Talking points and messaging- guidance for Palestinians and allies

This guide was created by the team at The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy and curated by Slingshot Media’s advocacy team

The below are messages that can be used when facing media questions, writing articles or documents about the current situation in Palestine. 

Contextualize: The Ongoing Injustice

The situation we find ourselves in is not some sudden, out-of-the-blue crisis that began just last week. This is not an isolated incident. The root cause of this never-ending turmoil is seven decades of settler colonialism, military violence, expulsion of entire communities, and the continuous dehumanization and humiliation of Palestinians for generations. 

Palestinian families have been forced out of their homes, civilians killed and people subjected to a racist apartheid system. The current wave of brutality we face is just another manifestation of the  Zionist colonial control over our land.

This offensive is not just about the recent events involving Hamas, nor is it confined to the past week alone. It’s not a fleeting moment. A system built on apartheid is inherently unstable and insecure. The immediate issues highlighted by Hamas, from Al-Aqsa invasions to the harsh conditions of Palestinian prisoners, the frequent Israeli army raids and killings in the West Bank, the ongoing Gaza blockade, and the prospect of further normalization, are all crucial pieces of the puzzle but the bigger picture is the decades-long colonial ruling.

Resisting Oppression

The right to resist oppression is inalienable to all human beings. We should never question the right of Palestinians to defend themselves against an ongoing, violent system that threatens our very existence as an entire people.

Our rights are not up for negotiation. We are the colonized people, and we will continue to fight for our rights until we are free and liberated. Palestinians will never accept to be erased. 

Try to put yourself in Palestinians’ shoes. Imagine your home is demolished, your child killed, your spouse imprisoned. You would feel anger and respond, just as anyone would.

We cannot equate the violence of the oppressor with the violence of the oppressed. Responsibility for this violence lies squarely on the occupier, the colonizer who wields the power to end it.

The Systemic oppression: living in fear 

Palestinians go to bed every night not knowing if their family members will be alive in the morning. Our lives are dominated by fear, as we wonder whether the bombs and gunshots will take us or our children.

The world has normalized and legitimized the horror we face in our own homes, at checkpoints, and in prisons. 

As of now, Israel has already flattened one of the largest tower blocks in Gaza city and entire residential streets,, resulting in hundreds of Palestinian deaths and thousands of injuries.

International Impunity and Double Standards 

What we’re witnessing from some Western government response is nothing short of disturbing. Their official statements encouraging Israel’s war crimes and potential genocide are appalling. 

The Israeli colonial regime has enjoyed decades of impunity and a lack of accountability. 

They have been actively promoting agreements with Israel, deepening military and trade cooperation, all the while ignoring the rights and suffering of over 11 million Palestinians. When will we be allowed to voice and act on our injustices?

US and other Western responses have largely focused on condemning “terrorism” and providing unconditional support for Israel’s so-called “right to self-defense.” This myth of Israel having the right to self-defense is used to distort the roles of the colonizer and the colonized, perpetuating violence and justifying war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The hypocrisy is glaring in the Western response. Their reluctance to hold Israel accountable for its violations and the selective application of human rights and international law illustrate the hollowness of these principles in the face of political double standards.

On Civilian Suffering

The killing of civilians is never something to be celebrated. We mourn the tragic loss of life, for all lives are precious. We long for freedom, dignity, peace, and safety for all human beings.

There are no “good” or “bad” civilians; yet, Palestinians often find themselves in the international spotlight only when Israelis are killed. 

We are asked by media to condemn Hamas but Israelis are invited to justify and explain why they are committing massacres. 

Since 2022, the death toll of Palestinians has averaged one per day. Attacks and raids by colonial-settler militias on Palestinian villages and neighborhoods, with the aim of wiping out entire communities, have become tragically frequent in the past two years. 

Where is the international condemnation? Where is the support for Palestinians facing ongoing ethnic cleansing? There shouldn’t be one that deserves more to die than the other. 

The idea that the colonial Israeli regime would be more concerned about sparing civilian lives compared to the Hamas military wing is both racist and factually incorrect.

We are here to speak about how to save lives and get out of this situation and moment, not to encourage more deaths. 

Path forward: The Need for Justice

The prospect of peace without justice and without addressing the core issue of Palestinian rights is a mirage. Palestinians have not had a day of peace, safety, or freedom since Israel began its illegal invasions, land theft, and occupation of Palestinian territory.

Instead of repeating hollow mantras  like “two-state solution” the root causes of the injustice and denial of rights must be addressed. 

Palestinians have the right to determine their own future. Building a future of justice, dignity and freedom requires the world to stay focused on ending the very systems of oppressions that perpetuate violence. 

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