Indivisible justice: Why supporters of Palestine must stand with other oppressed communities

Black Lives Matter protesters march through the streets Mar 4, 2019.  (photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
Intersectional struggles and solidarity hinge on the understanding that we are enmeshed in a global web.

By Nada Elia | Middle East Eye | Apr 28, 2019

Justice is indivisible: as soon as we deny it to a people, we are privileging another, and that is not justice – it is racism.

An “earthquake” happened in Congress, Mondoweiss reported last month, as a bill initially proposed by Democratic leaders to condemn anti-semitism was significantly modified, within a matter of hours, after intense organizing and activism that denounced it as inappropriate.

The bill had been drafted with the intention of silencing Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who has come under attack for denouncing the pervasive influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on US politics, and for speaking in support of justice for Palestinians.

Anti-racist grassroots organizers were quick to detect the extreme Islamophobia and racism behind the attacks on Omar – whose advocacy for other marginalized communities has not brought any “progressive” ire upon her – and were outraged at the text of a bill that denounced anti-semitism, but not the rampant anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab and anti-immigrant current also spreading across the nation.

Shutting down criticism of Israel
They insisted, correctly, that nothing Omar has said or written even comes close to anti-semitism. The attacks on her come from another impulse, one more concerned with shutting down criticism of Israel than with protecting Jews.

After all, if those Democrats were genuinely interested in sanctioning anti-Semites, they would have issued a statement about President Donald Trump, and many others, whose pronouncements have weightier consequences than anything Omar could say.

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