for our work to continue.

General Conference

United Methodists are responding to Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth ,a statement of faith and urgent call to action from Christians in Palestine.  UMKR seeks, through nonviolent means and in partnership with Palestinian Christians, freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians and Israelis.

UMKR needs your support

General Conference 2020 has been

scheduled for Aug-Sept 2022. Our justice legislation is still vital & needs

YOUR support!  LEARN MORE:

🔶 Something new in here   🔴 New on our site  


An Appeal from UMKR

UMKR has important church legislation for our denomination's global General Conference, to be held in 2021. These resolutions address:

protecting Palestinian children,
defending the right to boycott,
divesting from the bonds of occupation governments, and other timely justice issues.


We also have BIG PLANS for educating

A LOT of people throughout our church about Palestinian rights, with literature, displays, speakers, meals, and witness actions!


With very limited resources, UMKR has made a BIG  impact in the global United Methodist Church! Groundbreaking divestment and boycott actions by the UMC would never have happened without UMKR's advocacy AND all the extraordinary partners and allies who helped us.


General Conference is always our BEST OPPORTUNITY to make a worldwide impactfor Palestinian rights throughout our denomination.


But, if we are to succeed in advocating for justice with thousands of United Methodists who come to General Conference from four continents,WE NEED YOUR HELP!


Click the green button and take action now:





Please give as generously as you can, and

know that whatever you are able to give

will be greatly appreciated.

When I See Them, I See Us   Solidarity

Background on the video "When I See Them, I See Us"  produced by the Black-Palestinian Solidarity initiative
Download the press release
Scroll down this page to watch the video. Below that, see the script and the credits including all the participants on screen.


During the summer of 2014, state-sanctioned racialized violence was on full display by the United States and Israel. For 51 days, Israel used sophisticated weapons technology with precision-targeting capability to kill 2,200 Palestinians,

SCRIPT:
When I see them, I see us


Every 28 hours a black life is stolen

by police or vigilantes in the U.S.
Every two hours, Israel killed a Palestinian child

in its attack on Gaza last summer


Eric Garner. 43 years old

Father of six. Grandfather. Friend

Hashem Abu Maria. 45 years old

Father of four. Human rights worker

Ghalia al-Ghanam. 7 years old

Killed when an Israeli missile struck her home

Aiyana Jones. 7 years old

Killed in her sleep by Detroit police


When I see them, I see us

Harassed, beaten

tortured, dehumanized

stopped and frisked searched at checkpoints

administrative detention

youth incarceration

When I see them, I see us

From Rikers Island to Ofer Prison

from Rafah to Chicago

lives are being stolen

remember them
We are not statistics

we are not collateral damage

we have names and faces

Sakia, Kimani, Renisha

Nadim, Jawaher, Mohammad


They burned me alive in Jerusalem

they gunned me down in Chicago

they shot our water tanks in Hebron

they cut off our water in Detroit

they demolished our homes in the Naqab

they swallowed our homes in New Orleans


When I see them, I see us

They see our wombs as dangerous

label us demographic threats

They sterilize us without our knowledge

mark our children as criminal


When I see them, I see us

We say no to all forms of oppression

in US cities or on Palestine’s streets

We respect the uniqueness of our struggles
and our varied histories


When I see them, I see us


Resilient, steadfast, determined

I see who we are meant to be

Alive, free, liberated

mapping out our destiny
I see hope, strength, love

a place where our children can dream

I see a road, a partner, a family

a world where we can rise and be seen.

ABOUT THE VIDEO(scroll down for the Script and the Credits, including all participants on screen)
Over 60 leading Black and Palestinian artists and activists affirm Black-Palestinian solidarity in our new video. Featuring Ms. Lauryn Hill, Danny Glover, DAM, Omar Barghouti, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Yousef Erakat, Annemarie Jacir, Boots Riley, Dr. Cornel West, and many others.

Black-Palestinian solidarity is neither a guarantee nor a requirement - it is a choice. We choose to build with one another in a shoulder to shoulder struggle against state-sanctioned violence. A violence that is manifest in the speed of bullets and batons and tear gas that pierce our bodies. One that is latent in the edifice of law and concrete that work together to, physically and figuratively, cage us.

We choose to join one another in resistance not because our struggles are the same but because we each struggle against the formidable forces of structural racism and the carceral and lethal technologies deployed to maintain them. This video intends to interrupt that process – to assert our humanity – and to stand together in an affirmation of life and a commitment to resistance. From Ferguson to Gaza, from Baltimore to Jerusalem, from Charleston to Bethlehem, we will be free.

Angela Davis on the project: “Mutual expressions of solidarity have helped to generate a vigorous political kinship linking black organizers, scholars, cultural workers and political prisoners in the U.S. with Palestinian activists, academics, political prisoners, and artists.”

Organizations working in collaboration: The Dream Defenders, BYP 100, the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival, the Institute for Middle East Understanding, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Arab Studies Institute-Quilting Point Productions.

See the press release about the video

SEE ALSO:

Solidarity Following the Death

of George Floyd - STATEMENTS:
By UMKR: click here

From Palestinians:  click here

From Palestine Advocacy Groups:  click here

From United Methodist leaders and bodies:  click here


Antiracism - ACTION  click here
Antiracism - RESOURCES  
click here

 

CREDITS:
Producer: Noura Erakat
Script writers: Mari Morales-Williams, Remi Kanazi and Kristian Davis Bailey
Narrators: Umi Selah, Dina Omar, Samantha Masters, and Remi Kanazi
Sponsoring Organizations: Dream Defenders, Black Youth Project 100, DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival, Arab Studies Institute - Quilting Point Productions and Jewish Voice for Peace.
Produced with assistance from the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU).


