October 15th, 2023
The Vancouver Tenants Union stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people. We strongly condemn the violence wrought by decades of occupation by the Israeli state, and the retaliatory and genocidal war that this state has declared against the Palestinian people. We mourn the deaths of all in this war, and we stand in support of members of our organization who have been directly and indirectly affected by the most recent attacks. We call on all people of conscience to speak out to demand an immediate ceasefire and an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. We recognize that staying neutral on this issue is tantamount to condoning the decades of violence perpetrated by the Israeli state.
We wish to draw particular attention to, and condemnation of, the landlords of the Israeli state - whose occupation of Palestinian territories has been consistently recognized by esteemed international human rights organizations to be illegal and characterized as apartheid. These landlords have made possible the forcible eviction and dispossession of Palestinians based on racist logics of property. Indeed, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister and landlord supreme of settler-occupied Palestinian territories, has depoliticized and reduced Israel’s war crimes to a “real estate dispute”. Palestinians as a people have faced decades of forced evictions, arbitrary detention, massacres, inadequate infrastructure provision, torture, incessant surveillance, and constant restriction of freedoms of expression and movement. Most recently, the Israeli government has shut off all electricity and restricted the movement of fuel and food to Gaza, where 40% of the population are children under 14 years of age.
As members of a solidarity-based organization who live in similar circumstances of settler colonial occupation, violence, and eviction, we stand with Palestinian people, Israeli people who have been the targets of Israeli state violence, and Jewish communities of colour who have been displaced and assimilated by the Israeli state. We condemn the Israeli state’s pursual of retaliatory, eliminatory violence. We join pro-Palestinian organizations and Jewish organizations alike in calling for an immediate ceasefire, an anti-imperial political solution, and self determination for Palestinian people, while pointing to the underlying context of apartheid and settler colonial occupation that form the bedrock of the current deadly situation. Any political solution should include the safe return of all political prisoners, demilitarization of border fences, the right to return & stay for Palestinians, and freedom of movement for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.
Housing is a human right!
This statement was endorsed by the Membership of the Vancouver Tenants Union via member motion at a General Meeting on October 15, 2023. You can read that motion here.