Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the visit of United States president Joe Biden to occupied Palestine. This visit and Biden’s entire trip to the region makes clear the alliance of enemies confronted by the Palestinian people: Zionism, imperialism and its subcontractors, and Arab reactionary regimes, as well as the Israeli state. Biden’s trip to occupied Palestine underlines U.S. imperialism’s strategic alliance with the Zionist settler-colonial project in Palestine, built on an edifice of stolen Palestinian land, in order to further attack the Palestinian resistance and all the forces of resistance in the region.
Earlier in his political career, Biden affirmed: “If there were not an Israel, we would have to invent one to make sure our interests were preserved,” making quite clear how he views the colonization of the land and people of Palestine: a matter of interests. Today, Biden travels to occupied Palestine to be feted as an “outstanding Zionist” — that is, one who preserves the longstanding relationship between Zionism and imperialism.
However, we know that the “interests” Biden speaks of here are not our interests — the interests of the peoples of the world, those who struggle to throw off the yoke of imperialism, those who work for the profiteers and not those who extract the profits. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani, we remember his important words: “Imperialism has laid its body over the world, the head in Eastern Asia, the heart in the Middle East, its arteries reaching Africa and Latin America. Wherever you strike it, you damage it, and you serve the World Revolution…The Palestinian cause is not a cause for Palestinians only, but a cause for every revolutionary, wherever he is, as a cause of the exploited and oppressed masses in our era.”
“NATO”: A warmongering, aggressive alliance
Biden’s visit has been touted as an attempt to form an “Arab NATO” through normalization with Israel, the Zionist settler-colonial project in the region. Such a project obviously threatens the interests not only of the Palestinian people but of all the peoples of the region, an attempt to form an aggressive warmongering alliance like its namesake at the expense of resistance forces. However, it is clear — as it was in the Unity Intifada and the Battle of Seif al-Quds in 2021 — that a so-called “Arab NATO” will never provide colonialism with more than the illusion of security. In reality, any project that is based on the dispossession and subjugation of the peoples of the land for the purposes of dividing the broader region and extracting resources for the benefit of colonial and imperialist powers is fundamentally insecure, especially when confronted by a powerful resistance.
Most fundamentally, this kind of alliance does not serve the interests of the Arab people but rather seeks to subjugate them under the military dominance of Zionism and imperialism. From Palestine and Iraq to Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, the brutal reality of what “NATO” means for the people of the region is horrifically apparent, just as it is for people around the world. The push to expand NATO to Sweden and Finland, accompanied with increasing repression of the Kurdish struggle by NATO member Turkey at the same time that it occupies northern Syria, underlines the expansionist aims of NATO at a time when its dominance is increasingly precarious.
Biden’s trip comes as an attempt to build on the so-called “deal of the century” with militarized normalization of what can never be “normal” — the dispossession of the Palestinian people and the colonization of Palestine — in order to warmonger against Iran and all Arab countries and movements pursuing a policy of resistance or even simply independent development.
U.S. Responsibility for Israeli Crimes
Every instance of land confiscation, home demolition, mass imprisonment, extrajudicial execution, siege, invasion, bombing and denial of return carried out by the Israeli regime is funded and supported by the United States, from the ongoing bombings of Gaza and the devastating siege, to the imprisonment of over 4,700 Palestinian political prisoners and the assassination of Palestinian journalist (and U.S. citizen) Shireen Abu Aqleh.
While Biden may claim to uphold a “rules-based international order,” it is clear that he and the U.S. envision a world in which they make the rules and the peoples and nations of the world are forced to follow them at gunpoint, with threats of military and economic devastation for any deviation. The falsity of any claim to uphold human rights or democracy is exposed by the U.S.’s continued funding and support for the imprisonment of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners, including 600 jailed without charge or trial who continue to boycott the military courts to end administrative detention. They include hundreds of children, and 90% of them have been subjected to torture, not to mention ongoing medical abuse and neglect. Despite these conditions, Palestinian prisoners continue not only to survive and remain steadfast but to lead the resistance movement and stand every day on the front lines of confrontation.
From the U.S. to Palestine, colonialism is a crime!
Today, even polling in the United States shows that a growing number of people reject the framework of “security” through settler-colonialism — that people want a better life for themselves and for the peoples of the world, with education, healthcare, infrastructure and mutual solidarity, rather than exploitation, climate degradation, colonialism and imperialism. Biden, alongside Congress, continues to provide the Israeli occupation with over $3.8 billion annually in U.S. military aid — with an extra boost for the so-called “Iron Dome” rocket system.
