For immediate release: Thursday, October 19, 2023
Rapid City, SD – Following an attack by Hamas that resulted in what Representative Ilhan Omar called, “the brutal slaughter and hostage-taking of innocent civilians—including women, children and seniors,” Israel officially declared war on Hamas. Since then:
- Israel has issued orders for 1.1 million Palestinians in Northern Gaza to immediately evacuate, and has cut off all vital supplies to the area.
- 4,200 people have been killed in Gaza, including nearly 500 in a single explosion at a hospital this week, with many thousands more injured.
- More than a million people have been displaced.
In 2022, the U.S. committed over $3.3 billion in foreign assistance to Israel. 99.7 percent of that aid went directly to the Israeli military.
People across the United States – and the world – have been rising up and demanding an immediate end to the war. On Monday, over a dozen U.S. representatives introduced legislation calling for a ceasefire.
In response, NDN Collective released the following statement:
“In every Indigenous language in the world, there is a word meaning ‘we are all related.’ We are in a critical moment where we need to call upon our Indigenous knowledge and act upon that worldview, treating everyone as relatives. This moment requires us to act upon our values, so that a history of genocide does not continue to be repeated.
“We firmly believe that we all deserve to live and die in peace, whenever death comes for us. We mourn the lives already lost and feel dread knowing that many more will die. This is why we must rise up now and hold the U.S. government accountable in the funding of and profiteering from this war.
“We are horrified, enraged, and grief-stricken at the reality of Israeli and Palestinian lives lost so quickly and with such force. We decry the collective punishment of the Palestinian people, including 2.3 million in Gaza who have lived under Israeli blockade and siege for 16 years. We pray for the safe return of the Israeli people held hostage by Hamas. We stand in solidarity with those – including many Jewish people – who have been protesting the occupation of Palestine for years, and who are now on the streets demanding for Israel to stop their attacks.
“The immediate solution to stopping the genocide is a ceasefire. Both Palestinian and Israeli people deserve leaders who prioritize their safety and human rights.
“We recognize that Palestinians are a diverse people. Hamas, a right-wing religious fundamentalist group which suppresses dissent within Gaza, is only one faction. Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people any more than the Netanyahu government represents Israelis. The Israel government’s response – to trap, starve, and kill the people of Gaza, nearly half of whom are children – is monstrous.
“As Indigenous peoples who carry hundreds of years of state-sponsored genocide on our backs and who have been dispossessed of our lands, languages, cultures, and identities by nation-states, we know that settlers fight with both weapons and words. They spread insidious narratives to trick people into believing that state violence is both necessary and justified. We must reject these lies at every turn. We must center humanity and harness the moral strength to hold multiple truths at one time.
“Settler colonialism is at the root of the violence in Gaza. A ceasefire, an end to the U.S. funding Israel’s military, and true Palestinian land rights and liberation are the path to peace.”
NDN Collective calls for the following:
- An immediate ceasefire
- To immediately allow life-saving fuel, food, water, and supplies into Gaza.
- The deployment of wide scale relief, recovery, and refugee support efforts.
- An immediate end to the United States government funneling billions of dollars to the Israeli government to fund weapons and military escalation.
In March 2022, NDN Collective released a position paper on Palestine, The Right of Return is LANDBACK.
In May 2021, NDN Collective called on President Biden and the U.S. Congress to pull back support for the Israeli government, following an Israeli escalation of lethal force against Palestinians.
NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.
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Press Release | NDN Collective Releases Position Paper on Palestine