The First Global Anti-Apartheid Conference for Palestine will be held in South Africa in a historic movement that aims to amplify the urgent need to address Israel’s ongoing genocidal actions against the Palestinians, especially in Gaza.

The Conference is held in Gauteng, South Africa from the 10 – 12 May 2024, leading to the 76th commemoration of the Nakba on the 15 May 2023.



Organized by the South African Steering Committee against Apartheid (SAAASC), the conference will be held from the 10th to the 12th of May and reflects a collective aspiration to mobilize actions throughout the world, with the objective of holding Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people and dismantle Israeli apartheid from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

The conference will lay the foundations for intensifying global movement, organization and coordination against Israeli apartheid and will “develop political, legal, public diplomacy and comprehensive media strategies aimed at isolating the oppressive regime in Israel”, said the organizers in a statement.

The objective is also “to support the struggle of the Palestinian community for all its rights, including the right to self-determination and the right to return”.

“The conference is a testament to the long-lasting spirit of international solidarity that helped dismantle apartheid in South Africa and marks the beginning of a renewed global movement against apartheid in all its forms. We are at a decisive moment, ready to translate collective indignation into concrete actions for freedom, justice and equality in Palestine and elsewhere”, he added.

The conference will consist of a series of discussion panels and workshops.

Speakers include Declan Kearney, president of Sinn Féin; Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative; and the Reverend Munther Isaac, of Belén.

The feminists present a panel and several  speakers, highlighting the “reproductive genocide” that characterizes the strategy of destroying the web of life in Palestine, which includes genocide, ecocide, sociocide and everything that moves.

It is because of their place in the reproduction of the species socially and biologically, that women are targets and not collateral damage in that strategy.  Children suffer the same misfortune,  because they are the new Palestinian  generation. Both populations constitute 75% of the dead and injured that are affecting everyone and everything living or for livelihood.

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Palestinian feminists speak out against

reproductive genocide and against the notion of colonial peace

          Susana Draper Belen Marco, Ana Maria Morales

Translated from Spanish by María Suárez Toro, Embajadora, Mayo 2,  2024

Belén Marco, Susana Draper and Ana María Morales, from La Laboratoria nodes in New York and Quito, speak with Sarah Ihmoud, EmanGhanayem and Tara Alami from the Palestinian Feminist Collective about Palestine and the issue of Reproductive Genocide

In the past 8M, the Palestinian struggle and the repudiation of the genocide taking place in Gaza occupied a central place in many parts of the world. We spoke with colleagues from the Palestinian Feminist Collective (hereinafter, CFP), who, in addition to coordinating several actions towards 8M in different cities in the United States, have insisted on the need to build a grassroots, anti-racist, anti-colonial and anti-colonial feminism. imperialist. With this in mind, they implemented multiple analyzes to understand the complexity of sustained violence against the Palestinian people from a feminist lens.

Laboratorias: We would like you to tell us a little about the context in which the CFP emerged, what its values ​​are and how you understand the Palestinian struggle as a feminist issue.

Sarah: The Palestinian Feminist Collective (CFP) is a collective of Palestinian and Arab feminists living primarily on Turtle Island, a name used by indigenous communities to refer to what is now called the United States.

We are an intergenerational collective of activists, organizers, practitioners, creators, thinkers, artists, academics, healers, water and land protectors, donors and life sustainers.

We are centrally committed to achieving Palestinian social and political liberation by confronting systemic gender, sexual and colonial violence, oppression and dispossession.

We come together to think about how colonial and patriarchal violence are intertwined and how they manifest in our own lives as Palestinian women and queer people. There is no liberation for women, queer people, or gender non-conforming people without our broader liberation as people from colonialism, so we are obviously inspired by and come from a long ancestry of building social movements.

In Palestinian feminist history, we look back to more than 100 years of organizing against colonial and imperial violence in our lands and territories, and also draw inspiration from other Arab, black, indigenous, and Third World feminist movements.

We mobilize to promote Palestinian feminism as a liberating philosophy and praxis, which is necessary not only for us as Palestinians, but also as an interconnected struggle with others to create the world we want to live in.

The collective was formed in 2019, when IsraaGhrayeb, then 21, was the victim of femicide in her village near Bethlehem. This marked the beginning of a new feminist movement in Palestine called Tal’at, which was a network of feminists and Palestinian organizations that demanded justice for her murder under the slogan: there is no free homeland without women’s freedom.

The organization against feminicide was a kind of impetus for this new wave of feminist movement and organization from the homeland. It inspired us as Palestinian feminists based on what we call shatat, which is not a direct translation of the term diaspora because in Arabic it actually refers to dispersion. This difference is important because we are still a people in dispersion, who permanently face dispersion.

