Palestinians & Palestinian-Americans in the USA
February 23, 2024 1:03 PM   Subscribe

I just wanted to note that there is a lot of stuff going on in the current thread on Gaza, but I thought I would pull back a bit and focus on the US side of things. I am deliberately keeping the focus on Palestinians and Palestinian Americans, and I hope that we do not get sidetracked from that.
posted by toastyk at 1:09 PM on February 23 [12 favorites]

Thanks for this detailed post.
posted by joannemerriam at 2:50 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]

The WSJ article claiming that Dearborn was basically a jihadi training camp was one of the most racist things I've seen in a while.

Another one for the list:

Call Me Palestinian: Meet the restaurateurs putting their Palestinian identity at the forefront
posted by praemunire at 4:01 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]

The same is happening here in Canada. The government is very pro-Israel, and the media is focusing not the message of the Palestinian-Canadian protesters, but instead on the handful of extremists who also showed up. Protests on a highway overpass near a predominately Jewish neighbourhood or a lone protestor with a Palestinian flag climbing construction scaffolding in from of Mt Sinai Hospital are met with rapid commendation from the powers that be. The police even felt they had to apologize for being good cops for once after a photo of a cop giving donuts to peaceful protesters started to circulate.

Would I rather the protesters just avoid hospital row entirely, or preemptively kick out anyone who decides to join in while waving a Popular Front flag? Maybe stop regularly protesting in front of the Minister of Finance's office because she's 1) no longer the Foreign Minister and 2) it's right across the street from a JCC? Yeah. But I'm not going to blame them for not being perfect model minorities, especially seeing what their family and friends are being subjected to right now.
posted by thecjm at 5:33 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]

In Louisiana, everything is ea ist as he'll. We have Palestinian folks, Iranian folks (especially the oil people), and Lebanese folks all agree to call themselves "Mediterranean" for a couple generations now. The BDS movement was silenced.

On the other hand, the local TV Has announced it when Palestinian New Orleanians have been killed in Gaza (tragically,
mysteriously), which is more than I expected. But still, can we hear from them before they are dead?

That would be nice.
posted by eustatic at 6:27 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]

The dehumanization and double standards are so extreme I feel like I'm constantly being gaslit. I can't even imagine what it's like to be Palestinian.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:27 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]

I feel like I'm constantly being gaslit

You are.

The fundamental lie being told, over and over and over ad nauseam, is that an expressed desire to commit genocide on the part of some members of a given population can in some way justify or legitimize the actual perpetration of genocide against that population.

I don't think I've seen a better counter-formulation than adrienneleigh's from the Gaza thread:
several months (and 75 years) into a genocide, I'm just flat out of performative condemnation for the side that isn't committing it.
posted by flabdablet at 10:54 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]

It's not just that lie, although that is a fundamental one.

I wish I had the source, but it really clarified my own thinking in the days right after Oct 7th. The essence of it was: Palestinians are granted no right to self-defense. I'm sure multiple people have made that point, but it was made powerfully and well, and I came across it just as "Israel has a right to defend itself" was becoming the excuse du jour for Israel's war crimes. It's enough to make your head spin (in rage).

But also, just constantly being gaslit about protests and advocacy on behalf of Palestine. "Free Palestine" graffiti on a bridge being talked about as though it's an antisemitic hate crime; being told that protestors passing a hospital on a common protest route were "infiltrating" it; politicians claiming they had to cower in fear from a peaceful protest of a dozen retirees holding signs saying things like "#ceasefirenow". Palestinian protestors getting chemicals thrown on them by students with ties to Israel and absolute crickets from the media and powers that be, when you know that if a Palestinian student had done the same to a pro-Israel protestor they would be expelled, arrested, and plastered all over the news.

It reminds me a lot of how BLM protests were demonized, tbh. It is awfully politically inconvenient that Palestinians are human beings who deserve the same rights as everyone else; it's even worse that this is becoming a more common belief. Protests and advocacy for Palestine have to be demonized because if they are seen as credible, if they cannot be painted as something only violent, hateful extremists believe, more people might join.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:09 AM on February 24 [19 favorites]

It has not been fun, let me tell you that much. Having the "talk" with my kids about their identities on top of having to have the "talk" about school shootings and other violence in the US is just a real stinking cherry on top of a shit-filled sundae.

It has also been utterly demoralizing to have a US President who ran on a platform of human rights and empathy throw all of that out the window with Israel's actions, repeating their propaganda, bypassing Congress to arm and fund a genocide, and then adopting right-wing rhetoric with regards to not just Israel but also border issues and immigration. And then have the other choice, in a supposed democracy, be even worse. Like, what are we even doing here? And don't blame Arab Americans and Muslims for not voting for Biden while he is actively funding the genocide/ethnic cleansing of their loved ones and doing fuck-all about Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian hate in the US. It's his fault for letting it get this far, and for valuing Israeli governance over his own base at home, for assuming that "Trump is worse" is an inevitability rather than the fact that he is the US President matters more right now to people of color and young people.

On the other hand, it has been a relief to see so much outright support and protest for Palestine. A lot of it does not make mainstream media, but I was really inspired to see groups like AROC block the boat actions, various JVP actions, and the support of young people for Palestine. It makes me feel like maybe there is still a future.

Soul of My Soul Exhibit - is a traveling mobile exhibit we came across in a Middle Eastern market that raises awareness of what is happening in Palestine.

The Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement is still going strong although anti-BDS laws are on the books in 37 US states. McDonald's and Starbucks are definitely feeling the strain.

An app called "No Thanks" was developed by Ahmed Bashbash to make it easier for people to boycott Israeli-related products.

Shut It Down 4 Palestine is happening on March 2.
posted by toastyk at 8:15 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]

Girl Scouts USA has apologized to the St. Louis troop raising money for Gaza. Note: article requires a sub.

Bonnie Barczykowski, chief executive officer for Girl Scouts of the USA, responded to a letter sent by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which asked for an internal investigation of the incident. The council also asked that troops be allowed to raise funds for the worsening humanitarian crisis facing the children of Gaza since the war with Israel began.

"We are disappointed and disheartened by what recently transpired. We sincerely regret any hurt caused," Barczykowski said. She added that the national organization had not approved the language threatening legal action against the St. Louis troop sent in an email by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.

The girls have restarted their fundraiser of bracelets for Palestine. Proceeds go to the Palestine Children's Relief Fund.
posted by toastyk at 7:41 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

An archived, non-paywalled version of toastyk's article above
posted by adrienneleigh at 5:52 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Thanks adrienneleigh, I wasn't familiar with that site.

Yesterday, the Michigan US primaries happened, and while both Trump and Biden won their respective primaries, the "uncommitted" campaign by Arab/Muslim voters exceeded its goal of 10,000 votes to reach more than 100,000 votes as of 5am this Wed morning.

The politicians who have supported the "uncommitted" campaign include Rashida Tlaib, Beto O'Rourke, and Andy Levin. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer did not endorse the campaign, claiming it would "help Trump", but did call on President Biden to better engage with all communities.
posted by toastyk at 6:54 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]

Just here to say that today's march here in Copenhagen is unprecedented. We have marchs every week, both Friday and Saturday, with the Friday march being after the Friday prayer and thus more Muslim and the Saturday march encompassing everyone with a heart. Right below my window, the Jews for Peace gathered.
Today, there were more people than I have ever seen marching together. All sorts of people, young and old, rich and poor, all genders and all religions.
posted by mumimor at 6:38 AM on March 2 [9 favorites]

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