We Will Not Apologize: Zionism is Racism!

January 18, 2024
Black background with the words STATEMENT STATEMENT running across the top. In bold white letters it reads: "We Will Not Apologize: Zionism is Racism!" with The People's Forum logo

We make no apologies for calling for the destruction of an apartheid and colonial state that is actively engaging in a genocide of the Palestinian people that has already killed over 25,000. The right-wing attack on the new mass movement in defense of the Palestinian people attempts to conflate the call for an end to the apartheid-constructed state of Israel as a call for the destruction of the Jewish people, and to label those who make the call as antisemitic. This is utterly and completely false. This is a propaganda trick by the apologists for genocide.

Would anyone be asked to apologize now for calling for the destruction of the Apartheid South African state? The New York Post used to call Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid activists “terrorists.” Thirty years later, everyone admits that after a righteous struggle, it was a good thing that Apartheid South Africa was erased from history and replaced with a democratic state.

Rather than an ethno-religious state, we stand for a democratic Palestine, as determined by the Palestinian people, based on the full right of return of all Palestinian refugees. Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together in peace before the colonial project of Zionism was imposed on them. We want to replace colonialism and ethnic supremacy with democracy — that is no incitement to genocide! Historic Palestine shows the possibility for co-existence among peoples of all faith traditions.

Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism. Everyone who has ever been at The People’s Forum knows that we welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds who are committed to the struggle for justice. For 100 days, we have proudly marched and organized with hundreds of thousands of people in New York and across the country, many of them Jewish people who stand in the proud tradition of anti-fascism and anti-Zionism, who have rightly declared that the State of Israel, by falsely associating its crimes with the Jewish faith, make Jewish people less safe, not more safe.

For us, Zionism is synonymous with colonialism and racism.

Make no mistake — the horrors of the last 100 days are just the latest massacres that have accompanied every stage of Israel’s short history. From its inception, it has existed as an ethno-state, and it can only exist as such through expulsion, genocide, and increasing apartheid. It is a European settler-colonial implantation in the Middle East, created to safeguard the economic and political interests of the United States in the region. It is sustained not by deep historical ties but by a flow of Western aid, arms, and emigrants. Nothing will deter our commitment to continue fighting for Palestinian self-determination and statehood.

Did any US corporate-owned publication ask Netanyahu to apologize for presenting a map at the United Nations that showed the total erasure of Palestine? Do they demand apologies from the genocidal Israeli and US politicians who have denied the very reality of Palestine or openly call for its total destruction via nonstop bombing? These are forces with state power who are actually perpetrating a literal genocide and engaging in actual genocide denialism. Still, for them, this is less of a controversy than a non-profit organization calling for the destruction of colonialism.

 

Manolo De Los Santos

Executive Director of The People’s Forum

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