Indigenous solidarity in a time of genocide in Palestine

I had the honor of joining Nick Estes on The Red Nation Podcast on an episode marking Indigenous Peoples Day 2023, on 9 October.

We talked about the horrifying Israeli massacres in Gaza, the background and development of Palestinian resistance and what led to this situation.

A crucial point we discussed, that is never made amid all the jingoism and rage in Western and Israeli political responses and media coverage, is that Hamas is a political organization whose repeated attempts to extend olive branches have always been rejected by Israel and its American and European sponsors.

For many years, Hamas’ political and military strategy tried to emulate the path to politics followed by other national liberation and anti-colonial movements, particularly Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army.

But every such effort was violently rebuffed, especially after Hamas won the 2006 legislative elections in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

So if Hamas and other Palestinian factions continue their military resistance, it is because Israel and its American and European sponsors have rejected all of the far-reaching Palestinian offers of accommodation with the Israelis.

In the case of Hamas, that offer included a long-term truce that Hamas did not believe could immediately solve the conflict with Israel, but which could have ended violence and allowed the conditions for a political resolution to emerge in the future.

In this context, I told The Red Nation that it is worth us recalling the words of Nelson Mandela:

“It is always the oppressor, not the oppressed, who dictates the form of the struggle,” Mandela writes in his autobiography The Long Walk to Freedom. “If the oppressor uses violence, the oppressed have no alternative but to respond violently.”

These are points I elaborated on in my article following the May 2021 Israeli assault on Gaza: It’s time to change liberal discourse about Hamas.

The Red Nation is a collective dedicated to the “liberation of Native peoples from capitalism and colonialism” and which views “active resistance as fundamental to liberation.”

In a 2019 statement – in one of many expressions and actions of solidarity – The Red Nation declared that “Palestine is the moral barometer of Indigenous North America.”

As Estes and I discussed, that solidarity is more important than ever as Israel escalates its massacres against Palestinians in Gaza whom its defense minister Yoav Gallant has declared to be “human animals.”

As we can see from the unconditional support Israel is receiving from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, settler-colonial solidarity is global, so Indigenous solidarity must be too.

You can watch the video above.