Demanding Palestinian Freedom In a New Era

We are certain you are also feeling the major shifts that are taking place before our eyes. In this last week, we have witnessed conversations around the right to enter into our homeland as Palestinians in the diaspora take center stage. 

Since Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were denied entry into Palestine by Israel a week ago, both lawmakers have unapologetically followed up by calling out Israel’s systematic racism.  This has opened up space for Palestinians, like us, to publicly take control of our own narrative and talk about the uncertainty of being able to see our land and our families again. Far too many have already been barred from doing so. The Palestinian issue is centered on the right of return for the millions of Palestinians who have no opportunity to even attempt to travel to their homeland.

The hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty was one way that we were able to take control of our own story. It was a pivotal point in how we talk about family separation and our rootedness in our peoplehood and our homeland. For Sandra and I, our grandmothers have always been a pinnacle of strength and steadfastness. They are the legacy that has been passed down to us to carry the torch to our people's freedom. We carry the the spirit of these women with us as we continue on this fight for Palestinian freedom into a new era.

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For Palestinians who have been barred from freely entering into Palestine, like Rep. Rashida Tlaib, this is a moment to highlight the heartbreaking but all too common experience of being stripped away from the physical connection to our land and our family. An experience our own very own Sandra knows too well. Some Palestinians, like Lana Barkawi, who spoke at a press conference this week sponsored by Reps. Tlaib and Omar, recounted her exile story about not ever going to Palestine because of the deep trauma and pain of having an Israeli soldier make the decision on whether to accept you to return to land that is yours.

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The weight of our stories are creating the waves we need to change U.S. public opinion. In the midst of this swell of change, we saw presidential candidates, like Bernie Sanders, talk about conditioning U.S. military funding to Israel. And we have seen influential figures chime in and question racist Israel’s treatment of Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar. Once again, Israel has overstepped in showing its racism to the world -- and there is no turning back.

This moment is a culmination of the grassroots organizing and power we as a movement have struggled for over the last decade and more. Let’s seize this opportunity. The discourse is shifting, and it’s on us to ensure that this period leading up to the 2020 elections is a time of serious shifts in public discourse on Palestinian rights. Palestinian freedom is inevitable and we are closer today than ever before. We will continue to hold our heads up high and forge ahead in this fight for freedom.

Much love,
Izzy Mustafa

P.S. Through engagement on our social media platforms, we see that Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib find the necessity in our voice. We hope you do too! By donating $5, $20, $100, or even $500-- you can help sustain our crucial work in bringing the voice of Palestinians to the forefront of our movement.P.S. We need your support during this time to help keep the vision of Adalah Justice Project going!

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