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Related Categories: Palestine | U.S.
Press Release: Pledge that Palestine is a Feminist Issue
by The Palestinian Feminist Collective
Sunday Mar 14th, 2021 11:37 PM
Today the Palestinian Feminist Collective (PFC) launches a pledge and open letter asking US women and feminist organizations, social and racial justice organizations, and people of conscience to adopt Palestinian liberation as a critical feminist issue. The pledge lists six concrete steps and commitments the Collective proposes to advance a truly intersectional and decolonial feminist vision in Palestine. These include pledging support for Palestinian rights to free speech and political organizing, the rejection of the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, the endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement or (BDS), divesting from militarism and the end of US political, military, and economic support to Israel.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 15, 2021

PRESS CONTACT
Rasha Mubarak
407- 590 9952
palestinianfeminists [at] gmail.com

For Women's History Month, The Palestinian Feminist Collective Issues A Pledge Asking Allies to Recognize Palestine As A Feminist Issue
We challenge the weaponization of women's rights against our communities and stand against Zionist repression of our freedom of speech and political organizing.

Today the Palestinian Feminist Collective (PFC) launches a pledge and open letter asking US women and feminist organizations, social and racial justice organizations, and people of conscience to adopt Palestinian liberation as a critical feminist issue. The pledge lists six concrete steps and commitments the Collective proposes to advance a truly intersectional and decolonial feminist vision in Palestine. These include pledging support for Palestinian rights to free speech and political organizing, the rejection of the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, the endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement or (BDS), divesting from militarism and the end of US political, military, and economic support to Israel.

This pledge, and accompanying organizing efforts launched during this year's Women’s History Month, come in response to Zionist feminism and mainstream US feminist spaces that use women and queer rights discourses to justify or disregard the occupation of Palestine. The urgency of the Palestinian condition has only intensified in the last four years. Trump has laid the groundwork to fortify Zionist control over Palestinian land and life while simultaneously furthering the economic and political despair of the Palestinian people. By moving the capital to Jerusalem, and with the facilitation of Israel's normalization with regional powers, and the slashing of UNRWA, poverty and political turmoil have sky-rocketed in Palestine. In particular, the global pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing medical apartheid and economic plight, not to mention Zionist repression of Palestinian resistance.

In response to these pressing challenges faced by our communities, Palestinian and Arab feminists in the US are coming together to stand against the normalization of Zionism in public discourse and in women and feminist spaces. Liberal feminists in the US have implicitly and explicitly adopted Israeli propaganda about Palestinian men, culture, and Islam. This has resulted in either their overt endorsement of Zionist settler colonialism or their ambivalence to the question of Palestinian liberation. PFC rejects all appropriations of feminist and queer rights discourses that are used to dehumanize Palestinians, justify ongoing Zionist settler-colonization of the Palestinian homeland, and repression of political activism. In doing so, PFC commits to resisting gendered and sexual violence, settler colonialism, capitalist exploitation, land degradation and oppression in Palestine, on Turtle Island, and globally.

Inspired by what current feminist movements in Palestine are demanding, and what Palestinian feminists have historically believed in and worked for, the PFC joins them in centering the slogan "no free homeland without free women". Questions of gendered and sexual violence against women cannot be sidelined in our struggle for social and political liberation. Dr. Sarah Ihmoud, a member of the PFC Steering Committee said - "We share a conviction as feminists that gender and social liberation is a political issue at the heart of anti-colonial resistance. While our sisters in the homeland face the immediate violence and brutality of military occupation and Zionist colonialism, those of us positioned in the U.S. based diaspora face another set of challenges: Zionist repression of our speech on Palestine. While being considered for a tenure-track position at Boston University in 2019, I was virulently attacked in a public smear campaign that labeled me an anti-Semite and sought to discredit my scholarship on gender violence against Palestinian women in the Occupied Territories. More than that, as a first-generation Palestinian American scholar, I was demonized by a broader Zionist public with racialized and gendered epithets steeped in Orientalist discourse. As an anthropologist, I understand this to be yet another form of ethnographic knowledge that speaks to the gendered aspects of Zionist repression and the urgency of understanding Palestine as a feminist issue."

The pledge is the first public initiative of the PFC. So far, the pledge has been endorsed by Palestine-solidarity organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, and national organizations like the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and the National Lawyers Guild, in addition to renowned public intellectuals and feminist scholars like Dr. Judith Butler and Dr. Chandra Mohanty. In the coming months, PFC will be working to renew Palestinian feminist organizing in the US in relationship with Indigenous, Black and POC feminist spaces while working with sister organizations inside Palestine. Speaking engagements and educational sessions are planned to help spread awareness and build with allies.

To "Pledge that Palestine is a Feminist Issue": https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/pledge-declaring-palestine-is-a-feminist-issue
For more information and to follow upcoming PFC activities, visit the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/palestinianfeministcollective

The Palestinian Feminist Collective (PFC), is a US-based network of Palestinian and Arab feminists committed to confronting systemic violence, colonial oppression and gendered violence.

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