Ukrainian Letter of Solidarity with Palestinian people

Author
Collective
Date
November 2, 2023

We, Ukrainian researchers, artists, political and labour activists, members of civil society stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine who for 75 years have been subjected and resisted Israeli military occupation, separation, settler colonial violenceethnic cleansing, land dispossession and apartheid. We write this letter as people to people. The dominant discourse on the governmental level and even among solidarity groups that support the struggles of Ukrainians and Palestinians often creates separation. With this letter we reject these divisions, and affirm our solidarity with everyone who is oppressed and struggling for freedom.

As activists committed to freedom, human rights, democracy and social justice, and while fully acknowledging power differentials, we firmly condemn attacks on civilian populations – be they Israelis attacked by Hamas or Palestinians attacked by the Israeli occupation forces and armed settler gangs. Deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime. Yet this is no justification for the collective punishment of Palestinian people, identifying all residents of Gaza with Hamas and the indiscriminate use of the term “terrorism” applied to the whole Palestinian resistance. Nor is this a justification of continuation of the ongoing occupation. Echoing multiple UN resolutions, we know that there will be no lasting peace without justice for the Palestinian people.

On October 7 we witnessed Hamas’ violence against the civilians in Israel, an event that is now singled out by many to demonize and dehumanize Palestinian resistance altogether. Hamas, a reactionary islamist organization, needs to be seen in a wider historical context and decades of Israel encroaching on Palestinian land, long before this organization came to exist in the late 1980s. During the Nakba (“catastrophe”) of 1948, more than 700,000 Palestinians were brutally displaced from their homes, with entire villages massacred and destroyed. Since its creation Israel has never stopped pursuing its colonial expansion. The Palestinians were forced to exile, fragmented and administered under different regimes. Some of them are Israeli citizens affected by structural discrimination and racism. Those living in the occupied West Bank are subjected to apartheid under decades of Israel’s military control. The people of the Gaza Strip have suffered from the blockade imposed by Israel since 2006, which restricted movement of people and goods, resulting in growing poverty and deprivation.

Since the 7th of October and at the time of writing the death toll in the Gaza Strip is more than 8,500 peopleWomen and children have made up more than 62 percent of the fatalities, while more than 21,048 people have been injured. In recent days, Israel has bombed schools, residential areas, Greek Orthodox Church and several hospitals. Israel has also cut all water, electricity, and fuel supply in the Gaza Strip. There is a severe shortage of food and medicine, causing a total collapse of a healthcare system.

Most of the Western and Israeli media justifies these deaths as mere collateral damage to fighting Hamas but is silent when it comes to Palestinian civilians targeted and killed in the Occupied West Bank. Since the beginning of 2023 alone, and before October 7, the death toll on the Palestinian side had already reached 227. Since the 7 of October, 121 Palestinian civilians have been killed in the occupied West Bank. More than 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners are currently detained in Israeli prisons. Lasting peace and justice are only possible with the end of the ongoing occupation. Palestinians have the right to self-determination and resistance against Israeli’s occupation, just like Ukrainians have the right to resist Russian invasion.

Our solidarity comes from a place of anger at the injustice, and a place of deep pain of knowing the devastating impacts of occupation, shelling of civil infrastructure, and humanitarian blockade from experiences in our homeland. Parts of Ukraine have been occupied since 2014, and the international community failed to stop Russian aggression then, ignoring the imperial and colonial nature of the armed violence, which consequently escalated on the 24th of February 2022. Civilians in Ukraine are shelled daily, in their homes, in hospitals, on bus stops, in queues for bread. As a result of the Russian occupation, thousands of people in Ukraine live without access to water, electricity or heating, and it is the most vulnerable groups that are mostly affected by the destruction of critical infrastructure. In the months of the siege and heavy bombardment of Mariupol there was no humanitarian corridor. Watching the Israeli targeting the civilian infrastructure in Gaza, the Israeli humanitarian blockade and occupation of land resonates especially painfully with us. From this place of pain of experience and solidarity, we call on our fellow Ukrainians globally and all the people to raise their voices in support of the Palestinian people and condemn the ongoing  Israeli mass ethnic cleansing.

We reject the Ukrainian government statements that express unconditional support for Israel's military actions, and we consider the calls to avoid civilian casualties by Ukraine's MFA belated and insufficient. This position is a retreat from the support of Palestinian rights and condemnation of the Israeli occupation, which Ukraine has followed for decades, including voting in the UN.  Aware of the pragmatic geopolitical reasoning behind Ukraine’s decision to echo Western allies, on whom we are dependent for our survival, we see the current support of Israel and dismissing Palestinian right to self-determination as contradictory to Ukraine’s own commitment to human rights and fight for our land and freedom. We as Ukrainians should stand in solidarity not with the oppressors, but with those who experience and resist the oppression.

