated, subjugated and colonized by Jewish settlers from around the world.
Palestinian villages depopulated by Zionists around Jerusalem, "Tel Aviv," and Gaza.
Many members of Black4Palestine have been to Palestine and have seen firsthand the violence and discrimination in Jerusalem: we’ve spoken to families in Sheikh Jarrah where Zionist settlers have literally kicked Palestinians out of their homes; we’ve spoken to people who lost their status as Jerusalemites for going to study abroad or marrying someone in the West Bank; we’ve seen the apartheid wall divide parts of Jerusalem from other parts of the city, farmers from their land, and families from seeing each other.
We’ve seen the apartheid in the separate roads, buses, and resources between East and West Jerusalem, both apparently “the eternal capital of Israel.” And we’ve seen the day and night contrast between Palestinian villages in Jerusalem and Israeli settlements less than five minutes away.
We watch in condemnation as Israel demolishes the homes of Palestinian resisters or families who “illegally” built new rooms or floors onto their apartments. These demolitions are collective punishment and often the result of Israel’s refusal to grant 98 percent of permits for Palestinians to build in Jerusalem, while allowing settlers to colonize more Arab land.
The aim of the Zionist project is to own the maximum amount of land in Palestine with the minimum number of Palestinians and minimum Palestinian political power. Israel knows that if Palestinians can organize themselves to rise up, they will have the will, the strength, and the numbers to succeed. This is why they have sought to destroy every instance of their existence and resistance. But the Zionist project will not win.
We encourage our family in Palestine to remain steadfast in the face of such violence and to continue their resistance until the liberation of all the land.
"The road to Al Quds (Jerusalem)" courtesy of Facebook
Further Reading on Jerusalem: