“poets, it is not enough to say it is a broken world. to lament the fact. no, name who has broken it-who is, right now, breaking it. and imagine another world. sing of that. and fight for it [...] palestine will be free. end the occupation, apartheid, and genocide”— Chen Chen, Chinese American Poet @chenchenwrites
As editors at Inverted Syntax, and as human beings, we are left bereft and at a loss for words as we express our utter devastation and heartbreak for the innocent victims and families of the ongoing escalating atrocities that are occurring in Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank–for both Palestinians and Israelis. The deaths are unconscionable. The idea that, as a species, we continue to ransom our futures through acts of violence against our own is unconscionable. And so, too, is the human cost left on the living. We weep for and with the innocent civilians affected by the terrible violence of Hamas, and we weep for and with the innocent civilians affected by the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. We weep not just the present loss of life, but the loss of futures never seen, the promise of lives shortened. We strongly denounce Hamas. We also strongly denounce Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We denounce terrorism on both sides.
We denounce war crimes on both sides.
We denounce Israel's genocide of the Palestinian people.
We would like to foreground the following points:
If you are familiar with Inverted Syntax's mission and work we publish, you have an idea of how we feel about injustice. Inverted Syntax adds its voice to all those demanding an end to the ethnic cleansing and displacement of Palestinians, as well as an end to the Israeli occupation, and an end to US-funded cycles of violence.
Inverted Syntax, as an art and literary magazine—and its editors—stand for justice and liberation, for freedom, and equality--for peace, which also means that we unequivocally reject racism in all forms: Settler Colonialism, Anti-Semitism, Zionism, Apartheid, and Islamophobia. It is therefore without question that we are opposed to both the USA and Israeli governments’ colonial, ethnocratic, racist policies towards the Palestinian people.
History teaches us that the Israeli settler-colonial narrative is essentially a reproduction of the original Euro-modern/colonial discourse. By employing a range of racist and dehumanizing language, the USA and Israel and other western nations have delegitimized the struggle of Palestinians. By labeling them as “beasts” and “barbaric” and recently as "human animals" as noted by Israel's Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, all Palestinians are vilified. These Euro-colonial racist foundations, perpetuated through mainstream media, underpin the license to invade, settle, and commit genocide. These actions point to a colossal, collective failure of human society.
Who are we if we do not speak out against such grave injustices?
The great civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer noted that “nobody's free until everybody's free.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it this way: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Our liberty is inextricably bound with that of the liberty of every oppressed person. In a world of marginalized lives, of marginalized hope, we at Inverted Syntax will continue to work to create, curate, and live in the hope that literature and art can be voices for political transformation and liberation for all people, particularly those who experience ongoing violent oppression.
We’d like to close with Gideon Levy, who said “one cannot conflate necessary and legitimate criticism of the Israeli occupation, or even of Zionism, with antisemitism. If Israel commits war crimes, they must be opposed and condemned. This is more than a right; it is an obligation.” We at Inverted Syntax are acutely aware of the controversy surrounding public outcries of the current Israeli government's politics of extermination but we feel it is our moral obligation to join the voices that condemn apartheid regimes. We call on activists and those in the arts "to exercise their agency within their institutions and localities to support the Palestinian struggle for decolonization to the best of their ability. Israeli apartheid is sustained by international complicity, it is our collective responsibility to redress this harm."
Inverted Syntax values and respects the tapestry of work we have received over the years, which has embodied the essence of our mission and highlights our shared humanity and diversity.
What happens now—how we choose to use our voice—is our legacy; yours as much as ours, dear reader.
Palestinians are yearning for justice and liberation. Let us amplify the voices of all those who seek the freedom of oppressed people, as that is the path to peace and our human coexistence.
Inverted Syntax Editors,
Nawal, Allissa, Yesica, Melanie, Jesica, and Emma
Resources / Take Action
“What we know from past Israeli state atrocities against Palestinians is that the bombs only stop once there is a sufficient mass outcry from the international community,” said Jewish Voice for Peace member, Eliza Klein. “It’s on us to build that outcry — as fast as we possibly can.”
If you’d like to support/take action, we encourage you first to do some homework.
Perhaps diversify your social media feed and consider what these voices have to say about Israel and Palestine:
Social media accounts
Let's Talk Palestine
Jewish Voice For Peace
Middle East Eye
Teach Palestine The Teach Palestine Project website is a resource out of California by and for K-12 teachers and teacher educators focused on bringing Palestine into our classrooms and schools.
Sample videos :
“Daniel Levy confronts BBC News presenter Maryam Moshiri’s outline of the Israeli response in Gaza. Levy is a former official negotiator for the Israeli government in peace talks with the Palestinians under Prime Ministers Rabin and Barak. He served as the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative. He is a board member of the New Israel Fund and a founder of J Street.”
Gideon Levy's 2018 brilliant keynote address on Zionism to the National Press Club. Levy is an Israeli journalist and author and considered the “dean” of Israeli journalism—as well as known as “the most hated man in Israel.” His book, The Punishment of Gaza, was published in 2010 by Verso Publishing House in London and New York.
A brief, detailed overview of how Palestinians were expelled from their homes and Israel was formed
Some devastating facts on the magnitude of this particular violence:
Ways to take action