So in this space, we created this movement organization, in part, in response to and in dialogue with our sisters in our country who were organizing against gender-based violence in our own communities in relation to these broader formations of colonial violence.

We began working and building on a national level what is today the first network of Palestinian and Arab feminists in the territories of Turtle Island (United States) and launched our first campaign, called “Palestine as a feminist issue” in March 2021, with the aim of mobilizing feminism as a lens through which we can once again understand and center the urgency of Palestinian liberation in feminist political agendas.

On the one hand, it was about strengthening Palestinian feminist lineages and dialogues between movement spaces, thus strengthening our relationships with feminist organizers at home. On another level, it was about understanding the specificity of our role as Palestinian feminists in the heart of the American empire, and what this means in terms of transnational feminist organization, placing Palestinian liberation on the feminist table.

Tara Alami: Starting with the first campaign of 2021 and 2022, we spent about five or six months working on a calendar called the Palestinian Feminist Functions Calendar and Program. In addition to feminist commitment, the statement “Palestine is a feminist issue” was the first comprehensive public face or first incarnation of the principles of the CFP. We had 13 principles in that calendar, and as we worked on it, we asked ourselves: what does it mean for us to imagine a Palestinian feminist future from the belly of the beast, which connects us, as we are attacked in this state of dispersion, that is, to our people resisting settler violence in Palestine and elsewhere? So we created this calendar as an embodied feminist grammar of life, love and liberation. In these 13 principles we focus our life-affirming anti-colonial and decolonial vision and praxis.

Eman Ghanayem: I was thinking about how the Palestinian people have always used every tool we have to create and project liberation, and feminism is one of them. In our collective, we do not think of feminism as a tool isolated from others, but as a tool that includes others.

Therefore, the violence that Palestinian women suffer is not something we see in isolation from the violence that our people suffer across the spectrum of our social class, our gender and our age. I recently spoke about how the feminist movement can work harder to incorporate children into our struggle, because we tend to think about social and political issues in isolation and thus deepen their compartmentalization.

If the feminist movement in the United States is only specifically concerned with women’s rights or the rights of women: where do the children go? What is our role in relation to our community, not just ourselves?

The CFP has pushed for more potential and refused to be shortsighted and traditional in limiting ways. The Third World, the indigenous world, the colonized world, the post-colonial world, have always found ways to create and make these terms very broad and show them as inherent to our ways of being and caring for each other. Much of the struggle we face as CFP is defining and redefining the terms that work for us, so that they include much more than very specific and outdated ways of thinking about gender and rights.

Sarah Ihmoud: Feminism doesn’t have a good reputation in the Swana region and in our region for a reason. Obviously, we have seen the ways in which colonial feminist discourses have been used and mobilized in previous wars and genocides to justify US military and imperial intervention in the region, under the guise of liberating Arab women from an oppressive Arab society, Muslim culture in particular or our supposedly dangerous indigenous men, and obviously we saw this in Afghanistan, we saw this in Iraq.

Now we are seeing this type of discourse resurface with the genocide in Gaza. It is important to argue why feminism still has a bad reputation in our community. Part of what we are also doing in our own community is fighting against these colonial interpretations of feminism and reimagining, both collectively and from the grassroots spaces we are building, what alternative forms of feminism would mean. In terms of our collective, part of the values ​​areembedded in the fact that we are a collective, because one of the things that colonialism does and has done to our people for almost a century is to try to disconnect us, to fragment us into separate geographies. And obviously we’re here in the United States for different reasons, but many of us are here because our families have been displaced. Therefore, part of the construction of collective spaces is a practice of reconnecting the threads of our intimacies as indigenous peoples. And building a feminist collective also means rebuilding this space, thinking, dreaming together, building friendships, loving each other and creating spaces of belonging, especially in a context like the United States and Canada, which show us so much hate. And we’re seeing that hate resurface now too. This is a time when we really feel like we need each other. And our spaces, our collective, have been a sanctuary in many ways.

Laboratorias: How do you frame your work in the language of reproductive justice and a feminist understanding of peace? We found that this relates very much to what you were saying about the need to reimagine our language outside of the captures of colonial and imperial “feminism.”

             The issue of reproductive justice

Sarah Ihmoud: Israel is a colonial project and colonization necessarily involves the removal of native peoples from their indigenous lands and territories. A feminist lens invites us to understand the sexual and gender politics of this project. As Palestinian feminists, we particularly name sexual and gender-based violence, including reproductive genocide, as central to this broader structure of colonial power and its racialized machinery of domination. Therefore, this includes rape and sexual violence and the way they were systematically used as weapons against Palestinian women at the beginning of the Nakba in 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their ancestral lands and territories. In a sense, this gives a broader form to the logic of colonial power and the way it still functions today.

