Rescinded Crumbs: PYM’s Statement on the Declaration of Al-Quds as Official Capital of the Zionist Entity
Originally circulated 12/06/17
We, the Palestinian Youth Movement, condemn the recent iterations of the US Settler government advancing the Zionist entity’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine. We object to the declaration of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as the capital of the Zionist entity and the stated intent to relocate the US embassy accordingly in no uncertain terms. We further condemn the sweeping imperial arrogance and ease with which these decisions are undertaken.
We recognize that such developments are tantamount to spitting in the face of our people and decades-long anti-colonial struggle and even constitute a form of colonial incitement, with many viewing the bestowment of Al-Quds to the Zionist entity as an intended symbolic coup-de-grâce towards Palestinian assertion of our rightful self-determination and agency over our shared social, cultural and historical heritage. Nevertheless, though many commentators have remarked that this move represents a deviation from 30 years of US policy vis-a-vis Al-Quds, the Palestinian people know all too well that both liberal and conservative US regimes have only worked to enable the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land at the hands of the US’s Settler-colonial counterpart.
Both militarized Settler-colonial states, the US and the Zionist entity, have a joint investment in brutally depleting occupied lands of Indigenes and consolidating technologies and tactics of death, torture, coercion and dispossession in order to streamline either process, so as to better enjoy the cultural and topographic fruits of conquest through genocide. By legitimizing an exclusive claim to Al-Quds on the part of the Zionist entity, the US Settler regime has offered its bloody seal of endorsement to yet another dimension of Palestinian cultural genocide; whereby, the erasure of our presence and claims allows for the creation of alternative colonial histories, predicated upon our perpetual absence and invisibilization.
Since its inception, the Zionist entity has co-opted a narrative of indigeneity to Palestine, formed and fashioned to cloak the attempted erasure of Palestinian identity, people, land, heritage and memory. This declaration of Al-Quds, the center of spiritual life for the Palestinian people and a place of daily resistance to ethnic cleansing, incarceration and suppression, as the capital of the Zionist State as well as the proposed relocation of the US embassy does not designate exceptional policy from the US or the Zionist entity. Previous recommendations from Zionist entity politicians to position Ramallah as an alternative capital to Al-Quds for Palestinians show that the Zionist agenda has always been to withhold the city. In 1995, under a Clinton administration, congress voted to move the US embassy to Al-Quds and, up until this point, the executive branch has blocked this move via a rotating 6-month waiver. The seeds for these most recent developments are therefore a long-time in the making, by intention and design: the issue is not the deviation of individual political actors but the fulfillment of a longstanding colonial imperative for dispossession, elimination and erasure.
The declaration of Al-Quds to be the capital of the colonial state and declared intent to relocate the US embassy are, however, marked within a long history of supremacy, because of the symbolic importance of Al-Quds to Palestinians and neighboring countries in the region, as well as the looming Jerusalem 2020 Plan. Written by the Zionist entity, the 2020 Plan states the intent to maintain a demographic count within Jerusalem’s municipality of just 30% Palestinian residents in the next two years. And while the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine is underscored by the prospective site of the US embassy, we recognize that the present embassy location and any embassy outpost will always already exist upon the land of displaced Palestinians.
Whether in exile or the homeland, we Palestinians have remained resilient in the face of decades of dehumanization and dispossession. Though searingly blatant, we recognize that this latest development will prove no exception: we honor and uplift Palestinian resilience and resistance through various means, and recognize that it must and will continue until all of Palestine is liberated and our people have realized the full right of return. We will not negotiate with colonizers. We further recognize our duty as exiled individuals upon stolen land to continue to oppose the ongoing Settler-colonization of Turtle Island. From Turtle Island to Palestine, the words and actions of Settler-colonial actors pale before the steadfastness and rightfulness of anti-colonial struggle and national movements for self-determination.
Join us in taking the streets for the Day of Rage, even as we recognize that every day is one of resistance and transgression until liberation and return. May our resilience and indignation always stoke the fire of a free Palestine.
Nafdeek ya Falasteen!