We strongly object to equating of Western military aid to Ukraine and Israel by some politicians. Ukraine doesn't occupy the territories of other people, instead, it fights against the Russian occupation, and therefore international assistance serves a just cause and the protection of international law. Israel has occupied and annexed Palestinian and Syrian territories, and Western aid to it confirms an unjust order and demonstrates double standards in relation to international law.

We oppose the new wave of Islamophobia, such as the brutal murder of a Palestinian American 6-year old and assault on his family in Illinois, USA, and the equating of any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. At the same time, we also oppose holding all Jewish people all over the world accountable for the politics of the state of Israel and we condemn anti-Semitic violence, such as the mob attack on the airplane in Daghestan, Russia. We also reject the revival of the “war on terror” rhetoric used by the US and EU to justify war crimes and violations of international law that have undermined the international security system, caused countless deaths, and has been borrowed by other states, including Russia for the war in Chechnya and China for the Uyghur genocide. Now Israel is using it to carry out ethnic cleansing.

Call to Action

  • We urge the implementation of the call to ceasefire, put forward by the UN General Assembly resolution.
  • We call on the Israeli government to immediately stop attacks on civilians, and provide humanitarian aid; we insist on an immediate and indefinite lifting of siege on Gaza and an urgent relief operation to restore civilian infrastructure. We also call on the Israeli government to put an end to the occupation and recognise the right of Palestinian displaced people to return to their lands.
  • We call on the Ukrainian government to condemn the use of state sanctioned terror and humanitarian blockade against the Gazan civilian population and reaffirm the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. We also call on the Ukrainian government to condemn deliberate assaults on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
  • We call on the international media to stop pitting Palestinians and Ukrainians against each other, where hierarchies of suffering perpetuate racist rhetoric and dehumanize those under attack.

We have witnessed the world uniting in solidarity for the people of Ukraine and we call on everyone to do the same for the people of Palestine.

Signatures (as of 2023/11/06)

