What does LandBack have to do with the war against Palestine?

Palestine land loss

As horrible as Zionist atrocities against Palestinians are, we must not forget the fact that they reflect events that have happened for decades and that will continue to happen. They are the current chapter in repeated parades of mass extermination that have characterized capitalism since its birth.

A recurring theme in the campaigns has been landgrabs, or the seizure of land occupied by people who have been living there for centuries or millennia. With this in mind, the Green Party of St. Louis (GP StL) decided to point to the strong connection between the criminal occupation of Palestine and the LandBack movement on its website, in its speeches and in its flyers.

LandBack was introduced in 2018 by Arnell Tailfeathers of the Blackfoot Confederacy. The movement called for Native Americans in the US and Canada to regain their ancestral lands. The idea quickly spread to Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and even Fiji.

LandBack could easily encompass the 104 million Adivasi of India, Native cultures throughout Latin America, and peoples across Africa who have been driven out of their homes for corporate farming, fossil fuel extraction, and desecration of land for “green” energy minerals.

Today, there is no place more justified for LandBack than Palestine, where Israeli “settlers” (with military backing) have pushed them off their land and slaughtered them for generations.

According to the LandBack manifesto: “Our struggle is interconnected with the struggles of all oppressed peoples. It is a future where Black reparations and Indigenous LANDBACK coexist. We are the land.”

Going far beyond economics, LandBack sees land as tied to culture — regaining land is central to efforts by the colonized to assert their existence. It advocates decolonization, dismantling white supremacy, and reclaiming stewardship to save their land.

Palestinian efforts to regain their land can become a spark to mobilize LandBack across the globe.

Whose lives matter?

Colonizers inevitably dehumanized their victims, whether enslaving Africans or thieving indigenous land. Racist slurs permeated the capitalist conquest of those they deemed “inferior”.

One of the current dehumanization fads is saving the word “terrorist” for those who assert their human rights. Corporate media never portray the Israeli Defense Force as “terrorist,” although it has waged countless military attacks on Palestinians in the past 75 years. The only way that this makes sense is by assuming that “Palestinian Lives Do Not Matter.”

After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aide admitted that Israeli forces targeted a hospital for over 500 murders to supposedly attack a Hamas base, US President Joe Biden swore his support for Israel. He sides with Netanyahu no matter how many Palestinians Israel kills. Biden claims to be humanitarian while acting like “Palestinian Lives Do Not Matter.”

In 2024, the Green Party will field candidates advocating that “Palestinian Lives Matter.”

Genocidal landgrab of Palestine

Genocide of a people includes both their physical elimination and the extermination of their culture, their ways of living, their ties to the land, their customs, and the things they hold sacred. US and Canadian “Indian schools” that forced children to cut their hair and speak English were just one way that Western powers have screeched at other peoples that their cultures are too worthless to be preserved.

The Balfour Declaration, which set the stage for partitioning Palestine, was based on the assumption that Israel would eventually drive out the people who lived there. It was a scheme for slow but certain genocide of Palestinians.

Biden is at least as guilty for committing genocide against Palestinians as is Netanyahu or Donald Trump. All three join together to do whatever it takes to eliminate Palestinians and peoples across the globe who are in the way of landgrabs.

A vote for Biden is as much a vote for genocide as is a vote for Netanyahu. Voting for the Green Party is a vote to “Free, Free Palestine!”

Palestine is the world

Israel teaches police in other countries techniques for brutalizing their populations while the US media toys with molding public opinion by demonizing the victim as the criminal. The attack on Gaza is both a real time massacre and a dress rehearsal for crushing those who challenge Western hegemony or who live atop fossil fuels or minerals for alternative energy.

Struggles for human lives, freedom, and land are global. Palestine, Venezuela and Cuba are just three of the dozens of countries that the US is seeking to strangle via sanctions and invasions. In the 2024 elections, the Republicans and Democrats will compete to see which can be more vicious.

The Green Party of St. Louis shows its dedication to human liberation by affirming the following:

First, the current genocidal campaign against Palestine is not a “stand alone” issue. The Zionist slaughter is part of the over 500 year efforts of colonial capitalism to destroy anyone who stands in the way of corporate economic growth.

Second, there cannot be “equal blame” for both sides. The solution for the crisis must begin with Israel’s withdrawal from occupied territories, acknowledging its criminal history, and providing reparations to its victims.

A version of this article originally appeared in Green Social Thought. Don Fitz (fitzdon@aol.com) wrote the flyer on which this article is based in conjunction with other members of the Green Party of St. Louis. If you would like a PDF version of the flyer click HERE or download it below.