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Zionism, imperialism confronted at pro-Palestine conference in Detroit

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib addresses the People’s Conference for Palestine in Detroit, Michigan, on May 25, 2024.

Participants at a pro-Palestine conference in the midwestern state of Michigan have rebuked US-backed Zionism and imperialism as Israel’s genocidal war against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strips drags on for the eighth month.

The People’s Conference for Palestine, held from May 24 to 26 in Detroit, has drawn thousands of pro-Palestine students, teachers, workers, activists and participants as part of a new phase in the expression of solidarity with Palestinians.  

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian in US Congress, said in her address to the conference attendees that the administration of President Joe Biden should stop its unconditional support for Israel, particularly after the recent ruling by the United Nation’s top court regarding an immediate halt to the regime’s war on Gaza.

“President Biden, I hope you hear us loud and clear. Attacking the authority of the International Criminal Court and interfering in the legal process is nothing more, nothing more than an attempt to prevent the genocidal maniac Netanyahu and his senior Israeli officials from being held accountable for those crimes against humanity,” Tlaib said.

The pro-Palestine lawmaker also called out her colleagues in Congress who have on multiple occasions voted to send billions of dollars in weapons to Israel.

In April, Congress pushed through a USD 95 billion foreign aid package to further US imperialist involvement around the globe, sending billions of dollars to Ukraine, Israel, and Chinese Taipei. This bill included USD 14 billion for Israel.

“When I watch my colleagues, one by one, voting yes to send 14 billion to the apartheid regime, those committing genocide, all I kept thinking about, is that us, the United States, is the primary investor and funder of genocide. We’re literally co-conspirators,” Tlaib said.

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Abdaljawad Omar, a Palestinian writer and analyst who is also a lecturer in the Philosophy and Cultural Studies Department at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank, underlined that the Palestinian resistance has rendered Zionism “untenable,” by “deforming the current regime of colonialism that existed before October 7.”

Omar said the resistance has “designed itself around the ability and the capacity to endure, to maintain the capacity to resist, through its architectural design, such as tunnels.”

“Without the capacity to resist, and its regeneration through time, there would have been no story, hero, hope, or future to dream of,” he added.

Yara Shoufani, a leader in the Palestinian Youth Movement in Toronto, Canada, censured Washington as a key architect in key elements of the Israeli oppression of Palestinians, including the ongoing blockade against Gaza by air, land and sea.

Shoufani said US imperialism also continues to suppress popular movements at home, even by denying visas to speakers at the conference itself.

“We know that US empire is trying to actively intervene against our organizations, against our movements. And this attempt to crush Palestinian revolution here actually should tell us just how powerful we are, and just how much we scare them, because the Palestinian revolution is a gateway to struggle,” Shoufani underlined.

Israel launched its atrocious onslaught against the Gaza Strip, targeting hospitals, residences, and houses of worship since Palestinian resistance movements launched a surprise attack, dubbed Operation al-Aqsa Storm, against the usurping regime on October 7, 2023.

At least 35,857 Palestinians have been killed, most of them women and children, and another 80,293 individuals have sustained injuries. More than 1.7 million people have been internally displaced during the war as well.

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