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WATCH: Lauryn Hill, Angela Davis call for black-Palestinian solidarity

A new video featuring prominent African-Americans and Palestinians calls for solidarity in the face of state violence and supremacy.

On the heels of attacks by both the Israeli army and settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank over the past year, a coalition of African-American organizations have come together to produce a new video promoting black-Palestinian solidarity.

The video, titled “When I See Them I See Us,” juxtaposes the police killings of African-Americans with Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers, and features over 60 major figures in both the black community in America, including Lauryn Hill — who canceled her performance in Israel several months ago following pressure by the BDS movement — actor Danny Glover, author Alice Walker, academic and former Black Panther Angela Davis and public intellectual Cornel West. They are joined by prominent Palestinian figures such as academic Noura Erekat, poet Remi Kanazi, and BDS movement leader Omar Barghouti.

Famed Palestinian hip hop group DAM also makes an appearance in the video. Suheil Nafar, one of the four members of the group, spoke to me about the importance of building solidarity between two oppressed communities. “DAM is in the video for a reason,” he beams. “When we were young, when the music played on MTV was so shallow, we could really identify with Tupac’s music and the videos. We would listen to the songs, then watch the videos, and feel like we were looking at our neighborhoods in Lyd.”

WATCH: Palestinian hip hop group tackles patriarchy in new video

Nafar and his comrades felt that black culture captured that community’s oppression. “As an occupied people,” he continues, “we felt like they were speaking for us too.”

Palestinian-American Remi Kanazi, who recently released his third book of poetry, “Before the Next Bomb Drops,” says the video is not an attempt to “flatten struggles,” but rather “an attempt to come together to challenge the logics of supremacy and state violence that afflict our communities, whether in brutalized Baltimore or bombed out Gaza.”

“If you aren’t speaking up against anti-black racism, structural violence, and the incessant execution of black people in the US, you are actively ignoring systems of oppression affecting millions of people. As we affirm in the video, black-Palestinian solidarity is not a requirement, but a choice,” Kanazi says.

On days where Palestinians are under attack and the end of the occupation seems farther away than ever, a show of Black-Palestinian solidarity feels just like what we need. “Once our Black brothers and sisters in America spoke for us,” Nafar concludes, “today we are asking to speak in one voice against both forms of oppression.”

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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    1. been there

      It’s encouraging that African-Americans are connecting the dots. Many American police are receiving training in Israel, which explains why they are so violent.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “Many American police receive training in Israel”

        Here, you saw it here first folks. A new myth is born.

        Same old … same old……. ”

        anywhere there is something bad happening, you will find a Jew behind it” … according to some folks.

        Reply to Comment
        • caligirl

          this is NOT a myth

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            It is a myth that American police need to be trained in Israel in order to shoot people.

            It is a myth that it could not and would not happen otherwise.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Promoting black-Palestinian solidarity. I dont see why the black population should promote solidarity to the Palestinian people. The twee group have little in common. You dont really support the Palestinian people but you are against Israel. Against Israels right to excist. This is what the Palestinian people want. They not seriously negogiating and they promote violence in many ways, by honoring terrorists (squares and tournamonts, providing money to family members (more deaths, more money). Children in schools already learn these things, Israel doesnt excist on their maps. Gaza is in control of Hamas, what do they do with all the money they receive? building tunnels and rockets?
      You should promote discussion between the jews and the palestinians. This black palestinian is only an anti Israel platform, and is only based on bias. People who are supporting (Mr. Glover etc) are missing the point.

      Reply to Comment
      • Malik Shabaz

        @Machiel Van Den Akker – “I don’t see why the black population should promote solidarity to the Palestinian people”. Why do you feed the hungry? Why do you make a donation to a charitable group? Why do you help the homeless? The majority of the word “Humanitarian” comes from “Human”. We’re all humans and we all have human rights. How can someone claim to be a human rights activist to support the inalienable human rights of all people while neglecting the struggle for human rights but Palestinians? If you think that there is “little in common” between the Black struggle and the Palestinian struggle, then you are ignorant of history. Have you ever heard of segregation? Jim Crowe? Slavery? The civil rights struggle? What African Americans went through then and what they go through now is exactly what Palestinians have been going through for nearly 70 years. In America, the slaves were brought in on ships. In Palestine the slavemasters were brought in on ships. Different names, different places. The same old story. If you don’t want to compare them to the African Americans, go look at Apartheid South Africa. Again, different names, different places. Same old story. Get a clue.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          “Go look at Apartheid South Africa”

          Ok, shall we? Then watch this you tube video…


          …and ask yourself what other simplistic lies are perpetrated against Israel by professional propagandists?

          Funny that you brought up South Africa. There was a virtual propaganda lynching launched against Israel (and Jews) in Durban South Africa right after Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Barak offered his peace deal back in 2000.

          Yes, I used the word lynching because that’s exactly what it was. A deliberate and calculated propaganda campaign which has been kept up to this very day. Jewish lobby? Jewish lobby my foot. The Arabs with their oil money, backed up by the Muslim bloc, make us look like amateurs!!!!

          Reply to Comment