Video Participants:
Danny Glover is an accomplished actor, film director, humanitarian and political activist.
Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney, activist, and Assistant Professor at George Mason University.
Rasmea Odeh is a Chicago-based community organizer and the associate director of the Arab American Action Network.
Sapphire is a performance poet and the author of the critically acclaimed novel Push.
Yousef Erakat is a YouTube sensation better known as FouseyTube whose work earned him the Best Show of the Year at VH1’s The Streamy Awards.
Ms. Lauryn Hill is an award-winning singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, and actress.
Fred Wreck is a renowned musician, record producer, and social justice advocate.
Cornel West is a philosopher, academic, activist, author, and public intellectual.
Angela Davis is a prominent prison abolitionist, political activist, scholar, and author.
DAM are a crew of accomplished lyrists and musicians who make up Palestine’s first hip hop group.
Donna Murch is associate professor of history at Rutgers University and an award-winning author.
Tahani Salah is a performer, poet, organizer, educator and activist from Brooklyn.
Linda Sarsour is a Brooklyn-based organizer, civil rights activist, and a media commentator.
Robin D.G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA and an award-winning author.
Mariam Abu Khaled is a West Bank based actor and filmmaker.
LisaGay Hamilton is a critically acclaimed film, television, and theater actress.
DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival: Nehad Khader, Gabriella Kaiyal-Smith, Zakiyyah Jackson, Alicia Criado, Nisreen Zaquot, Ahmed Zaqout, Nour Joudah, Sara Choufi, Lena Ghannam, Musaab Balchi, Raymar Hampshire, Huda Asfour, and Cordaye Ogletree
Tajai Massey is an Oakland-based rapper and one of the founding members of Souls of Mischief.
Diana Buttu is a Ramallah-based analyst and a former legal advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
dream hampton is a cultural critic, award-winning filmmaker, writer, and social justice organizer.
Hamza Saftawi is an independent reporter and writer based in Gaza.
Dream Defenders:  Steven Pargett, Jonel Edwards, Sherika Shaw, Umi Selah, Curtis Hierro and Ahmad N. Abuznaid.
Amer Shomali is an animator, designer, and filmmaker best known for his work, The Wanted 18.
Mari Morales-Williams is an educator, activist, writer, and member of BYP 100.
Deema Alsaafin is a student and writer based in the occupied West Bank.
Shatha Hammad is a student based in the occupied West Bank and participant in the US Right2Education tour.
Aja Monet is a contemporary poet, writer, lyricist, activist and Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champion.
Annemarie Jacir is an award-winning filmmaker, poet, and journalist.
Remi Kanazi is a poet, editor, and organizer based in New York City.
Sandra Tamari is an organizer with the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and a Steering Committee of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Suhad Khatib is an organizer with the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee  
Baha Men are a Grammy Award-winning Bahamian world music band.
Boots Riley is a rapper, organizer, lecturer, and lead vocalist of The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club.
Sherene Seikaly is a historian, the editor as the Arab Studies Journal, and co-founder of Jadaliyya.
Omar Barghouti is a Palestinian human rights activist and a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
Kristian Davis Bailey is a journalist, writer, and organizer based in Detroit.
Rafeef Ziadah is a performance poet and activist based in London.
Rashid Khalidi is an author and the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University.
Alice Walker is a Pulitzer Prize winning author, poet, and activist.



including 535 children, to demolish or damage 140,000 homes, to destroy 319 businesses, 36 fishing boats, and 42,000 acres of agricultural land, and to target critical civilian infrastructure, including Gaza’s sole power plant.


In many instances, Israel targeted unarmed civilians: it shot fleeing civilians in Khoza’a, killed 66 Palestinians in Shujai’yeh in 60 minutes, shot at UNRWA schools sheltering civilians on seven different occasions. In perhaps the most chilling attack, Israeli missiles targeted four young boys aged 11 to 13 playing soccer on Gaza’s shore.


Throughout the operation, Israel, an occupying power, the only nuclear power in the Middle East, and the US’s most unique ally, claimed it was exercising its right to self-defense and blamed the mounting death toll on Hamas.


Four weeks into Israel’s onslaught against the besieged Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip, an officer shot to death Mike Brown an unarmed Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. Darren Wilson shot Brown six times, twice above the chest at close range. Brown died from gunshot wounds to his head and chest and was left in the middle of the street for the next four hours before his body was removed. This scenario of unchecked racialized state-violence continues centuries of anti-black violence in the United States. 


A March 2014 study conducted by the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that “black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent.” Together with the still-fresh exoneration of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin, another unarmed Black teenager, it functioned as a climax and precipitated a national mass movement and convergence upon Ferguson. 


Ferguson police initiated a military response replete with Kevlar vests, helmets, assault rifles, armored tanks, curfews, and tear gas. Throughout these violent attacks, US mainstream media disproportionately focused on the destruction of property and dealt with the killing of Mike Brown as a singular incident thus obfuscating the material and structural violence endured by Black communities.


In the course of resilience against the merciless edge of state-violence, protesters in Ferguson held up signs declaring solidarity with the people of Palestine. In turn, