Gastivists' Position - Palestine and IsRael

We recognize the complicated, painful history and present of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. We are a diverse team, with members with Arab, Jewish and Israeli backgrounds (and more). We believe in the power of working together across different groups and identities, to dismantle toxic power dynamics for collective liberation. 

For Palestinian sovereignty and the right to return

We call for an end to the annexation and occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory, and for the right of Palestinians to self-determination, and sovereignty over resources and land. We believe in the right of Palestinians to return to their land; the over 6 million Palestinian refugees whose grandparents were forcibly expelled from Palestine in 1948 when Israel was created should have the right to return to their homes (which are now part of present-day Israel).

Anti-zionist and anti-colonial

We demand justice and equal rights for all, for Palestinians and Israelis, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Jews and all denominations. The Israeli authorities today use the idea of Zionism as an excuse to promote Jewish white supremacy both in the occupied Palestinian territory and within Israeli borders, which we firmly stand against. 

Western powers still define, arbitrate, and set the rules for what is a political and financial game in the Middle East. We recognize the colonial history and dynamics at play. The international community, and specifically the United Kingdom, the United Nations and Europe, have a responsibility in the historical and current Israeli occupation of Palestine. Understanding this responsibility is especially important for western organisers to recenter and root conversations. The zionist movement was born from the rise of antisemitism in Europe in the 19th century, and the state of Israel formed after the mass murder and displacement of millions of Jewish people in Europe during the holocaust. The UK used its colonial mandate in Palestine to facilitate the creation of a Jewish state (as well as stating the Balfour declaration) and the UN remained silent during expulsions by Zionists in 1948. We must look at the whole picture of the European role in the Israel/Palestine conflict to work towards liberation for all, and fight the rise of the far right today.

For Climate Justice; Beyond Capitalism

The current global capitalist system values endless economic growth over human rights, lives, and over the health of the natural world. This logic (amongst others) legitmizes injustices such as the Palestinian occupation and climate breakdown. As long as Israel’s economy is growing, and fossil fuel companies’ shareholders are happy, the human and ecological costs are dismissed. For climate justice – which recognizes that human rights, societal justice and avoiding ecological collapse depend on one another – we must hold corporations responsible for the damage they inflict, and move beyond the capitalist model of economic growth at any cost to a model that centres justice, communities, and ecological health. Companies profit from the instability in the region (and in conflict regions around the world) and fuel injustice by economically strengthening one side. This is the case with the companies and banks promoting and planning to profit from the Eastmed pipeline and the exploitation of natural resources in the region.

Living under occupation and heavy oppression makes the Palestinian people compromised in their ability to adapt to the impacts of climate breakdown. Meanwhile, the Palestinian people contribute significantly less to climate breakdown than Israel and the wealthy ally countries that support the Israeli regime, such as the US. This is the great injustice felt by black, brown and indigenous people, especially in the global south – of contributing the least while being likely to suffer the most from impacts of climate breakdown. 

For climate justice, Palestinians must have sovereignty and control over their resources and land, and be free from the oppression they face at the hands of the Israeli regime and the complicit international community.