The U.S. and Israeli police agencies and security forces routinely engate in “security cooperation” that includes everything from an NYPD office in Tel Aviv that comes hand in hand with NYPD violence in the streets of New York to the continued imprisonment of three of the Holy Land Foundation Five, Palestinian-Americans serving up to 65 years in U.S. prisons as political prisoners for raising funds for Palestinian widows and orphans — alongside the political prisoners of the Black Liberation Movement serving for decades in U.S. jails. These are the very connections that initiatives like the Mapping Project in Boston seek to reveal, sparking severe attempts to repress these campaigns with threats of FBI repression and Congressional censure.
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Of course, this comes hand in hand with the U.S list of “Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” which serves as a model for similar lists around the world. Originally created in order to forcibly impose the Oslo so-called “peace process” on the Palestinian people and repress their legitimate armed and popular resistance, the criminalization of resistance from Palestine to Lebanon and beyond is linked directly with the use of coercive sanctions and designations of “state sponsors of terrorism” to impose imperial terror on the people of the region.
However, it is perhaps more clear than ever that the legitimate voice of the Palestinian people is found in the Palestinian resistance, that those who liberated South Lebanon from 20 years of occupation are the protectors of dignity, and that the Arab people and the people of the region as a whole have not been defeated through repeated invasions, proxy wars, and destabilization campaigns. The camp of resistance stretches from the region around the world, to Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and everywhere around the world that peoples and nations fight back and resist imperialism and colonization.
As Biden comes to the region one year after the Unity Intifada/Seif al-Quds, his visit also marks the anniversary of the Lebanese people and resistance’s defeat of the Israeli assault of 2006 – defending sovereignty, upholding self-determination and collective strength. That anniversary points to an alternate path of victory and liberation for the Arab people and the region as a whole, rather than the military “alliance” of subservience to colonial domination that Biden seeks to market.
From “Security Coordination” to Normalization to Military Alliance: The Palestinian Authority and Arab Reactionary Regimes
Biden’s visit also once again makes clear the role of the Palestinian Authority: not to represent the Palestinian people and defend their rights, but instead to serve as a security subcontractor for the Israeli occupation, with training and funding for these security forces provided by the United States. From the imprisonment of Ahmad Sa’adat under U.S., British, Canadian and Turkish guards in P.A. prison to today’s torture and incarceration of political detainees in a “revolving door” with Zionist prisons, the P.A.’s “security coordination” with the Israeli occupation does not serve the interests of the Palestinian people but instead is a stab in the back of the resistance, those fighters who do protect Palestine’s land and people — and, indeed, serve as a symbol and reality of hope for justice for the people of the world.
From Egypt to Jordan, from Saudi Arabia to Qatar to the United Arab Emirates, Biden’s visits are planned to intensify normalization with the Israeli regime, promote warmongering, advance the repression of the Arab people defending their rights, resources and future, and further develop U.S. arms sales. These states have supported the most reactionary forces in proxy wars in Syria, Libya and elsewhere in the region while participating directly in the bombardment and siege of Yemen. The U.S. makes clear with Biden’s visits that all of these adventures are indeed its projects, sponsored with American dollars and weaponry at the expense of the peoples of the region and meaningful Arab sovereignty and self-determination. Any military alliance with the U.S. and Israel — especially against Iran, targeted for its insistence on sovereignty and its support for the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine — is a bond not of defense but of subjugation of the people for the enrichment of the reactionary ruling elites.
Despite the funds and weaponry being poured in to uphold imperialist domination and Zionist settler colonialism in occupied Palestine and throughout the region, it is clear that the power of these regimes is far from absolute. From the self-liberation of six prisoners from Gilboa through the Freedom Tunnel to the unity, resistance and resilience in the Unity Intifada/Battle of Seif al-Quds, Palestinian resistance forces show every day that they are on the front lines of defense not only of the Palestinian people but of humanity itself, of everyone who seeks a world of true peace with justice, and continue to prove that it is possible to defeat imperialism and its heavily armed agents.
Biden’s trip can and must inspire us all to organize — to push back against NATO, from Madrid to Vancouver to New York to Brussels, as well as a so-called “Arab NATO;” to demand an end to U.S. aid to Israel and to take action to make such aid no longer politically viable; to scrap the so-called “terror lists” that aim to criminalize people’s resistance; to work to free all Palestinian prisoners; to struggle to bring an end to the sanctions regimes, military invasions and proxy wars that have so devastated the region; and to escalate all of our campaigns to boycott and isolate the Israeli regime and the corporations that profit from the occupation and the colonization of Palestine.
We invite all Palestinians, Arabs and supporters of Palestine to join us on 29 October in Brussels to march for return and liberation for Palestine – and against NATO and imperialism. This march will demand the expulsion of the Israeli regime from the United Nations – colonialism and occupation will never be legitimate!
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!