  1. Volodymyr Artiukh, researcher
  2. Levon Azizian, human rights lawyer
  3. Diana Azzuz, artist, musician
  4. Taras Bilous, editor
  5. Oksana Briukhovetska, artist, researcher, University of Michigan
  6. Artem Chapeye, writer
  7. Valentyn Dolhochub, researcher, soldier
  8. John-Paul Himka, professor emeritus, University of Alberta
  9. Karina Al Khmuz, biomedical engineer programmer
  10. Yuliia Kishchuk, researcher
  11. Amina Ktefan, fashion influencer, digital creator
  12. Svitlana Matviyenko, media scholar, SFU; Associate Director of Digital Democracies Institute
  13. Maria Mayerchyk, scholar
  14. Vitalii Pavliuk, writer, translator
  15. Sashko Protyah, filmmaker, volunteer
  16. Oleksiy Radynski, filmmaker
  17. Mykola Ridnyi, artist and filmmaker
  18. Daria Saburova, researcher, activist
  19. Alexander Skyba, labour activist
  20. Darya Tsymbalyuk, researcher
  21. Nelia Vakhovska, translator
  22. Yuliya Yurchenko, researcher, translator, activist
  23. Iryna Zamuruieva, ecofeminist researcher, artist, climate & land policy project manager
  24. Alisha Andani, history of art student
  25. Daša Anosova, curator, researcher, UCL SSEES
  26. Lilya Badekha, activist, culturologist, social media manager of the Spilne journal
  27. Anastasia Bobrova, researcher
  28. Anastasiia Bobrovska, dj, activist, digital strategy consultant
  29. Mariana Bodnaruk, researcher
  30. Yuriy Boyko, researcher, scientific assistant
  31. Vladislava Chepurko
  32. Daria Demia, artist
  33. Olena Dmytryk, researcher
  34. Olha Dobrovolska, teacher, culture researcher
  35. Svitlana Dolbysheva, artist, filmmaker
  36. Hanna Dosenko, anthropologist
  37. Vitalii Dudin, activist of NGO ‘Sotsialnyi Rukh’
  38. Oksana Dutchak, sociologist
  39. Nastya Dzyuban, choreographer and performer
  40. Kateryna Farbar, journalist
  41. Taras Gembik, culture worker, co-organizer of SDK Slonecznik at Musuem of Modern Art in Warsaw
  42. Anna Greszta researcher, co-founder of Collect4Ukraine
  43. Olenka Gu, sociologist
  44. Nataliya Gumenyuk, journalist
  45. Tetiana Hanzha, documentary film director
  46. Andrii Hulianytskyi, researcher
  47. Serhii Ishchenko, journalist
  48. Hanna Karpishena
  49. Milena Khomchenko, curator and writer, chief editor of SONIAKH digest
  50. Daria Khrystych, researcher, activist
  51. Amira Khussein, fashion business manager
  52. Kyrylo Klymenko, historian
  53. Lyuba Knorozok, producer, documentary filmmaker
  54. Oleksandra Kokhan, researcher
  55. Vladyslav Kononok, project manager
  56. Mariia Kosenko, translator
  57. Olga Kostyrko, independent researcher, activist, editor
  58. Iaroslav Kovalchuk, PhD Candidate, historian
  59. Anna Kovtoniuk, software developer
  60. Dmytro Kozak, PhD candidate, anthropologist
  61. Ruslana Koziienko, PhD candidate, social anthropologist
  62. Yustyna Kravchuk, cultural worker, translator
  63. Yulia Krivich, artist, co-organizer of SDK Slonecznik at Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, PhD fellow at Academy of Arts in Krakow, Poland
  64. Amir Ktefan, personal translator and voice over artist
  65. Olexii Kuchanskyi, researcher, film programmer
  66. Veronika Kulak, student of business economics
  67. Yuliia Kulish, researcher
  68. Kateryna Lysovenko, artist
  69. Kostiantyn Maleoniuk, activist
  70. Daryna Mamaisur, filmmaker, visual artist, researcher
  71. Daniil Marchenko, bike messenger, cook
  72. Anastasia Marusii, art historian
  73. Mykyta Mikhalkov, student, volunteer
  74. Andrii Myroshnychenko, cultural manager and translator
  75. Pavlo Molochko, signaller in the AFoU
  76. Andriy Movchan, publicist
  77. Serhii Movchan, left activist, volunteer
  78. Zarina Netovkina
  79. Zhanna Ohanesian, researcher, humanitarian worker
  80. Kateryna Olieshko, artist, activist, creative producer
  81. Olga Papash, researcher, producer, volunteer
  82. Anton Parambul, soldier
  83. Mariia Pastukh, activist, head of Ukraine solidarity collective “Vsesvit”
  84. Valerii Petrov, game maker
  85. Julie Poly, artist
  86. Mariia Ponomarova, film director, creative producer
  87. Zakhar Popovych, activist
  88. Nina Potarska, researcher
  89. Dariia Puhach, computer linguist
  90. Olha Pylypenko, art manager
  91. Anna Rebrii, journalist, PhD student, activist
  92. Maksym Romanenko, doctor
