Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network has recently been subjected to a series of attacks by Zionist and far-right publications, particularly in the United States. Part of these attacks has been an all-out assault on our fiscal sponsor, the Alliance for Global Justice, a grassroots, internationalist and progressive organization that provides fiscal sponsorship to over 140 progressive organizations working for migrant justice, Black liberation, anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism and prisoner solidarity.
These attacks have led to the corporation that provided credit card merchant processing to the Alliance for Global Justice, Card Connect, cutting off AfGJ’s access based on right-wing smears and Zionist attacks. In many ways, this comes as no surprise — large corporations and the financial and tech industry have been mechanisms of repression used against left and anti-imperialist forces broadly and the Palestinian movement specifically over the years. For example, organization after organization have reported processors like PayPal cutting off access to Palestinian and Palestine solidarity organizations, at the same time that PayPal fails to even process payments for individual Palestinians while doing so for illegal Israeli settlers.
The big tech companies like Meta, Google, and Twitter have repeatedly censored Palestinian media, cut off Palestinian accounts and routinely label images of Palestinians as “dangerous” or “violent,” while at the same time allowing the Israeli occupation army — not to mention the CIA, NATO and the U.S. military — to promote itself relentlessly using these services while marketing its war crimes and crimes against humanity. After all, these corporations are driven by a profit motive and are linked at the highest levels to the perpetuation of U.S. imperialism and its hegemonic control, and as has always been apparent, the Palestinian liberation struggle faces not only Zionism and Israel alone, but also, centrally, imperialism and the reactionary forces that collaborate with it.
The attacks on Samidoun are not happening in a vacuum. Instead, just like the labeling of Samidoun as “terrorist” by the Israeli occupation two years ago, this is meant as an attack on the practice and advocacy of solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian people and their resistance, and on organizing by the Palestinian people in exile and diaspora to play their role in the liberation struggle. In fact, this most recent attack on Samidoun began during the very successful international week of action to free Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners, and accompanied the infamous assault by the fascist Itamar Ben-Gvir and the Zionist regime on the Palestinian prisoners’ movement.
Right now, the Palestinian prisoners’ movement is gearing up for the Battle of “Freedom or Martyrdom,” with a collective hunger strike announced to begin on 22 March with the beginning of Ramadan, a strike with “one sole demand — liberation.” This is coming as the Zionist regime levies provocation after provocation against the prisoners, from cutting off access to bread to locking down the showers to threatening to post an Israeli flag in every prisoner’s room, and as it adopts laws to strip citizenship and make stateless the Palestinian prisoners from occupied Palestine ’48, criminalize the raising of the Palestinian flag — especially after it was raised to celebrate the release of the longest-held Palestinian prisoner, Karim Younes — and now to officially legislate the ongoing practice of medical neglect that threatens Palestinian lives on a daily basis.
This is the context in which the colonial project wants to shut down, silence, divert, distract and sabotage the popular organizing to stand with the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and uphold their demands. This is not just meant as an attack on Samidoun but as an attack on the prisoners and all organizations and activists who stand with them, everywhere in Palestine and around the world.
In particular, these attacks rely on well-worn smears and disinformation campaigns propagated by outlets like “NGO Monitor,” which exist only to repeatedly demand the criminalization and targeting of any organization that even advocates for Palestinian human rights at the most basic level, let alone upholding the central role of the Palestinian prisoners and the resistance in struggling for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.
Let us be clear:
- Samidoun is a legal, public organization that does its work in the public eye. Our politics and our commitment to the Palestinian people is fully addressed in all of our public statements and advocacy.
- It is only the Israeli regime that labels Samidoun as “terrorist” — a regime that follows a policy and practice of designating advocacy, human rights and community-based organizations as “terrorist” in an attempt to deprive them of funding, support and access to media. These attempts have failed and continue to fail, and using the “terror” label is a well-worn, empty designation that merely indicates that we do stand with the Palestinian people until victory, liberation and return.
