A Revolutionary Spirit and Genuine Love

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Our first two days in Palestine have corroborated for me that the Black freedom struggle in the United States must continue to not just demand an end to the war on Black America, but also demand an end to the war on the Palestinian people.

Historically it is true that the Black freedom movement has long expressed a sense of shared struggle with Palestinians, but now more than ever we must strengthen our shared struggle beyond verbal articulation; it has to be a central part to the Black freedom movements organizing agenda.

Our first day in Palestine we were given a tour of Jerusalem that was led by Fayrouz of Grassroots Jerusalem. Fayrouz brought a deep revolutionary spirit and a genuine love for her people and their fight for self-determination. She provided us with a visual understanding of the inhumane conditions that Palestinians face under the Israeli settler colonial occupation.

When Fayrouz explained the history of Palestinians in Jerusalem, she made it very clear that she does not use “historic Palestine” because it is STILL Palestine despite the baleful Israeli occupation. The passion and spirit she showed is indispensable to liberation movements of oppressed people everywhere, I truly admire her spirit for freedom and commitment the freedom of her people.

In fact, her brilliance reminds me of Rania Masri, who has and continues to shape my understanding of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. In 2014, when I first became conscious of the Israeli occupation, I heard Rania speak and was moved by her articulation of the similarities between Black and Palestinian solidarity. The inspiration I felt that day in 2014 when Rania was speaking is the same inspiration I felt when I had the opportunity to hear Fayrouz speak about the historic and contemporary struggles of Palestinians in Jerusalem.