  93. Marta Romankiv, artist, researcher, PhD fellow at Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk
  94. Betya Roytburd, artist, organizer, curator
  95. Kseniia Rybak, researcher
  96. Bohdana Rybenchuk
  97. Mariia Salan, artist
  98. Abdula Sarkhan, digital artist
  99. Yulia Serdyukova, film producer
  100. Mariia Shynkarenko, researcher
  101. Maria Sonevytsky, professor, researcher
  102. Veronika Stancheva, psychologist
  103. Vladyslav Starodubtsev, historian
  104. Oleksandr Svitych, researcher
  105. Olena Syrbu, researcher, cultural worker
  106. Nast’ey Teor, graphic artist and designer
  107. Natasha Tseliuba, feminist, activist, artist, curator
  108. Dr. Nataliya Tchermalykh, University of Geneva
  109. Marharyta Tokarieva researcher, filmmaker
  110. Leo Trotsenko, artist
  111. Viacheslav Tsyba, philosopher, translator, editor
  112. Elen Udud
  113. Tetiana Usova, translator, filmmaker
  114. Kateryna Volochniuk, researcher
  115. Valeriia Voronova fashion influencer, digital creator, interior designer
  116. Bogdana Yakovenko, photographer, activist, volunteer
  117. Mariana Yaremchyshyna, culture worker, activist
  118. Aisha Yusupova, psychologist, creator
  119. Fattukh Zhalal, student of international economic relations
  120. Roma Zimenko, humanitarian worker
  121. Yevheniia Stepko, editor
  122. Oksana Karpovych, filmmaker
  123. Rita Adel, research analyst
  124. Olena Martynchuk, cultural anthropologist
  125. Kris Maslyuk, student
  126. Oleksandra Hryhorenko, translator
  127. Arsenii Kniazkov, film researcher
  128. Olena Mykhaylova, researcher
  129. Islam Dabank, poet and company manager
  130. Diana Khalilova, artist
  131. Sylvestr Kozurak, artist
  132. Vitalii Zalozetskyi, philosopher
  133. Denys Gorbach, social researcher
  134. Mykhaylo Maliarenko, military
  135. Alexandra Paul Zotov, Museum
  136. Tasha Gnatenko
  137. Ira Tantsiura, activist, researcher
  138. Oleksandra Chernomashyntseva, volunteer, stage designer
  139. Ostap Bohoslavets, researcher
  140. Anton Karyuk, artist
  141. Tania Banakh, historian
  142. babych kateryna, activist
  143. Stepan Bilousov, student
  144. Iryna Tsiuk, proofreader
  145. Mila Teshaieva, photographer, film director,
  146. Oleksiy Godz, architect
  147. Mariia Goubernik, psychotherapist, activist
  148. xenia mil’ushkina, activist, online influencer
  149. Anna Zakharchenko, student
  150. Alyssa Naryzhny
  151. Marta Iwanek, photographer, filmmaker
  152. elliott miskovicz
  153. Anna Lykhohliad, researcher
  154. Diana Yehorova, researcher and artist
  155. Polina Piddubna, director
  156. Tetiana Sokolnykova, arts mediator, coordinator and facilitator of socio-cultural projects
  157. Mariia Kovtun
  158. Anna Nykytiuk, artist
  159. Maria Panchenko, cultural worker
  160. Julia Kosova, social activist
  161. Daryna Miahka, activist
  162. Madina Mahomedova, multimedia artist & graphic designer
  163. Varvara Spilt, student, artist, director
  164. Oleksandra Marushchak, animator
  165. Roman Levin, activist
  166. Katia Denysova, art historian and curator
  167. Di Horban, artist
  168. Sam Veremchuk, PhD student
  169. Antonina Mambyk, public sector
  170. Olena Lyubchenko
  171. Bohdana Andrieieva, web-designer
  172. Bogdana Yakovenko, photographer, activist, volunteer
  173. Artem Remizovskyi, culturologist, trade union activist “Direct Action”
  174. Khromyi Denys, anarchist, translator, student, essayist
  175. Filyuk Kateryna, curator
  176. Oleksii Popovych, student
  177. Oksana Demidova, artist
  178. Nataliya Gubenko, business consultant
  179. Yelyzaveta Monastyrova, PhD candidate
  180. Marty Horobiichenko, artist
  181. Aldushchenkov Evgen, worker
  182. Nina Sodin, animator
  183. Daryna Prudnikova, student
  184. Mohsen Timoor Raphatovich, student
  185. Mosiychuk Andriy, web designer
  186. Kyrylo Chehrynets
  187. Michael Nikitiuk, cook
  188. Yuliya Gwilym, illustrator and author
  189. Aliona Sydorenko, clinical counsellor
  190. Sakara Oleksandra, freelancer
  191. Valeriia Bondarieva, climate justice activist
  192. Kateryna Kasianenko, researcher
  193. Iryna Kulinich, digital artist
  194. Yevheniia Vasylenko, compliance specialist
  195. Ivan Bychkov, student
  196. Asia Tsisar, curator, researcher
  197. Alice Zhuravel, social actor and entrepreneur
  198. Karolina Gulshani, artist
  199. Kachan Anna, QA engineer
  200. Mariia Zadvorna
