Kashmiri Feminist Statement of Solidarity with Gaza
Palestine is a feminist issue and feminism is incompatible with Zionism
“Our commitment to the liberation of Palestinian lands and people is rooted in love, which is at the heart of all projects of decolonization. Our values grow out of embodied cultural wisdom and justice to transform our communities. We are committed to ending the greed, domination, and fragmentation so deeply entrenched in capitalism, colonial extraction, and the US empire. We are re-imagining and re-creating a world free from systems of gendered, racial and economic exploitation that commodify human life and land. Ours is a vision for a radically different future based on life-affirming interconnectedness, empowering the working classes,and love for each other, land, life and the planet itself. For these reasons, we pledge, today and every day, to recognize Palestine as a Feminist Issue and to uphold this commitment in our daily lives and organizing praxis.”—- Palestinian Feminist Collective
As a network of Kashmiri feminists across the world, we are responding to the call for action by Palestinian feminist groups demanding the end of genocide and the liberation of Palestine. We stand in unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian people as Israeli state forces continue the unprecedented onslaught on the civilians in the Gaza Strip and violent repression of Palestinians in the West Bank. Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed, along with millions around the world, the magnitude of death and destruction unleashed on Gaza under the pretext of ‘self-defence’.
Words fall short to describe the horrors of the annihilation and violent dispossession of Gazans that generations will never recover from. As witnesses to this reprehensible present moment, we stand in unwavering solidarity for Palestinians and their right to freedom, justice, dignity, and life.
We join and amplify the calls by Palestinians and numerous allies to the Palestinian cause around the world. Our statement is a response to the call for pledge by the Palestinian Feminist Collective. We echo their assertion that Palestine is a feminist issue, and feminism is incompatible with Zionism. Our feminist activism is firmly rooted in anti-colonial and anti-imperialist politics. As Kashmiris we know far too well the entanglements of global imperial powers. As Black feminists have repeatedly iterated, none of us are free unless all of us are free.
Our solidarity for Palestine is not just a response to the present moment. Historically, Kashmiris have always stood in firm solidarity with the Palestinian cause. In this moment of immense tragedy and loss, when even mourning for Palestinian lives is being censored, we are more committed to this than ever. We grieve and mourn for the heartlessness and dehumanization with which all Palestinian lives are being disregarded.
We do not look to the Western world and the Western media to ascertain the humanization of marginalized and disenfranchised communities in the world. Afterall, historically, resistance and liberation movements across the world have been deemed controversial, illegal, and criminalized by the framework of terror, whenever there have been vested interests of Euro-American capitalist-settler states. We must not let this propaganda nomenclature manipulate us into de-historicizing the present context of the genocide or to misunderstand the socio-political issues among which the onslaught and the resistance to it is situated. We thereby reject the intentional attempts to obscure the truth and portray discussions on Palestine as ‘complex’ and ‘controversial.’
Our approach should always be rooted in values of truth, equality and justice. Therefore, we call upon all feminist artists, activists and academics to stand in solidarity with Palestine, unequivocally and unapologetically.
We want to re-emphasize that these attacks are a part of the long history of brutality, dispossession, and erasure that Israel has subjected Palestinians to, including those living in the West Bank. Palestinian bodies have been treated as dispensable for decades. Disproportionate use of force is routine for the Israeli state and the ongoing bombardment of Gaza is a brazen reminder of that reality. We are deeply concerned about the scale of human rights violations, including an ongoing worldwide campaign by Zionist forces to erase Palestinian voices. Our thoughts are with the courageous journalists in Gaza who continue to document the destruction amidst threat to their lives. It becomes our moral duty to keep dismantling the widespread misinformation in the media about the history of Palestinian occupation as well as the ongoing genocide.
While we are inspired by the courage and resilience of the people in Gaza, we must be careful not to romanticize Palestinian suffering: our immediate and long-term goal should be to call for an end to the attacks including a permanent end to the settler-occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.
We have lost trust in the leaders and governments, but we have faith in the power of the people. Millions around the world are marching on the streets, standing up against injustice, demanding an end to the occupation of Palestine, once and for all.
Therefore, in a fervent appeal, we call upon people of conscience to partake in earnest dialogue about Palestine within the sanctuaries of their communities, friends, and families. To facilitate this imperative discourse, we have compiled a list of resources meticulously curated from steadfast and credible networks. As we embark upon the journey of understanding and vocalizing the plight of Palestine, let us be acutely aware that our struggles are not disparate but intricately interwoven.
In denouncing the injustices perpetrated in Palestine, we first and foremost aspire to liberate a people yearning for freedom. However, while doing so we also cast off the chains of injustice that bind us together as oppressed people.
To that end, we resonate with the global slogan, “It is not us who is freeing Palestine; rather it is Palestine that is freeing us.”