On November 2, 2023, United in Struggle published the following statement:
WE UPHOLD AND AFFIRM UNQUALIFIED SUPPORT FOR THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE AND POLITICAL SPEECH!
As first reported by CTV News and other outlets on October 30th, the pro-Israeli Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver (JFGV) is calling for Langara College to fire academic and political organizer Natalie Knight for her support of the Palestinian resistance to colonial apartheid and genocide.
On October 28th, Knight gave a speech at the Vancouver All Out for Palestine Rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery. A short clip has been circulated online. Langara College responded to this manufactured political firestorm by placing her on administrative leave.
As a JFGV spokesperson told CTV, they are marshalling “all the pressure that’s necessary to ensure” she is fired. Zionist organizations such as the JFGV and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) are using the tactics of conflating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism, painting Palestinian resistance as terrorism, and attacking freedom of political expression.
For the past 18 months, enthusiastic support has been publicly expressed for Ukraine’s resistance to [the] Russian invasion, but when Palestinians resist, these acts are unspeakable. Over 75 years of colonization and occupation, Palestinians have engaged in all forms of resistance: from diplomatic strategies around UN resolutions to civil disobedience during the first Intifada, including general strikes and boycotts, to the global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement to bring economic pressure on Israel to end its occupation and apartheid.
In all cases, Israel has levelled accusations of anti-semitism and terrorism against Palestinians and their supporters employing these different tactics and has continued to grab lands, build illegal settlements, imprison thousands of Palestinians on indefinite administrative detention without charge, and commit war crimes that contravene the Geneva Convention.
Palestinian resistance must be seen, understood, and interpreted in this historical context.
On the basis of Knight’s principled defense of the right to resist colonial occupation, which is firmly grounded in international law, she has been slandered as a “terrorist sympathizer,” “antisemite,” and “glorifier of violence.” Social and mainstream media have been awash in absolutist declarations of Israel’s right to indiscriminately bomb, pacify, and annex Gaza. Yet no matter how vile the opinion shared, no one is losing their livelihoods for defending or even celebrating Israeli violence.
It is clear that “violence” as such is not the issue—it is that violence is only allowed if it comes from one side, and that resistance of any kind against the oppressor is unacceptable. As Jewish anti-Zionist historian Gabriel Winant recently wrote in Dissent Magazine, “A genocide of Palestinians looks to be in the works. […] One side has an enormous grief machine, the best in the world, up and running, feeding on bodies and tears and turning them into bombs. The other is starved for grief.” On October 31st, news emerged about an IDF airstrike on Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, where upwards of 400 Palestinians are reported to have been killed.
It is clear that the manufactured outrage about Knight’s speech is nothing but [a] cover to obscure and justify Israeli atrocities.
The aim of these attacks on Knight is not only to ruin her career and reputation but to impose a freeze on public support for Palestine everywhere. An injury to one is an injury to all, and we must firmly and unequivocally denounce the harassment and slandering of Knight. We must not shrink but broaden the struggle against the Israeli war machine and its backers in the US, Canadian, and European ruling classes. And most importantly, we must continue to stand in solidarity with all Palestinians, as they not only fight for survival but for their freedom and liberation.
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
United in Struggle
Canada Palestine Association
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Masar Basil: Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement
ILPS in Canada East Indian Defence Committee
United Migrant Front
Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle – Coast Salish Territories
International Migrant Alliance Canada
Haida Gwaii Media Collective
Roots on the Roof
Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice
Mehram Sharma, United Migrant Front
Kaira Fenix, Sulong UBC
Milo Canlas, Anakbayan BC
Matthew Marianacci, Samidoun Vancouver
Lakhbir Khunkhun, East Indian Defence Committee
Omar Mahamoud, United in Struggle
Letizia Waddington-Cibien, M.Th.
Reg Johanson, Capilano University Faculty Association
Dave Diewert, Samidoun
Teresa Diewert, Surrey High School teacher
brooklyn hawksworth, United in Struggle
Adrian Hung, Sulong UBC
Chase N, FFPS
Isa Carlin, Sulong UBC
Viviana Medina, IMA International
Stella Galias, Sulong UBC
Seb Bonet, Adjunct Professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria
Corey Snelgrove, University of Alberta
Harbhajan Cheema, East Indian Defence Committee
Jenny Francis, Langara College
Emily Luba, UBC Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Studies
Tasha Diamant, M.Ed.
Listen Chen, former Langara student
Jennie Pearson, UBC
Erin Peters, CUPE 15
J. Moufawad-Paul, CUPE 3903
Victoria Chen, former Langara student
Janine Solanski, MAWO
Azza Rojbi, Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice Sloan Wolfe