So, when we see that more than 30,000 Palestinians have died in this genocidal escalation in Gaza, of which 70% are women and children; when we see that a million women and girls have been displaced several times on foot; where there is a 300% increase in the rate of miscarriages among pregnant women; where pregnant and breastfeeding women are at a serious and obvious disadvantage with this machine of violence and power; and where there is a recent UN press release that draws attention to the fact that there have been what they call deliberate attacks and extrajudicial executions of women and children in places where they have sought refuge or fled; and they also observed cases of rape, sexual violence and even – as they called it – the forced transfer of at least one Palestinian child by the Israeli army to Gaza.

So we have to ask ourselves: How do we understand attack specifically as gendered aggression against women’s bodies, sexualities, and life-giving capacities? We know that, as in other colonial contexts, our bodies, our sexuality and our reproductive capacities are attacked in a particular way. For what they represent: land, reproduction, kinship and indigenous governance and the possibility of alternative sovereignties – Palestinian sovereignty over the territory. This is why I believe it is important to understand the issue of reproductive justice in this broader historical context. We see an urgent need to define Reproductive Genocide in the context of Palestine.

Tara Alami: The imprisonment and violence of the nation-state, of a settler colonial nation-state, is an attack on the generationality of native peoples and the land. As the colonizing state develops in different phases, it becomes an attack on the nationhood of all oppressed people and all oppressed or underrepresented genders who live deliberately (by deliberately I mean: designed by the state) in areas with very precarious material conditions, whether homeless, impoverished or hungry, or without access to education, or living in a food desert, without access to equitable and affordable healthcare, and it could go on and on… Perhaps it is becoming clearer to people over the last 5 or 6 months that the attack on generationality and the ability to reproduce, sustain, give and sustain life in Palestine is an integral part of the Zionist settler colonial project.

It is in the fabric of the Zionist genocide and, in the current context of Gaza, we know that more than 5,000 women had to give birth in the most unsafe conditions, under constant bombing, but also in unhygienic conditions, conditions in which they have no access to care, adequate doctors, pre- and postpartum conditions where they are hungry, malnourished, unable to sustain life after giving it away. There are photos of premature babies in the ICU who died because they were starving, because there was no light in the hospital, because their machines no longer worked…

And we have seen an urgent need to define “reproductive genocide” in the context of Palestine over the last five or six months, and also over the last hundred years of resistance against colonialism and imperialism, whether Zionist, British or American… In the occupied West Bank, in Palestine, the attack on generationality can take different forms: it can take the form of really violent nighttime attacks by Israeli occupation forces on villages and, literally, attacks on homes where children are kidnapped from their parents or vice -versa, parents are kidnapped from their children and taken and locked in Zionist dungeons. It can take the form of being a Palestinian political prisoner, and we know that wherever there is oppression and in this case a genocidal attack on generations, there will be resistance and this is where, for example, sperm smuggling has been revealed as a form of anti-colonial resistance against this genocide that has continued for decades and decades.

So it’s not just about the last five or six months, and it’s not just about Gaza, it’s about all of Palestine. The statement we recently wrote and published defines reproductive genocide, perhaps more concretely as policies, and even material discourses and practices, that can act to restrict, attack, or deliberately attack the capabilities, choices, and access of Palestinians, in ways that are more broad, life-giving and life-sustaining communities made vulnerable by systemic military violence, occupation, siege, settler colonialism, or similar colonial and imperialist wars.

In our definition, we include imprisonment, psychological warfare, collective punishment, ethnic cleansing, sexual and gender-based violence against women, girls and men by an occupying state or military force and then imposing uninhabitable conditions on the city. You simply cannot sustain life under these conditions. And we have seen in Gaza, in recent months, an escalation of this situation. But we must also remember that Palestinians in Gaza have lived under an air, land and sea blockade for 17 years. And before that, before the Israeli occupation forces withdrew, like an occupation, I think people sometimes forget that for decades Gaza had real settlements. Beforethe blockade and military siege.

Right now we are witnessing the deliberate control and cutting of vital resources such as water, fuel, electricity and food. Recently, we saw that some of the American aid – if we can call it drops of aid – was actually dropped on a hospital’s solar panels, thus destroying that hospital’s electricity source. This is a clear attack on sources of life support. A denial of saving lives or what remains of life-saving medical resources. And the collective hunger of all people, but especially as we saw in northern Gaza, especially of children with disabilities who need a specific diet, who have specific dietary needs or restrictions or who need specific accommodation to be able to live not only comfortably, only for living. Furthermore, we have seen the eradication of entire genealogies of Palestinians in Gaza, Christian families in Gaza being targeted by air strikes and the mass murder of children and babies, the destruction of medical institutions, whether through invasive air or ground strikes.

