We mean the words we are saying

We are ashamed that our tax dollars are being used to kill instead of create a world where all life can thrive.

Hannah Sorila aims to align intention and impact in global education and education abroad. She strives to challenge the field of global education to become more ethical, decolonial, sustainable, and accessible.

I want to acknowledge that many people (Tim Wessel included) are projecting their fears, skewed perspectives, and beliefs rooted in (white/colonial) dominance culture onto a movement whose ultimate goal is the collective liberation of all (oppressed) people.

For those of us calling for a ceasefire, for a free Palestine, for collective liberation, and for self determination - we mean the words we are saying.

We are not calling for the death of a people - and we certainly are not, with the support of U.S. taxpayer dollars, actively extinguishing thousands upon thousands of innocent human lives and causing unimaginable humanitarian and environmental destruction while celebrating our efforts. We are ashamed that our tax dollars are being used to kill instead of create a world where all life can thrive.

The movement for Palestine is supported by and inclusive of anti-Zionist Jews, including many of our community members here in Brattleboro, who have been advocating for a free Palestine for decades - certainly well before Oct. 7 - based on the historical understanding that Palestinians have faced forced displacement, ethnic cleansing, and an apartheid system on the land that their people lived on for generations before the settler colonial state of Israel was invented.

They further understand that safety for Jews derives from making common cause with other historically oppressed communities, not from creating a fortress on stolen land exclusively for themselves.

The problem is not with Judaism, but rather with Zionism - and the two are not the same, which is why critiquing Zionism is not the same thing as antisemitism.

We stand against the oppression of any human being, because our fight is for the collective liberation of all human beings from all systems of oppression, including (but not limited to) Islamophobia and antisemitism.

* * *

I encourage all folks, but especially those who align with Tim's dangerous perspective, to slow down and consider: What if I am wrong? What if I am wrong for supporting Palestinians as they stand up against Israel's genocidal actions and occupation? What if I am wrong for supporting the genocide of Palestinians who are standing up for liberation from Israeli occupation?

As I witness the complete annihilation of 32,512 Palestinians - more than 13,642 of whom are children (based on the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza since Oct. 7, as of March 23, 2024) - I ask: Am I wrong for calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and end to the genocide?

As I witness the displacement of more than 1.5 million Palestinians, while also acknowledging the 750,000 Palestinians displaced during the 1948 Nakba, am I wrong for calling on Israel to end their ethnic cleansing of Palestinians?

As I witness the forced starvation and dehydration and the intentional destruction of hospitals and other essential infrastructure and services, am I wrong for calling for an end to the siege and blockade, and for immediate, unrestricted humanitarian aid?

As I witness the kidnapping, detention, torture, and killing of Palestinians in the West Bank, am I wrong to call for an end to the settler colonial Israeli occupation and apartheid system?

And finally, as I consider that these statistics barely scratch the surface of the absolute devastation that every Palestinian is facing right now - each of whom has and has had stolen dreams and fears and hopes and breath that fills their lungs - am I wrong for seeing them in their humanity, and for standing beside them as they fight for liberation and self-determination in their sacred homeland?

Look around you. Look around the world. The U.S. has been nearly alone in its unconditional support of this genocide, whereas a majority of the world - as well as a majority of Americans - support an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

Join the movement for liberation at sovt4palestine.org; we are advocating for a better world for you, too, whether you join us or not.

Palestine will be free within our lifetime.

This Voices Response was submitted to The Commons.

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