Free Political Prisoners! Free Khitam Saafin! Free Palestine!

by FTP – Long Beach

On November 2, the 103rd anniversary of the British government’s colonial Balfour Declaration, Israeli occupation forces launched early morning raids in the West Bank, targeting several sectors of the Palestinian liberation struggle. The seven individuals snatched up by the occupiers included leaders from the student movement, the women’s movement, leftist activists, and former prisoners, as well as the celebrated Palestinian feminist and organizer Khitam Saafin. Saafin is an internationally renowned advocate for the Palestinian people in general and Palestinian women in particular, and is currently the president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. Having spent three months in Israeli detention as recently as 2017, Saafin is no stranger to the arbitrary evils of colonial “law and order,” whose champions no doubt marked her for arrest at the closest opportunity.

FTP-Long Beach roundly condemns this latest injustice perpetrated by the apartheid State of Israel. In addition to the massacres, sexual violence, torture, land theft, economic exploitation, and other atrocities inflicted upon Palestine and her people, Israel also employs a weapon known as administrative detention. First used by the British during their colonial rule in Palestine, this policy allows Israeli military commanders to lock up Palestinians without charge or trial, purely on the basis of secret evidence known only to the occupation authorities. Those imprisoned under this system can be detained for up to six months, but the Israeli military can renew it indefinitely. This system is a flagrant violation of human rights, even according to the limits of international law. On November 9, Khitam Saafin was given the full six months. We do not have to see the so-called evidence to know that she, like countless other Palestinians throughout the generations, was targeted precisely for her commitment to the national and social liberation of her people.

We echo the call put out by the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network to immediately release Saafin and all other Palestinian political prisoners. Furthermore, we encourage all progressive and revolutionary people around Long Beach, California and around the world to boycott Israel and all beneficiaries of the Zionist occupation. Those of us in the United States, the primary and most powerful ally of the State of Israel, have a special duty and opportunity to aid the Palestinian cause. We must do whatever we can, no matter how small, to help the Palestinian people win freedom and justice.