The annihilation of agricultural crop sources: for example, Gaza is famous for strawberries and we have seen air strikes targeting farms and lives. Farms provide jobs and support vital food infrastructure. We saw how a very toxic environment was created where people, in addition to not having access to the most basic health infrastructure, were exposed daily to waste, toxic materials, viral infections, bacterial infections that can obviously have an impact on the health of future generations. We saw this in Iraq, where women in Fallujah are still giving birth to children born with fatal congenital diseases due to attacks led in 2003 by the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. That was over 20 years ago, and we are still seeing the effects of these attacks on children and babies being born now in 2024.

And getting back to your question, as Sarah said, part of our mission and our values ​​are based on holding so-called feminist spaces, groups or institutions or women’s rights institutions here in the United States, but also counter their efforts to co-opt and transform the meaning of women’s rights language and use it as a weapon against women themselves, completely erasing the reproductive genocide taking place in Palestine.

An example of this is Planned Parenthood’s December 2023 statement, which completely failed to mention Palestine and Zionist settler colonialism, which is, of course, based on the logic of elimination. The condition of possibility of the Zionist State demands the annihilation of the Palestinian people and their expulsion – our expulsion from our land. So in his statement we clearly saw an orientalist framework that saw racialized groups, or in this case Palestinians, as really violent sexual deviants, aggressive sexual deviants who are animalistic and savage. Of course, we recognize that these accusations are an attempt to deter and deflect the current escalation of genocide, which helps generate consent for the current attacks on Gaza. Therefore, as a collective of Arab and Palestinian feminists informed by indigenous feminist, ecofeminist, and Third World feminist thought and frameworks, we completely reject this and other statements from reproductive justice or women’s rights organizations about Palestine that follow the same framework.

    An anti-colonial feminist understanding of peace

Sarah: I’m just going to touch on a few points about peace. I think we are at a moment where we are seeing the implosion of the Zionist project, and part of that has to do with the recognition that the liberal peace process has failed and that is why we have seen the emergence of alternative strategies and forms of resistance across the board. occupied territories, not just Gaza. I think we have to understand this as a rejection by the Palestinians of the basis of the liberal peace paradigm and of what is widely understood as the Middle East peace process, which ended up transforming our anti-colonial liberation movement into a peace-building project. State, which only benefited the colonial powers and which supported the colonial project of land confiscation, prison control of our mobility and broader forms of ongoing violence and control, including, centrally, this idea of ​​coordinating security and Authority Palestine. We must understand that this liberal peace paradigm has failed and has become a tool to further consolidate Israeli colonial violence and also to enable the reconsolidation of a predominantly male Palestinian ruling class that is committed to maintaining the status quo.

Once again, this moment shows us that this project has failed and how it is also a moment that invites us to really think about possible alternatives that are not based on this hegemonic language of liberal peace and that, on the contrary, has to do with rethinking the our liberation project: reimagining our liberation project as an anti-colonial project. As feminists, we have to think about what this means in terms of our role in this process of vision.

Laboratorias – What forms of solidarity and international struggle do you consider most necessary at this time?

Eman: We are all inspired by Audre Lorde. We are inspired by black, indigenous and Latin feminists who say that it makes no sense to fight in a one-dimensional way. I think that, as colonized people, we are good at supporting each other. We just need to remember to make invisible people visible. Our role as CFP is to make women visible, to make children visible, to make queer Palestinians visible, and to share the love for Palestinian men that the world seems so deprived of giving. I think this resonates with many people, in many struggles, because we are tired of hearing what a community should be like when we already know what it should be like.

Sarah: We have to continue elevating the voices of Palestinian women, especially in Gaza, which is really the frontline of our liberation movement right now. And part of that is rejecting the colonial narratives that are used to justify the State of Israel’s policies of extermination and the broader policies of death carried out against our people, our homeland and all of our ecosystems of life as Indigenous Peoples.

Decolonial feminism is mainly about, on the one hand, rejecting, disturbing and strongly opposing these colonial policies of death, as we are currently seeing the landscape of Gaza transform. And, at the same time, it is about affirming alternative visions of life that affirm our lives and the future potential of our people in our countries of origin. Therefore, we must continue to elevate and implement these life-giving alternative visions while rejecting this colonial policy of death. We are all involved in the survival of others; I like this idea that we are co-conspirators in the liberation of others and I think it is a way of thinking about our transnational solidarity policies as co-conspirators in the liberation of others.