An affirmation, an apology, and three promises – The One Democratic State Initiative

We have shared the letter below (Arabic link, English link) over our social media and directly to people we know in Gaza. Their response was warm, and they were as encouraging as they were encouraged.

We invite you to do the same by sharing it with those you know in Palestine. We also encourage you to make these “three promises” your own if you find yourself to be in agreement with them.

The One Democratic State Initiative

None of us truly grasp what you are feeling. We hear your cries, we see your patience, we imagine your pain, every day, every minute. But who among us knows precisely what you are going through? Who among us knows what it is like to undergo perpetual genocide? The enemy who besieges you has isolated us as well from your pain, and we can only feel it, and greet your steadfasteness, from afar. And perhaps this is what pains you most: Your isolation. Your feeling you are facing the world on your own. That everyone, or almost everyone, has abandoned you…

This is why we would like to affirm that you are not alone. Millions of Palestinians in Palestine and the diaspora, as well as hundreds of millions of others throughout the world, think of Gaza day and night. We go to sleep, wake up, have food, go to work, move around, talk to our families and friends and acquaintances—with Gaza on our mind. No, you are not alone. We are with you. Yet we, like you, feel powerless to stop the genocide.

We want to face the régimes that forbid us from expressing ourselves, taking to the streets, stopping the delivery of weapons to the occupation, breaking diplomatic relations with it, storming its embassies, and taking part in your steadfastness—yet are powerless to do so. Not because we are few, nor because we do not care—we are millions, and Gaza runs through our souls. We are powerless because we lack, so far, the political organization that allows, through the coordination of efforts, to turn our will into political action that affects the course of action. And for not being politically organized enough yet, we apologize.

And we promise you.
We promise you that we will now do everything we can to challenge the Zionist and reactionary régimes that work to prevent us from standing with you, no matter the cost.
We promise you that we join political movements that do not tolerate the existence of the settler colonial project and that seek to replace its imperialist allies.
And we promise you that we have learned the lesson: That there can be no coexistence, no compromise with the settler colonial structure of “Israel”. We promise you that we will thus no longer speak of a two-state “solution”, of binationalism or of merely seeking “equal rights” with settlers; and that we will challenge this discourse wherever we encounter it. We promise you that from now on, we will only speak of the liberation of all of Palestine by means of the dismantling of the so-called “Jewish state” and the establishment, in its stead, of its exact antithesis: One democratic Palestinian state, from the river to the sea.

Our people in Gaza, we bow to your wounds, to your resistance, to your spirit and to your honor.
With your steadfastness you liberate the world today. And tomorrow, we promise! Together, we will liberate Palestine.