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Protest in Brussels against attack on Gaza hospital

People carrying the Palestinian flag and banners stage a protest against yesterday’s bombing of Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, on October 18, 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. | Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

As the Israel-Gaza conflict escalates, the Movement for Black Lives is addressing the spiraling humanitarian crisis by not only calling for the violence to end in no uncertain terms but also calling out the role the U.S. is and has been playing in the Middle East for decades.

Condemning “the nearly century-long genocidal occupation of Palestine by the right-wing Israeli government,” M4BL said it stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people following last week’s surprise attack on Israel by Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic militant group.

“To protect the living, we demand an immediate ceasefire,” M4BL said in part of an extensive statement the social justice group released on Wednesday.

The statement came one day after a Gaza hospital was destroyed in an explosion that officials believe killed hundreds of people, including children. That latest instance of violence happened as Israel continues to prevent food, fuel and electricity from reaching Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which is located between Israel and Egypt.

In a nod to its “radical ancestors” like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, M4BL said it was showing solidarity with Palestinians because there is a common bond with Black people’s ongoing fight for freedom.

“For the Black liberation movement to succeed, the Palestinian freedom struggle must survive,” M4BL said.


Reiterating its commitment “to a decolonized and self-determined Palestine,” M4BL criticized the “enforced displacement, human-rights desecration, cultural erasure, and outright genocidal agenda against the Palestinian people and spirit.”

M4BL added: “The fight for Palestinian sovereignty isn’t a choice; it’s a mandate for universal human rights.”

Describing the conditions Israel has imposed on Palestinians as “war crimes,” M4BL went on to further describe how the Black struggle is intrinsically linked with the Palestinian struggle.

“For people of African descent in the global diaspora, the scars of colonization, occupation, and racial terror are etched deep,” M4BL said. “However, it is not our suffering that binds us to the Palestinian people, but the spirit and will to remain resilient in the face of brutality. Our history compels us to act. We will not remain silent in the face of this full military assault against Gaza. Hear us now: End the occupation of Palestine, and the violent harassment and blacklisting of allies who believe that Palestinians deserve true freedom.”

M4BL also offered “simple” solutions to the conflict it attributed to an “authoritarian Israeli apartheid regime,” including holding demonstrations and protesting “in every way.”

“Divest from Israel’s relentless colonial aggression, and maintain solidarity with Palestinian survivors of state violence, to ensure peace and dignity for everyone—or allow genocide,” M4BL continued. “We commit, in both principle and practice, to resisting the genocide of Gaza. Freedom-bound, we will make it through the night. Here comes the sun.”


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