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Disability Justice Means A Free Palestine


White and yellow text on a blue background with the DJNO logo and a red, green, and blacl watermelon slice. Text above logo reads: There is no Disability Justice - without anti-Zionism. - without land reclamation. - without decolonization and liberation. Text below logo and next to slice: Solidarity with Disabled Gazans and all Palestinians (please see our statement)

 

See our Palestine Solidarity Resource List: Link.

PDF Copy of the Statement:

DJNO Statement_ Disability Justice Means A Free Palestine
.pdf
Download PDF • 233KB

 

We at the Disability Justice Network of Ontario are grieving the Palestinian lives that the Israeli government has and continues to destroy during its historic occupation of Palestinian land. This occupation is a mass disabling event at the hands of Israel—not only since October 2023, but since the founding of Israel in 1948.


Disability justice fundamentally and unequivocally opposes settler colonialism and imperialist powers which subject Indigenous, racialized, disabled and non-disabled bodyminds in the Global South to debilitation and death. From militarization to illegal occupation to dispossession—where the settler colonial state of Israel fails to take life, it leaves Palestinians in a perpetual state of injury, further inhibiting their capacity to find refuge.


The Israeli settler state has now bombed every hospital and healthcare facility in Gaza, killing countless civilians, including children, parents, siblings, elders, and community members. This bombing campaign is only the most recent incident in a settler colonial occupation which disproportionately targets racialized, sick, injured, and disabled people first. Imperialist states like Israel have historically weaponized disability and disablement to counter resistance efforts to maintain illegal occupation and displacement. An example of this genocidal tool occurred between 2018 and 2019 when the IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) intentionally shot Palestinians in areas that would permanently damage their nerves, joints and arteries, ultimately leading to bacterial bone infections. [1] 


In turn, we must denounce so-called disability organizations and movements in the West that operate at the expense or production of disabled people in the East. These organizations’ priorities cannot exist in the name of disability justice, as they are directly involved in the global military-industrial complex. The military-industrial complex in Canada has played a key role in the genocide of Palestinians, as we have historically and presently sustained these conditions of displacement and debilitation. [2] Further, the core ideas of the colonial project found in so-called Israel lie at the heart of Canadian colonialism across Turtle Island and have served as one of Israel’s inspirations. [3]


We denounce the active and passive role of Canadian governments and media outlets complicit in widespread Anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism, [4] Islamophobia and ongoing financial and general support of ethnic cleansing and genocide. 


We particularly encourage the broader disability movement to engage in solidarity with Palestinians and denounce the Israeli settler occupation. Particularly, we encourage organizations to critically evaluate their financial and institutional ties to Zionist organizations.


We express solidarity with protestors across the province, country and globe, and denounce all efforts to silence, censor, and criminalize demonstrators. We know, as well, that ever-present police brutality against those who take action to support Palestine has itself resulted in injury and disablement all over the world. This reality shows us once again that there can be no disability justice without opposition to state violence in all its forms. 


There is no disability justice without anti-Zionism. There is no disability justice without land reclamation. There is no disability justice without decolonization and liberation. Since our founding in 2018, Disability Justice Network of Ontario has always sought to create a world where people with disabilities are free to be. This vision has always and will always be for Disabled Palestinians and we know that no body or mind can be left behind—only moving together can we accomplish the revolution we require.


In solidarity,

The Board and Staff of Disability Justice Network of Ontario


 

Endnotes:

[1] Jasbir Puar and Ghassan Abu-Sitta, “Israel is trying to maim Gaza Palestinians into silence”, Al Jazeera, 31 March, 2019, https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2019/3/31/israel-is-trying-to-maim-gaza-palestinians-into-silence

[2] Ismail Shakil, “Pro-Palestinian group sues Canada over military exports to Israel”, Reuters, 4 March 2024, https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/pro-palestinian-group-sues-canada-over-military-exports-israel-2024-03-05/

[3] For more, see: Azeezah Kanji, “Canada and Israel: Partners in the “Settler Colonial Contract” Yellowhead Institute, 21 May 2021, https://yellowheadinstitute.org/2021/05/21/canada-and-israel-partners-in-the-settler-colonial-contract/

[4] For more resources on Anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism, please see: https://www.antipalestinianracism.com and https://www.canarablaw.org/ 

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