by Alia Taqieddin
(That is one among three essays from local people members that the Emerald shall be publishing on this subject.)
Final week, the world watched as 22-year-old Muna El Kurd — in a viral video from her household’s house in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem — confronted Yacoub, a Brooklyn-raised Zionist settler who has forcibly taken residence within the El Kurd household’s storage since 2009.
“If I don’t steal your property, another person will,” Yacoub mentioned, gesturing matter-of-factly at Muna and her members of the family.
As disturbing as this justification is, it displays the fact that, since 1948, Zionist settlers have been stealing Palestinian’s houses and land. Compelled expulsions have been commonplace throughout Occupied Palestine for the reason that expulsion of 750,000 Indigenous Palestinians from our houses throughout the 1948 Nakba, which established the settler state of Israel. They proceed this venture of ethnic cleaning at the moment in Sheikh Jarrah, within the neighboring villages of Silwan and the South Hebron Hills, and throughout Palestine.
Within the U.S., we frequently consider settler colonialism as a foregone, albeit tarnishing, period within the historic quilt of U.S. expansionism. However the violence inherent to settler colonialism, the identical violence which established modern-day Seattle, is taking part in out earlier than our eyes in Sheikh Jarrah and throughout Occupied Palestine. It begs a reconsideration of our complicity in sustaining settler management of Indigenous land, right here and in Palestine.
Many individuals in America wrestle to conceptualize the assaults on Palestinian sovereignty and livelihood as our duty. However the deep connections between Israel’s mechanisms of violence and our personal communities right here in Seattle make it our duty.
Proper now, the households of Sheikh Jarrah are defending their houses in opposition to a settlement group backed by U.S. billionaire Zionists. The Palestinian residents are restricted from coming into or leaving their avenue, whereas the Israeli police drive collude with armed settlers and politicians who overtly espouse genocidal rhetoric. On Monday, settlers and police colluded to assault Palestinians on the Al Aqsa mosque with tear fuel, rubber-coated bullets, and stun grenades throughout a highly-attended Ramadan prayer.
As I write this, the Israeli army is bombing families in Gaza and attacking individuals defending their houses throughout 1948-occupied Palestine utilizing the $3.8 billion of annual help that the U.S. authorities sends them from our taxpayer cash. And, most notably for our local people, the Seattle Police Division (SPD) is policing our metropolis using tactics they learned while training with the brutal Israeli police. Many scenes coming to us from the telephones of avenue journalists in Palestine evoke highly effective reminiscences of the 2020 uprisings as a result of Palestine has lengthy been the testing floor for modern-day policing.
The violence we’ve witnessed this week on our telephones and TV screens isn’t just one thing “over there.” It’s native and private. It’s a reflection of the historical past of the land on which we reside and the Coast Salish Suquamish and Duwamish households who had been dispossessed from this land. It’s a shared venture of violence with final Saturday’s sweep of the almost year-long resistance occupation by Baba Omari Tahir on the African American Heritage Museum and Cultural Middle carried out by SPD. It’s sponsored by our authorities, on our dime, as an alternative of investing that cash into constructing our personal communities. How far might $3.8 billion invested in a common primary revenue, housing for all, and common healthcare take us?
Our connection to this violence signifies that it impacts each of us. It signifies that we now have a duty to uphold and amplify the demands for worldwide safety from the residents of Sheikh Jarrah. We’ve the ability to pressure our Congress members to stop all funding to Israel till it’s held to account by worldwide legislation. We will amplify the voices of Palestinian land defenders by means of organizing public demonstrations like Sunday’s upcoming rally and march in Westlake.
All week I’ve been considering of Muna El Kurd and imagining myself in her sneakers. Think about that you just got here house sooner or later to discover a man you don’t know claiming possession of your property and bringing a brutal military to again him up. Think about being attacked, arrested, even killed for defending your property. Now ask your self: What would you need the world to do?
Alia Taqieddin is a longtime Seattle resident, and second-generation Syrian and Palestinian neighborhood educator and DJ. Her work and writing are pushed by her household’s reminiscences of house and exile within the village of Sabastiya, Palestine, in Damascus, Syria, and of their present house of Zarqa, Jordan. Presently, Alia organizes with Falastiniyat, a feminist Palestinian collective that lives on the intersection of gender justice and anti-colonialism. Her latest writing may be present in Dardishi Journal and Jaffat El Aqlam, and her music may be discovered on Soundcloud as DJ Mansaf Mama.
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