9 October 2023
ICAHD Statement on Hamas incursion and
Israel’s disproportionate retaliation
ICAHD mourns the loss of all lives, Israeli and Palestinian, whether in the Hamas incursion or in the course of Israel’s disproportionate retaliation. All lives are precious, period. Precisely for that reason, however, we need to emphasize the political context if we hope to ever achieve a substantially just resolution and prevent further deaths and suffering.
The context is clear. The Palestinians have never been at war with Jews; they have been resisting a unilateral settler colonial project whose declared aim is the take-over of their homeland, the transformation of Palestine into Israel and the erasure of the Palestinian people, its culture and heritage. Calls to “end the violence” are not enough. On the contrary, they create a false dichotomy between military conquest, occupation, displacement, repression and the war crimes of a settler state on the one hand and the resistance of a colonized people with no state of their own, no army and no support from the major political powers on the other. Under the guise of “security” and “self-defence,” the United States and Europe have supported Israel’s killing and displacement of Palestinians – routinely described as “terrorists” – while ignoring and even justifying Israeli state terrorism.
The only way to end the violence and save all lives in Palestine/Israel is to decolonise the oppressive apartheid regime and its occupation, replacing them with a democratic state offering equal rights for all. We realise that in the midst of the ongoing events there exists no space for talk of a just political settlement and “peace.” But Israel can neither complete its settler project nor erase the Palestinian people, and no Palestinians should be killed or displaced in its futile attempt to do so. Nor can Palestinians achieve their liberation from an infinitely stronger Israel through armed struggle.
We call on Israel to stop its genocidal revenge attacks on Gaza, and certainly not to mount a ground invasion. We call on progressive forces everywhere to change the narrative. No longer should we speak of a “conflict” in which Palestinian resistance is criminalized and Israel’s expansion through military means is cast as its “right of self-defense.” Only a shift to an anti-colonial narrative will enable the emergence of a just, peaceful and secure post-colonial state and shared society out of the pools of blood in which we wallow.