We round off our Palestine series with an important article by Mariam Barghouti, which originally appeared on her blog.
After a recent discovery of a solidarity page on Facebook with the title of “International Community to save Palestine” which at this moment in time has over 8,000 likes, the problems with international solidarity with the Palestinian struggle must once again be addressed. Although those that liked this page may well have good intentions, the term “save” carries many dangerous connotations and should not be accepted whatsoever. Since the very beginning of international activism, there has always been a fine line between solidarity and victimisation, especially when it comes to the Palestinian cause. When internationals begin to learn and understand more about the horrendous acts of colonial Israel, it may motivate several to mobilise in order to shine more light on these crimes against humanity; however that does not make any international a spokesperson for the Palestinians, nor does it mean they should continue to treat Palestinians as inferiors .As a Palestinian, it must be made clear: we have a voice of our own and we do not need people to speak on our behalf, we are not mute and we refuse to be silenced. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand that by taking a position to speak on behalf of the Palestinians one is also committing the act of silencing Palestinians. If you want to show solidarity, then act as an echo rather than a voice for the call of liberation and justice.
As a Palestinian comrade once stated before, Palestine is not a charity case. The continuous act of the international community of behaving as spokespersons for the Palestinians is very similar to the colonial tactics to further inferiorize the Palestinians. Similar to Israel’s attempts to show the world that it knows what’s best for the Palestinians, it’s crucial for the international community to not follow in such colonial footsteps.
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