I work on maps a lot and I've been seeing the map. The same old colonial map. They actually reverse the map when they want to call us corrupt or terrorists. Anyways, hello to Kalyan who joined as a paying member, and Dan, Yannik, Wijdan, and Katherine who just subscribed.
We are all Palestinians. The entire global majority* lives under western oppression—their patents, their borders, their bombs—Palestine just gets it the worst. Nowhere is it more clear than with COVID-19. If you look at the map of actual apartheid and vaccine apartheid it's the same map.
Who blocks Palestine statehood? The US, the UK, the EU, Australia, and Japan. Who blocks patent-free vaccines? It's the same people. The arms dealers and the drug dealers, they're all backed by the same evil empire. The symptom is COVID-19, but the disease is western hegemony. Palestine is being colonized right now, but we all still live under colonialism.
Let's start with actual apartheid, because it's easiest to see. Israel is a well-documented apartheid regime, but how? Well, look who doesn't allow Palestine to exist at the UN:
The people in black talk about a two-state solution but that's bullshit. In action, they prevent Palestine from being a state. Then they sell Israel arms and give them diplomatic cover for genocide. For decades, they've been buying time for war crimes.
While Palestinians are being gaslit into negotiations, Israel keeps taking their land, building walls, and murdering entire families (what they call 'mowing the grass'). The Palestinians are told to keep waiting for a two-state solution, while their land dissolves in front of their eyes.
Again, just look:
Hence we end up with not two states but one apartheid state. Roughly 7 million Jews control 7 million Palestinians. Jews would actually be a minority if Palestinian refugees had their right of return. And this isn't just maps. These are people, these are families, these are homes. Zoom in and look at the injustice on the ground:
This is colonialism in real-time. Happening to generation after generation. This old couple had their home stolen, and it's happening to people in Sheikh Jarrah right now. We can watch settlers walk into homes and say "if I don't steal it someone else will steal it". And the police state backs them up. Israel beats, bombs, arrests, and spray shit at anyone who resists. We're watching settler-colonialism in real time. Forget the maps for a minute. You can feel the outrage in your bones.
Now let's zoom out again. We've looked at actual apartheid, let's look at something seemingly unrelated—vaccine apartheid during COVID-19. It should look familiar because, spoiler alert, it's the same map.
Why is it the same map? Because it's the same people. The US, UK, EU, Canada, Australia, and Japan. They block Palestinian statehood AND block a peoples vaccine. Different issues, but the same cause. The old colonial powers, up to some neo-colonial bullshit.
But wait, you'll say, isn't America green now? Didn't they make a big show about waiving patents on vaccines? Well, yes, they made a big show, but they didn't actually waive any patents. It's all bullshit. They agreed to negotiate, and you know how that's going for the Palestinians. As always, they're just buying time for crime. In this case, health crimes against humanity.
While China and Russia share whatever vaccines they have, western mRNA vaccines are effectively whites only, unless you live there, or sign over your national assets to Pfizer. Then they use their media to portray other vaccines as dangerous, or bad, even pressuring Brazil to not take Russian vaccines and instead... just die. They don't even need pogroms to keep us in line. They just use patents and let COVID lynch us in bed.
Here's a bonus apartheid for making it this far. This is a picture of passport apartheid.
Palestinians live under very obvious apartheid (different buses, roads, IDs, and rights), but you in the global majority, look at your own passport. Are we not also completely fucked? Just look at the world of a white tourist (with a Canadian passport) and someone with a Sri Lankan passport. Look how much they limit our God-given freedom to move.
Most people in the world live under oppressive passport apartheid, while rich white people become tourists, and expats, and digital nomads. We're supposed to stay where we are, stitching their clothes, rubbing their feet, offering them warm and welcoming smiles. Tourism is colonialism with tips.
This global passport regime was started in World War I by the western powers, to contain their own violence, but it has remained deployed against the colonized because they are still at war with us. They literally deploy their navies against families in boats. We (might) have passports yes, but we are kept separate but equal, in a blatantly racist way.
Actual apartheid, vaccine apartheid, passport apartheid. It's all apartheid. We are all Palestinian.
We Are All Palestinian
Hence what I feel for Palestinians is not sympathy but empathy. Not pity, but solidarity. And I feel equal parts horrified and inspired. We are watching settler-colonialism in real-time, but also watching great resistance. There is resistance from the heart of empire with Black Lives Matter and now in what Kwame Ture calls its finger, Israel. Middle finger, really. As he said:
"The United States is the greatest de-humanizer in the world, and Israel is nothing but a finger of the United States of America. It de-humanizes all over the world, and our fight today is a fight for humanity." (Kwame Ture, formerly known as Stokley Carmichael)
While the western media is still trying to both-sides apartheid, dehumanizing Palestinian resistance, people from Palestine are speaking up. People like Mohammed El-Kurd, Jehad Abusalim, and the countless more just holding up a camera in front of settler-colonialism, in real-time. The world is horrified, and we need to take inspiration to resist our common enemy with the same strength.
The US, UK, EU, the rich countries that act like our friends, these are not our friends. This is our common enemy. Their malign influence oppresses us on countless maps. Their evil during COVID-19, their violence against black people, against Palestinians, their climate change, how much more do you need to see? We are all Palestinian, we are all George Floyd, we all have equal rights and dignity as human beings.
We cannot solve these problems in isolation—as climate change problems, or racism problems, or capitalism problems—because they have the same cause. The cause is western hegemony and if it seems impossible to overthrow, know this. They may control the map, but you control the few centimeters behind your eyes. So decolonize that, and find solidarity with the global majority across the world We are all Palestinian. If we can muster a tenth of their bravery, we can take this empire down.
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*I use global majority to refer to what people call the Global South, or Third World. We are actually the majority of the world. We are Earth. I get the term via Sharon Hurley Hall, who referred me to Rosemary Campbell-Stephens.