The founding Alabama Manifesto of The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) calls on its members to “[d]emand that white and privileged Guild members take accountability for their racism and other oppressive behaviors by joining us in examining and effectively changing the culture of the NLG.”
Upholding that call, TUPOCC, as a body within the National Lawyers Guild, rejects the Guild’s internalized Zionism, including the on-going marginalization and isolation of Palestinian Guild members and supporters of the liberation of Palestine. As our brief history has proved, TUPOCC remains steadfast in challenging the NLG’s persistent refusal to condemn Zionism as a form of racism as well as the Guild’s embrace of a colonial “Israel” constructed on 78% of occupied Palestine.
TUPOCC Condemns Zionism as a form of Racism
TUPOCC’s stake in this matter is simple and intrinsic: we are radical people of color who use the law to end the oppression of our communities. Our mission, as much as our inspiration, is not bound by national borders. For this reason, TUPOCC cannot temper its radicalism when it comes to the oppression of Palestinians and the brutally imposed apartheid in their occupied land. Accordingly, TUPOCC condemns Zionism as a form of racism and rejects Zionism, in toto, as a parcel of any action purporting to support Palestinians’ rights and liberation.
Richard Delgado long ago warned white radicals in the legal community: “Any acceptable theory must be radical, or at any rate progressive… since minorities want to change the world.” The Guild has held out a theory of Palestinian liberation that safeguards Zionism, the racist, imperialist ideology driving the brutalization of the Palestinian people since colonial times. This theory is neither radical nor progressive, and it is in no way acceptable.
II. TUPOCC Maintains a Position on Palestine Distinct from the NLG’s Position and Demands that the NLG Institutionally Address Its Internalized Zionism
TUPOCC categorically and institutionally distances itself from the NLG’s position as it stands today. We are deeply disturbed by the Guild’s double standard on Palestine. Historically, the Guild has proudly and defiantly implemented radical, untempered positions on Cuba, on immigrant rights, on labor, and on many other issues; yet, the NLG has withdrawn this brand of politics from its position on Palestinian liberation. This inconsistency causes TUPOCC members to question, whether, in the Guild’s institutional outlook, Palestinians fundamentally differ from other people who have been subjected to colonialism? Does the occupation they are being subjected to differ from that experienced in other former colonies in Asia and Africa? Does the Guild consider the Palestinians’ rights less demanding of total liberation and self-determination than those of other oppressed peoples? What is the explicit, institutionally consistent reason for the Guild’s legitimization and embrace of “Israel,” a colonial, settler state? Zionism is quite evidently the rationalization guiding the Guild’s aberrant departure from radical politics when it comes to Palestinians.
To maintain unity with its own principled stand against all forms of oppression, the National Lawyers Guild must take immediate steps to recognize institutionally that Zionism is a form of racism and to address systemically its internalized Zionism.
Until then, however, TUPOCC adamantly refuses to “compromise” on racism, remain silent on condemning Zionism itself as a form of racism, or assist the Guild in carving out a “safe space” for Zionism in an otherwise radical legal community.
III. TUPOCC Reaffirms Its Position Supporting the Palestinian People’s Liberation
Accordingly, TUPOCC reaffirms its position contained in the TUPOCC Open Letter to the National Lawyers Guild In Opposition to Resolution “Israel: Boycott and Divest!” and In Support of the Liberation of Palestine and proudly announces that it has institutionalized the following resolutions:
1. Resolution Commemorating the 60th Year of Al-Nakba: Condemning Zionism as a Form of Racism;
2. Resolution to Implement and Support a Campaign for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Against Israel;
3. Resolution Adopting Al-Awda Right of Return Points of Unity and Officially Joining Al-Awda’s Coalition Committee; and
4. Resolution in Support of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat and All Palestinian Political Prisoners.
Pursuant to the resolutions above, TUPOCC hereby:
Condemns Zionism as a form of racism and racial discrimination and re-affirms the merits of United Nations Resolution 3379;
Opposes the illegal occupation of all of Palestine, including the 78% of Palestine occupied by Zionist forces (later “Israel”) in 1948, as well as the remaining 22% of Palestine occupied by
the Zionist regime of “Israel” in 1967;
Supports the Arab Palestinian peoples’ right to self-determination and liberation throughout all of Palestine (including both the 78% of Palestine occupied in 1948 as well as the remaining 22% of Palestine occupied in 1967). In doing so, TUPOCC refuses to normalize, legitimize, or recognize the Zionist regime of “Israel”;
Supports a full and comprehensive campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against the Zionist regime of “Israel” as set forth in Resolution to Implement and Support a Campaign For Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Against Israel, reviously adopted by TUPOCC; and
Urges the international community to avoid any recognition or normalization with “Israel” and to expel “Israel” from the United Nations.
Adopts Al-Awda, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition’s points of unity and proudly joins Al-Awda’s Coalition Committee.
TUPOCC is proud to stand in firm and genuine solidarity with the just Arab Palestinian peoples’struggle for self-determination and liberation from Zionist colonization, genocide, apartheid, and racism.
TUPOCC urges other individuals and organizations to condemn Zionism directly as form of racism and racial discrimination and to join us in institutionalizing the basic and fundamental positions stated above.