- Donations to Samidoun are completely legal and legitimate and go to support our public advocacy and efforts to support the Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian people. While credit card payments are not currently working, you can still make a donation to support our work with a check (Mail them to AFGJ, 225 E. 26th St., Suite 1, Tucson, AZ 85713, and put “Samidoun” in the memo line).
- The Collectif Palestine Vaincra is running a very strong campaign to stop the twinning of Toulouse with Tel Aviv and has already achieved an important first-stage victory at the Council of State in France against the attempt to criminalize the Collectif and other Palestine organizations in France. The Collectif does powerful, agitational and principled work for Palestine and has been placed in the crosshairs of targeting by Zionist organizations for this reason alone.
- This is an action by a financial corporation responding to right-wing, Zionist propaganda. Private corporations, especially large tech and financial firms, have repeatedly shown themselves to stand on the side of imperialism. In many ways, we can only expect corporations of this type to continue to participate in such attack, as we are committed to anti-imperialist, revolutionary politics and organizing.
Israel has repeatedly made clear that it aims to silence organizing for Palestine by attempting to cut off the Palestinian people, Palestinian organizations, and Palestine solidarity activism from access to funds and support from concerned donors and those who want to take a stand for justice in Palestine. It has used a variety of tactics to that end. This comes hand in hand with the imperialist policy of sanctions and unilateral coercive measures directed against states that reject imperial domination, and the use of lists of “terrorist entities” or “designated terrorist organizations” to criminalize liberation movements and resistance organizations in Palestine and around the world. We stand against imperialist sanctions regimes and “terror lists” as joint weapons of assault against the liberation movements, development and self-organization of peoples rising up against imperialism, Zionism and reaction.
In this case, it is clear once again that large for-profit corporations stand with imperialism and Zionism against not only Samidoun, but the Alliance for Global Justice and the 140 important organizations to which it provides fiscal sponsorship. As AfGJ notes, “When you make out a check to AfGJ, you are engaging in direct action, in frontline resistance to a concerted effort by the most extreme right-wing groups to stop justice in its tracks. You are sawing away at the chains that bind us. You are pushing back against those who prefer a world of inequality, white supremacy, imperialism, repression, and war.”
It is clear that the far right, Zionism and imperialism stand on one side of this battle — and the peoples of the world resisting those very forces also stand together, have resisted and will resist all of these attempts to divide, split and smear the movement and its unity. Samidoun salutes AfGJ and all of these organizations subjected to this attack; this is a form of collective punishment directed at the movement as a whole, and one that we must meet with collective resistance and solidarity.
Every day, the Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian resistance, and the Palestinian people as a whole – inside Palestine from the river to the sea and everywhere in exile and diaspora – resist and fight back on the front lines of the global struggle against imperialism, despite the most horrific conditions of siege, torture, extrajudicial killing, massacres, forced exile and displacement, home demolitions, land confiscation, colonial settlement and mass imprisonment.
We have an obligation to do everything that we can to live up to their example, and that includes refusing to bow to threats or attacks from any source. We do not expect these attacks to end any time soon, so long as we continue to organize and work and as the prisoners continue to resist. Similar efforts target multiple organizations on an ongoing and daily basis in an attempt to exhaust or suppress our collective efforts, from websites set up to target students to attempts to censor writers to demands to fire workers and teachers to the promotion of the notorious “IHRA definition of anti-semitism” to the ongoing use of “terrorist” threats against effective work for Palestine.
We are committed not only to continuing but to expanding and building our efforts – and working together in a unified manner with all others – to stand with the Palestinian prisoners’ movement to resist all attacks and march forward toward liberation – of the prisoners and of Palestine, from the river to the sea.
If you would like to support Samidoun or cover these attacks in an article or news item, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also read:
- Samidoun: We will not be silenced by Israel’s “terrorist” designation
- Israel’s “terrorist” designations aim to suppress Palestinian organizing: Confront them with action and resistance!
- SOS – AfGJ has been attacked!