EqualHealth Campaign Against Racism Issue Statement of Solidarity and Endorse BDS
The EqualHealth Campaign Against Racism (CAR) expresses its complete condemnation of the most recent Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people.
These attacks have resulted, at the time of writing, in the killing of 140 Palestinians, including 39 children, in the Gaza Strip, 11 in the West Bank, and over a thousand injured throughout the territory. CAR also asserts its unwavering support for the ongoing Palestinian resistance against Israeli settler colonial oppression, from Beit Hanoun, all the way to al-Lidd and Jerusalem (al-Quds). Such resistance is recognized as a right under international law.
It is essential to place the forced displacement of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, the attacks on worshippers in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, and the bombing of the Gaza Strip in the broader context of the ongoing Palestinian Nakba. The Nakba, meaning ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, refers to the displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948 and the subsequent establishment of the state of Israel in those lands. Israel’s existence results from Zionism, a European nationalist movement that establishes and supports the existence and ongoing expansion of Israel as a settler colonial state for the Jewish people where indigenous Palestinians are either ethnically cleansed out of the state borders or treated as subjects under apartheid. This Saturday, May 15th, Palestinians commemorate 73 years since the Nakba, an ongoing crime that continues to result in an ever-growing system of oppression and injustice.
The ongoing Nakba is only possible due to the complicity of the international community and its support for Israeli crimes. In particular, the United States unconditional support of these crimes in the form of foreign aid upwards of $3.8 billion USD annually, the recent move of the US Embassy to occupied Jerusalem, regular use of its veto privileges on the UN Security Council, continued support of illegal land annexation and threats of retaliation against those who take any form of action against Israel and/or Zionism.
Instead of fulfilling its legal responsibilities towards Palestinians, the international community continues to provide Israel with support, impunity, and legitimacy. This protection and unconditional support encourages Israel to continue its settler-colonial-apartheid regime undisturbed.
Today, over 67% of the Palestinian people (9.1 million) are forcibly displaced, including the communities that are part of CAR’s Palestine Chapter. The community health work carried out by the Chapter takes place in three Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank: Aida, Azza (Beit Jibrin), and Balata. These communities are made up of multiple generations of Palestinian refugees whose health problems are intrinsically connected to the settler colonial policies implemented by Israel year after year.
The goal of EqualHealth’s Campaign Against Racism is to dismantle structural racism and its death-dealing effects on health around the world by supporting local actions, efforts, and networks which aim to improve the health and lives of those most affected by racism, because racism kills. As Campaign Against Racism, we believe that the cessation on this ongoing Nakba and the reparation of the damage inflicted on multiple generations of Palestinians can only be achieved by ending all complicity with the policies, rhetoric, and actions of the State of Israel and supporting Palestinian resistance against the continued systems of oppression.
The international medical community and public health scholars that often write about the importance of decolonizing global health and addressing structural racism as a public health hazard cannot continue to be silent on what has become one of the most urgent moral issues of our times, the Zionist settler colonialism in Palestine. Such a systematic form of racism must be called out and dismantled.
It is for this reason that we endorse the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for freedom, justice, and equality. We also encourage all peoples of conscience to listen to and uplift Palestinian voices and narratives, and to join the different actions being organized in solidarity with the Palestinian people throughout the world.