Statement from the Palestinian Union of Social Workers & Psychologists

The Israeli apartheid is growing increasingly brutal. Nelson Mandela once made it clear when he said, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” Mandela has left us, but the freedom of the Palestinians remains denied, subject to the harshest oppression and colonization on Earth. Israeli aggression against our people, ongoing for 75 years, has seen the occupation commit the worst forms of murder, destruction, torture, displacement, and land confiscation. It has evolved into a system of racial segregation, full-fledged apartheid, and the continued commission of crimes before the eyes of the world, with no accountability.

Human rights organizations globally and legal authorities are in unanimous accord that Israel’s actions constitute an egregious crime of racial segregation against the Palestinian people. The entire world is resolute in recognizing that the apartheid regime’s conduct flagrantly violates international laws and principles. These heinous acts endure unabated before the eyes of the global community, with daily acts of unrelenting brutality perpetrated against the Palestinian population.

Three decades ago, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership accepted the peace process, which began with the Oslo Accords as a step and path towards reconciliation. However, Israeli colonialism has ruthlessly clung to a fascist ideology and method, perpetuating a prolonged process of murder, constructing a divisive apartheid wall, aggressively expanding settlements, erecting checkpoints, and systematically dividing the West Bank into isolated areas. This inhumane policy has encircled the Palestinian people in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza, creating an atmosphere of suffocation. For more than 16 years, they’ve imposed a stranglehold on Gaza, effectively imprisoning its residents. The world has averted its gaze from these grave transgressions, willfully ignoring the daily bloodshed, the multitudes of detainees, and the inhumane suppression within sacred Islamic and Christian sites. Lately, we’ve borne witness to the desecration and occupation of the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque, assaults on worshippers in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and atrocities carried out by settlers at the Huwwara checkpoint. These incursions extend to the heart of Palestinian communities in Tulkarm, Jenin, Nablus, and Jericho. In their wake, these horrific events have left behind dozens of martyrs, hundreds of injured, and countless captives, all part of Israel’s sinister strategy aimed at ethnic and territorial cleansing in Palestine.

This international silence in the face of the Palestinian struggle for dignity, freedom, their land, and the right to self-determination has given the green light to the occupiers to commit their crimes. The international silence has created a huge gap, as it ignores all values, ethics, and freedoms for people and the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. Resistance today remains the choice, just as it has been for 75 years, to achieve rights, freedoms, land reclamation, and the right to self-determination. The world has turned a blind eye to all these crimes and to the apartheid’s violation of the entire international system. What does the world expect from a people living under occupation, colonization, murder, torture, displacement, and land confiscation?

What is happening today in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem is part of an ongoing crime. The occupation has never stopped killing children throughout these years. In the past year, Israeli colonialists have killed hundreds of Palestinians and arrested thousands.

Today, we call upon all free people in the world, social and psychological specialists, human rights and legal organizations, and freedom advocates to take a stand and acknowledge apartheid as a crime against humanity. We urge you to use every platform to demand an end to colonization and occupation in Palestine. We call upon the international community to assume full responsibility for the silence maintained over 75 years regarding the Palestinian people.

As social workers and psychologists in Palestine, we continue to defend our people and our land against colonization until its demise.

Freedom for Palestine,

PUSWP Palestine