Washington, D.C. | January 31, 2023 – It is concerning that, at a moment of acute tensions and violence perpetrated against the Palestinian people, the United States refuses to recognize both the occupation of Palestine and the magnitude of evidence substantiating the existence of an apartheid regime in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The U.S. State Department’s failure to recognize the occupation of Palestine is compounded by its silence on human rights violations committed by Israel. The U.S. government routinely turns a blind eye to reports of abuses perpetrated by Israeli forces against Palestinians while simultaneously providing military aid and diplomatic support for Israel, sending a clear message that Washington does not consider Palestinian lives or rights worthy of protection or respect.
Just last week, Israeli occupation forces attacked the Jenin refugee camp, resulting in the brutal massacre of at least 9 Palestinians and injuring at least 20. This was yet another example of the brutality inflicted on Palestinians by their oppressors, emphasizing that true peace will never be achieved in the region until Palestinians receive full human and civil rights. Any attempt to justify or normalize this behavior is nothing short of moral bankruptcy, as is any requirement that Palestinians negotiate themselves out of their oppression. In response to the Jenin massacre and the U.S. government’s refusal to acknowledge the reality, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) joined 150 organizations representing Palestinian communities, Palestinian solidarity organizations, and the racial justice movement in calling out the U.S. government’s complicity and racist dehumanization of Palestinian life.
According to the UN, 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2006, yet this year is on pace to be deadlier. In January 2023 alone, there were more murders of Palestinians than in the first three months of 2022. What happened over the last month is not a sudden escalation – it is a culmination of nearly 75 years of illegal occupation. Israel has maintained its vision of erasing Palestinians from the land, and with the new far-right government taking over, this has escalated to higher extremes.
The Israeli occupation has gone on for far too long. It is time for Palestinians to finally receive basic human dignity and the globally affirmed right to self-determination. The recent massacre in Jenin serves as a reminder that without recognition, protection, and implementation of the fundamental rights of Palestinians, there can never be genuine peace. Until then, those outside of Palestine must continue to speak out against these injustices so that those within can experience a just and lasting liberation.