Ghada Sasa is a PhD candidate at McMaster University. Her research spotlights Israel’s establishment of protected areas, such as national parks and nature reserves, to colonize Palestine, Indigenous resistance, and progressive environmentalism. Sasa ia a third-generation Palestinian in Canada and a member of CUPE local 3906.
On January 28, 2024, Ghada Sasa posted on X:
We urgently need to shift strategy. From October 7, I argued that we as Palestinians & allies need to emphasize that: 1. Israel is a genocidal settler colony, and 2. Palestinian armed struggle is both legal and moral.
It makes sense during the last 100+ days of genocide we focused on spotlighting Israeli atrocities & demanding a ceasefire in our desperate attempt to save lives & appeal to the widest audience for solidarity. We have also been facing a colossal 75-year-old Islamophobic & racist campaign that sought to defame and villainize Palestinians, Muslims & Arabs as terrorists. Meanwhile, solidarity with Palestinians has been severely criminalized.
That said, we cannot risk neglecting, undermining, or defaming armed resistance, which historically played an *integral* role in abolishing colonialism. We cannot reduce Gaza to only an enormous humanitarian crisis while victimizing its Indigenous inhabitants. We must challenge Zionist disinformation & remind people that October 7 is a day that Palestinians broke through their open-air prison…that it was a day that Palestinians of various ideologies/backgrounds, including non-combatants, were finally able to access the rest of *their homeland* & taste freedom…that it was a day Natives were able to fight back against their oppressors to regain their rights…that the UN declared Gaza uninhabitable as of 2020…that Israel illegally besieged Gaza since 2007 and occupied it since 1967…that 80% of the inhabitants of Gaza were expelled by Israel in 1948 & illegally denied return since…that they tried to peacefully protest Israeli occupation many times before only to have been killed by the IOF…that we have thousands of prisoners in Israeli jails, including children, being tortured, killed & detained without charge…and that Israel established an apartheid regime since its founding to oppress Palestinians, steal our land, & appropriate our culture. We must also reiterate UNGA Resolution 37/43 (1982), which reaffirms the legitimacy of “the struggle of peoples for […] liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.”
In the last two days, UNRWA, one of the last institutions helping Palestinians in Gaza, began being defunded after Zionists vaguely linked it to October 7, reminding us of the importance of reclaiming that day as a milestone towards full Palestinian liberation. By pushing back against the racist narrative portraying the Ukrainian fighter as a hero but the Palestinian fighter as a terrorist/criminal/rapist/barbarian, we challenge the Islamophobia/racism driving Zionism. Furthemore, we remind people that a ceasefire is not enough. We must lift the siege, end the occupation, dismantle settler colonialism, & abolish Zionism NOW.
We have strength in numbers. We need to step up now, center the voices of Palestinians (especially those living back home), elevate our discourse & use our privileges to achieve justice in Palestine & beyond.