  201. Ganna Zakharchenko, architect, artist
  202. Leontyuk Yuliia, legal scholar
  203. Viktoriia Markova, volunteer, graphic designer
  204. Anastasia Orydoroha
  205. Anya Tsaruk, photographer
  206. Iuliia Kandaurova
  207. Kate Zavertailo, translator
  208. Maksym Shumakov, activist
  209. Yuliia Palamarchuk, architect
  210. Katya Gritseva, artist
  211. Khrystyna Slobodianyk, doctor
  212. Slobodianiuk Daryna, mama
  213. Iryna Ullah, home wife
  214. Alla Zhyvotova, artist
  215. Rachitska Katerina
  216. Iryna Krupenko, bartender
  217. Larisa Sayej, doctor
  218. Alisa Pogrebna-Raizman, PhD student at the University of Warsaw
  219. Olena Mykhalska
  220. Azarova Kateryna, IT programmer
  221. Oksana Arkhypchuk, educator
  222. Olena Haies, housewife
  223. Viktoria Sergienko, director of educational centre
  224. Balytska Yana
  225. Maryna Shapovalova, housewife
  226. Alieva Viktoriia, pedagog
  227. Asiya Umm Yahya, kids writer
  228. Polina Skrynnikova, assistant, humanitarian NGO
  229. Diana Bishtavi, dentist
  230. Iryna Baraniuk, mother
  231. Tetik Serafyma, teacher
  232. Alina Volosiuk, engineer, in maternity leave
  233. Olena Malakhova
  234. Maria Dibrova, finance student
  235. Orlova Anastasiia, owner of small business
  236. Yevheniia Holovachova, beauty master
  237. Nadiia Guzenko, teacher
  238. Iryna Refahi, journalist
  239. Guseynova Mate
  240. Anastasiia Onufriv, climate activist
  241. Alona Aljadaan, public figure
  242. Yelyzaveta Riznychenko, student
  243. Valentyna Chehlatonieva, dancer
  244. Lozinska Yana
  245. Dinara Abdo, UX/UI web designer
  246. Victoriia Abuiaiia
  247. Victoriia Bratushkina
  248. Olha Chychko, pensioner
  249. Alina Babaieva, mom is on maternity leave
  250. Venzovska Victoria, lawyer
  251. Vladyslav Taratutenko, logistics dispatcher
  252. Diana Maksymenko, translator and book blogger
  253. Strashynska Tetiana
  254. Ivanna Kosteniuk, finance and operations manager
  255. Valeriia Zurigat, psychologist
  256. Yana Maletska, student
  257. Gavrilitsia Hanna, doctor
  258. Bogdana Kosmina, architect, artist, curator
  259. Masha Vlasenko, mathematician
  260. Ruslan Kulevets, author, cinephile
  261. Biduliak Lilia, psychology
  262. Polina Sobos
  263. Ihnatiuk Valeriia, visual communication
  264. Tsymbalyuk Victoria
  265. Albina Bykova, housewife
  266. Tatyana Gagina
  267. Kukunina Kateryna, software developer
  268. Ivanna Bykova, housewife
  269. Fedir Horash, seafarer, activist of Inicjatywa Pracownicza trade union
  270. Valeriia Ganicheva, designer
  271. Sasha Zakrevska, musician
  272. Alyona Kobel, manager International tourism
  273. Anastasia Muntyan, Unemployed
  274. Alina El Assadi, artist
  275. Maritchka Ryniejska, researcher
  276. Bohdan Diedushkin, teacher
  277. Sofiya Taranenko, student
  278. Nadiya Kachmar, student of political science
  279. Oleksii Poliakov, software developer
  280. Daria Pochepnia
  281. Mameedova Natalia Igorivna
  282. Aisha Zankidaeva
  283. Daryna Kolesnyk, chambermaid
  284. Svitlana Al-Azzawi, teacher
  285. Derbin Serhiy, architect
  286. Siver Iryna Rawilivna, orchestra artist
  287. Anna Skrypnyk, pharmacist
  288. Serhieieyva Kasia
  289. Mstyslava Nesteruk, HR
  290. Anna Matsuka, translator
  291. Nastasya Yaremchuk, musician, Slavic Studies student
  292. Natalka Gurba, activist
  293. Obertynska Iryna
  294. Anastasia Petriuk
  295. Аsyenye Bulatova
  296. Kutsenko Iuliia, teacher
  297. Yermolayeva Kateryna, artist
  298. Mahmuda Ruzieva
  299. Kovalenko Daria, beauty therapist
  300. Stanislava Ovchinnikova, interdisciplinary artist and curator
  301. Mariya Bokhonko
  302. Liubov Kuibida, programmer
  303. Yusuf Baysangurov
  304. Olena Mogylna, designer
  305. Mehrabi Dariia, international relationship
  306. Hanna Bodnarchuk, choreographer
  307. Diana Romanenko, ingenieur assistant
  308. Amaliia Mamedova, student
  309. Vsevolod Kazarin, photographer
  310. Hanna Horbasenko, interpreter
  311. Hrodzitska Veronika, photographer & volonteer
  312. Taras Fedirko, anthropologist, researcher
  313. Daria Pysaruk, student
  314. Anna Schlegel, employee
  315. Polina Pysaruk, student
  316. Victoria Levchenko, researcher, engineer, activist
  317. Christina Cherniievska, artist
  318. Sofiya Chotyrbok, artist
  319. Tetiana Burlachenko

The list of signatures will be updated gradually