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Take Your Symbolic International Solidarity Day and Give Us back Our Land and Our Rights
Take Your Symbolic International Solidarity Day and Give Us back Our Land and Our Rights

Since 1977, the UN General Assembly has observed 29 November as “The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”, to annually commemorate its adoption of the ‘Partition Plan’ resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947.

Essentially, the Partition Plan serves as a form of legitimatizing the Israeli colonial project imposed by the colonial states at the expense of the Palestinian people and our rights. Its commemoration constitutes ongoing violations of international law and ongoing failure of the international community to fulfil their obligations to the Palestinian people. It adds insult to injury that the Partition Plan be commemorated annually as an act of ‘international solidarity’ with the Palestinian people, while it contributed and still contributes to the Ongoing Nakba of the Palestinian people. 

The Partition Plan divided Palestine into three parts: 56 percent allocated for a ‘Jewish state’, 43 percent for an ‘Arab state’ and an internationally administered Jerusalem. The partition plan designated over half of Palestine to less than one third the population who were Jews and Zionist colonizers. Absent consultation with the Palestinian people, this plan was designed by colonial states, rejected by the Arab states, and yet came to decide on “the future” governance of Palestine. Despite being carried out by the UN, the partition resolution is illegal and came about through political pressure, and blatant disregard for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. Indeed, the plan was eventually executed by the Zionist movement and its militias which resulted in the forcible displacement of 750,000 Palestinian refugees and 40,000 internally displaced persons to create ‘Israel’. Against this background, the Partition Plan was a form of legitimization of the Israeli colonization project imposed by colonial states at the expense of the Palestinian people. Eventually, colonial states also imposed the ‘two-state solution’, manifested by the ‘Oslo Accords’ that contributed to further fragmentation, displacement and entrenchment of the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime.

International solidarity with the Palestinian people, in a way that they themselves define, is necessary, and must serve the fulfilment of their inalienable rights to self-determination and return. Therefore, true solidarity requires taking direct actions to end the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime and the systematic and widespread international crimes it commits against the Palestinian people. It starts with holding Israel accountable through sanctions to dismantle the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime and taking practical measures to decolonize Palestine. Further, genuine solidarity with the Palestinians means recognizing their right to struggle for liberation, by all available means, and supporting that struggle.

In the midst of the Israeli Genocidal War on Gaza, solidarity with the Palestinian people is even more vital, and must reiterate and amplify the Palestinian people’s (short-term) demands of enforcing an comprehensive and permanent ceasefire, that includes the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip; providing unrestricted and unconditional humanitarian aid; preventing additional displacement and ensuring international protection for Palestinians; and ending the 16-year blockade on the Gaza Strip. Measures to bring about these demands and put them into practice are of the utmost urgency and constitute the bare minimum required by international law.

True solidarity also means supporting the struggle for Palestinian liberation and challenging the demonization of acts of solidarity with the Palestinian People.  This includes falsely equating criticism of Israel and solidarity with Palestine as antisemitism, and colonial mechanisms aimed at shrinking the space for Palestinian civil society, such as the imposition of conditional funding policies, the delegitimization of all forms of Palestinian resistance and the demonization of the Palestinian people.

Acts of solidarity with peoples can never be through violating their rights, silencing them and delegitimizing their pursuit for liberation. In the case of the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime, solidarity must mean refusing any measure aimed at eliminating Palestinian space, whether geographically starting with the Partition Plan, or the civic space for expressing and defending Palestinian rights. As such, not only should states remove their conditional funding clauses, but they must also take measures to decolonize funding. Furthermore, states must fulfil their obligations to support the struggle of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and hold Israel accountable for its international crimes through sanctions.

In other words, take back the symbolic International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people and give us back our rights and our land.