We, at Freedom to Thrive, are deeply alarmed and saddened by what can only be described as acts of genocide against the Palestinian people, resulting in unconscionable loss of life.
The situation on the ground is dire. Palestinian men, women, children, the elderly and the disabled, continue to bear the brunt of a military offensive that has resulted in countless deaths, injuries, and the destruction of homes, infrastructure, and vital services. The disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by Israeli military forces in densely populated areas has led to immeasurable suffering and mass displacement. The violence perpetrated by the Israeli government has resulted in the erasure of 881 entire bloodlines (and counting), representing an unfathomable loss of life, history, and heritage. This grievous injustice underscores the urgent need for international attention and action to address the ongoing crisis in Palestine.
We unequivocally condemn the deliberate bombings, shelling, and other military actions that have resulted in mass death of Palestinians. Every ten minutes a Palestinian child is murdered by the Israeli military. A devastating tweet from the Gaza Ministry of Education announcing cancellation of a school year due to the death of students reflects the scale of this generational loss. The intentional targeting of residential areas, hospitals, schools, and media organizations is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law.
Furthermore, we strongly condemn the ongoing blockade restricting the movement of people and goods, causing immense economic hardship and depriving Palestinians of access to essential resources such as healthcare, food, and clean water. It has trapped an entire community in a state of perpetual vulnerability, stifling their aspirations for a better future.
We are also deeply troubled by the alarming reports of Israeli settlers in the West Bank engaging in acts of violence, including the murder of 130 Palestinians and the displacement of 15 entire communities. These actions draw disturbing parallels to historical injustices endured by indigenous communities at the hands of setters. The impact of settler violence on Palestinian lives has been, and continues to be devastating.
Colonial occupation has entrenched inequality, discrimination, and dispossession, leading to the displacement of countless Palestinians from their ancestral lands and the denial of their basic rights. The occupation has perpetuated cycles of violence and suffering, leaving generations of Palestinians to endure the devastating consequences. Given this, it should come as no surprise that 1 in 3 refugees worldwide are Palestinian.
In light of these circumstances, we emphatically affirm the freedom to resist, recognizing that resistance is a crucial tool for oppressed communities to assert their rights and demand justice. We support all colonized people’s rights to defend themselves against colonial subjugation. Palestinians, like any other people facing injustice, have the right to resist occupation and oppression through any means necessary. The ongoing resistance in Palestine is not an act of aggression but a legitimate response to decades of dispossession and apartheid. It is an assertion of the inherent right to self-determination, a right that is recognized in international law.
We affirm the freedom of movement, the freedom to return, and the freedom to grow roots. Palestinians, who have been forcibly displaced from their ancestral homes, deserve the right to return to their lands, and should have the freedom to do so without fear of eviction or violence. The denial of these basic rights is a fundamental injustice that must be rectified.
We affirm the Freedom to Thrive. Palestinians deserve the opportunity to build prosperous and thriving communities, free from the restrictions and hardships imposed by Israeli occupation. Economic development, access to education, access to healthcare, and the ability to pursue a better future are essential components of human dignity and should be accessible to all.
The ceasefire, while providing a temporary respite from immediate violence and suffering, is not sufficient to address the longstanding and deeply-rooted issues affecting Palestine. This did not begin on October 7th and will not end with a ceasefire. Palestinians deserve more than a mere pause in hostilities; they deserve a comprehensive resolution that includes an end to the blockade and colonial occupation that has persisted for far too long. Creating conditions that allow for the self-determination of the Palestinian people is the only hope for achieving a future of peace, security, and dignity for all in the region.
We, at Freedom to Thrive, stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people as they endure unspeakable acts of genocide and war crimes. Their unwavering resilience in the face of injustice compels us to take action.
Together, we can work towards a future where all people in the region can live in peace, security, and dignity, where the freedom to resist, to move, to return, to grow roots, and to thrive is a reality for all.
The Freedom to Thrive team