by Slow Factory
The “Free Palestine” movement advocates for a free and liberated Palestine, which includes all people, including Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Druze and residents of all religions and ethnicities. It hopes to create a truly democratic state in which self-determination and human rights are available for everyone.
Our advocacy for a Free Palestine is rooted in a desire to see the Palestinian people liberated from expulsion, occupation and oppression of all kinds, not antisemitism. While we recognize our Jewish community’s concerns over the rise in antisemitism abroad as valid, we know that this movement is not in opposition to concerns over anti-Jewish violence — on the contrary, it aligns and intersects with the fight against that violence. We believe a liberated Palestine, free from apartheid and occupation, will make the region and the world safer for everyone living there, including Jewish Israelis.
We speak not only as Palestinians but as advocates for justice and human rights. We stand in solidarity not only with Palestinians fighting for their rights and self determination but with all people across the world who are standing up against oppression in its many forms.
We receive frequently asked questions regarding the Free Palestine liberation movement:
Q: “But Hamas”
A: The use of “But Hamas” and its political and military goals to justify the oppression of Palestinian people as a whole, and the Israeli military occupation ignores the context of the 73-year war on and occupation of Palestine. The root aggression, what our focus should be on, comes from the Israeli government itself, not the people it oppresses. Hamas is a recent response to the systemic violence the Palestinian people have experienced for three quarters of a century. The military occupation of Palestine and the apartheid system it has created goes back generations before Hamas, therefore it is reasonable to believe that it will continue with or without Hamas unless we and other advocates for human rights around the world stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine and actively work towards its liberation.
Q: Is “Free Palestine” Anti-Semitic?
A: Advocating for a free and liberated Palestine includes Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Druze and all residents. The movement does not single out or attack Judaism as a religion or people, in fact it embraces it as an integral part of the movement towards liberation for all. A Free Palestine calls for justice and liberation, both for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and the 48 occupied territories as well as justice and liberation for the oppressed Jews within the Israeli state including Mizrahi and Ethiopian Jews. It hopes to create a truly democratic state in which self-determination and human rights are available for everyone.
Q: I stand against war crimes and ethnic cleansing, but I still believe that Israel has a right to exist. What does this mean for Israel and Jewish Israelis?
A: We are against religious nationalism of all forms, anywhere, and believe that any state that is founded on exclusionary policies based on religion, race or ethnicity will lead to oppression. We are advocating for a democratic environment in which Palestinians have full human and civil rights alongside all other people in the region including those of Jewish descent. Now is the time to imagine what that environment could look like, one where all people in the region can have self determination and not live under military occupation.
Q: Jews are from the Middle East. They aren’t white. Isn't saying they are white supremacists inaccurate and inflammatory and encouraging hate and division?
A: We believe white supremacy is a system of power that governs oppression everywhere. In Israel, there is a clear social and political power structure based on race that not only underlies Palestinian subjugation but also the oppression of Jewish Israelis of color, including Mizrahi, Sephardim and Ethiopian Jews. We do not believe Jews are white supremacists; we do believe, however, that the Israeli State functions through a clear racial hierarchy, given power and authority by white supremacist ideologies that underly British and American foreign policy. Arguing about what is the most accurate way to describe the state’s supremacy misses the point that it is in fact functioning as a violent apartheid state.
Q: Is “from the river to the sea” an antisemitic call to expel Jewish people from Palestine?
A: No. It is calling for freedom for all people, not divided into tiny pockets of segregated populations, but across the entire land, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, from Lebanon to Egypt.
Q: I am 100% against violence towards Palestinians, and believe in their freedom, but a lot of your posts make me feel like there is not a place for me and my beliefs in the movement. I know a lot of other people feel the same way, how should we perceive this?
A: There is a place for everyone in the movement for Palestinian liberation, including and perhaps in particular Jews no matter where you are from. Jewish voices advocating for Palestinians and in support of a wholesale change in the way their community confronts power, violence and oppression in the region are of the utmost importance. We truly believe that Jewish liberation and Palestinian liberation are not in opposition but are in fact intersecting. Come on board!
The Slow Factory team is a cross-disciplinary group of researchers, academics, artists, and scientists working at the intersection of climate justice and social justice. We work to provide anti-colonial climate education that has a direct impact on building a more just and sustainable world. With an emphasis on systems that have been intentionally created to produce waste, pollution, and injustice we aim to dismantle and design these systems to instead produce justice, equity, and a healthier planet.