Looking at the Black Lives Matter movement, many have drawn comparisons to the Palestinian struggle for basic human rights – and not only in regards to ideologies, but the tactic of oppression used against them as well.
As the Black Lives Matter movement and protests continue to gather thousands of demonstrators and supporters across the world, most recently now the national committee for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) has shown its solidarity as well.
In a public statement, the committee stated:
We can’t breathe until we’re free from oppression and racism…To our Black brothers and sisters, your resilience in the face of brutal dehumanisation is a source of inspiration to our own struggle against Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.”
Triggered by the killing of George Floyd, a Black American who was pinned down by the neck by white police officers and later died from his injuries, the Black Lives Matter protests have demanded a fundamental change to the structural layers of racism that so heavily target the lives of innocent Black Americans.
Looking at the Black Lives Matter movement, many have drawn comparisons to the Palestinian struggle for basic human rights – and not only in regards to ideologies, but the tactic of oppression used against them as well. Thousands of US police are trained in Israel, coming back to the US using the same tactics Israeli security forces use on innocent Palestinians.
With the US’ systematic anti-black racism similar to the suffering of Palestinians under Zionist colonialism today, the BDS movement drew attention to the plight of both Black Americans and Palestinians – both of whom are fighting against a system built to oppress them. Highlighting the underlying issue of white supremacy, the committee stated:
“The growing protests by ‘the unheard’ against police are fundamentally an uprising against an entire system of racist exploitation and oppression. The genocidal destruction of Native American nations, the pillage of their wealth and resources, and the savage enslavement of millions of Africans constitute the most profound pillars of what became the US. The deeply-seated white supremacist ideology that has guided and attempted to whitewash these crimes is still alive, albeit in different forms.”
The BDS movement also called upon ways to boycott, defund, and divest in institutions that are a part of the system of racism in the US:
“We call on the Palestine solidarity movement in the US and elsewhere to stand with the Movement for Black Lives and other Black-led organizations in their righteous struggle for justice, and for an abolitionist approach to police reform, reparation, and liberation. We endorse calls for targeted and strategic boycott, defunding and divestment campaigns against institutions, banks and corporations that are implicated in the system of racial injustice.”
As the Black Lives Matter protests continue to spread nationwide as well as internationally, it remains to be seen how the highest levels of the US government will respond to the protesters’ demands of structural and fundamental change.