The brutal hostilities, including the targeting of noncombatants and killing of innocent people as well as the destruction of critical infrastructure are unacceptable under any circumstances. This military action by the government of Israel killed more than 200 Palestinians, including more than 60 children. In addition to the death toll, the Israeli government’s assault destroyed homes, water pipelines, hospitals, and schools that serve the Palestinian people as well as offices used by international media outlets to document and report on the conditions in the region.
Over the last several decades, anthropological literature has empirically demonstrated the many forms of structural and everyday violence imposed by the Israeli government on the Palestinian population. This includes the steady expansion of Israeli settlements into Palestinian territory, violent land grabs, the demolition of Palestinian homes and entire villages, forced evictions, the curtailing of movement by the use of walls and checkpoints, and the discriminatory treatment of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. About 640,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, contravening UN resolutions, and undermining the prospect for a viable Palestinian state. Anthropological evidence makes it clear that there is no justification for settler colonialism, and the unequal and undemocratic control of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state.
The mission of the AAA has human rights and dignity at its core. Invoking the statement from the Middle East Section of the AAA (see here), “We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.” This means we must work to dismantle the systems of oppression that deny Palestinians basic human rights and dignity. We call on the U.S. government to take a stand against the status quo that has gone on for far too long. The removal and erasure of the Palestinian people must end.