Left to right: Jehad Ayman Ahmed Abu Khater, 22. Raafat Mohammed Salman Ayyad, 54. Islam Raafat Mohammed Ayyad, 19. Ibrahim Ahmed Abdul Latif al-Dabous, 26. Amir Raafat Mohammed Ayyad, 8. Mohammed Atia Musleh Hamodeh, 20.
On November 12th, Israel launched a series of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, igniting a multi-day conflict that by November 15th had killed 34 Palestinians. Half of the dead were civilians. Eight, including five children, belonged to a single family - murdered in an attack that leveled their home.
Palestinian fighters responded to the airstrikes with a volley of rockets at southern Israel, prompting Governor Cuomo to release a statement saying "attacks against a civilian population are wrong, plain and simple," which is why "New York stands with our brothers and sisters in Israel."
Violence against civilians is wrong. That's why the siege of Gaza is an atrocity.
Nearly two million people live in the Gaza Strip, an area one-tenth the size of Rhode Island. Half of them are children under the age of 14. And for more than a decade, they've lived under a punishing blockade that has crippled their economy, destroyed their infrastructure, and transformed their homeland into an open-air prison, all while enduring regular military bombardments that have killed thousands of civilians.
Some Palestinians have responded to these conditions through the use of violence, and Governor Cuomo's statement is just one example of the usual response: portray that violence as though it were unprovoked, the first step in a cycle that forces Israel to respond in kind.
Palestine is trapped in a cycle of violence. But that cycle began with a 50-year military occupation, rule by apartheid, and an inhuman blockade, factors which are the principal drivers of the conflict.
New York is home to a vibrant Palestinian community, but their experiences, perspectives, and values are routinely ignored in public life. It's time to build a new kind of politics in New York, one that acknowledges the humanity of our Palestinian brothers and sisters and the legitimacy of their struggle for human rights.
If you're a progressive New Yorker, please sign this petition to send Governor Cuomo a message: New York stands with Palestine.
New York is home to a vibrant Palestinian community. Many have friends, family, and loved ones living under occupation and apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza. Many have lived under occupation and apartheid themselves.
New York is home to Arab and Muslim communities that have stood in solidarity with Palestine and their struggle for liberation for decades.
New York is home to progressives of many origins who recognize the justice of the Palestinian cause and the urgency of supporting it.
New York stands with Palestine, and it's time our political leadership did too.