We Bend the Arc by our Collective Effort

We Bend the Arc by our Collective Effort

We Bend the Arc by our Collective Effort

by Rachel Carroway, Member, Genesee County DSA.


The following remarks were made at a Rally for Palestine outside Batavia City Hall, held Saturday, May 18:

For 224 days, we’ve borne witness, often with a numb disbelief, to the harrowing scenes unfolding in Gaza. Families are being torn apart before our eyes, victims of violence fueled by our tax dollars. Instagram accounts like @eye.on.palestine show the dystopian reality: bloodied children crying out on the floors of hospitals, desperate men digging through rubble in search of survivors, and the heartbreaking sight of small body bags filling Gaza’s makeshift burial grounds.

Despite the blatant atrocities that we are witnessing, mainstream news coverage of Palestinian victims reads as detached and clinical, with clear intention to portray them as less than human and as distant objects that die without context rather than people who are killed. Israeli hostages are seen as “women and children,” Palestinians hostages are “females and those under 18.” Israelis are “killed by airstrikes” whereas Palestinians “die as a result of explosions.”

As bombs continue to rain down and the death toll rises, it becomes painfully clear that those in power are not only failing to intervene but are complicit in the bloodshed. From the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s tepid condemnation of President Joe Biden’s persistent support of Israel’s atrocities, the collaboration of world leaders is glaringly evident.

And yet, amidst this horror, the resilience of the Palestinian people remains unyielding. Since the Nakba of 1948, they have endured and resisted Israeli oppression. In solidarity, we must find our own resilience and stand unwaveringly with them, believing in the promise of a better future.

In moments of despair, it is vital to remember that challenging power, even in the face of genocide, has never been an easy task. History bears witness to the vilification and repression faced by those who dared to confront injustice. University protesters advocating for Nelson Mandela were accused of being violent anarchists, civil rights activists challenging Jim Crow laws were said to be outside agitators—each faced fierce ridicule and vicious smear campaigns– just like the current Palestinian university protesters.

Rally for Palestine. Saturday, May 18.

Today, as accusations of antisemitism are weaponized to silence criticism of Israeli aggression, we must remain undaunted. Thousands of Jews have rejected this false narrative, standing in solidarity with the Palestinian cause– refusing to let Israel be synonymous with Judaism. Let us remember—the Israeli state was created for U.S. interests in the Middle East. And despite the fact that Israel routinely sells weapons to brutal military regimes worldwide, it enjoys full support as the United States’s henchman. Thus, the ruling class won’t let its pet state be dismantled without a vicious fight.

But, take heart: it is always darkest before dawn. A return to a free Palestinian state, free from the shackles of oppression, may be closer than we think. History teaches us that, despite the obstacles, ordinary people have the power to effect change. The ruling class knows this all too well; thus, they pour money into biased media campaigns and violent police repression to crush the Palestinian freedom movement.

Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice, but it requires our collective effort. So, I urge you: do what you can. Organize, advocate, educate, support those activists on the ground, and center Palestinians in their struggle for freedom.

The people of Gaza are counting on us. Let us not falter, but put our backs into it and stand on the right side of history. May we live to see a free, democratic Palestine.

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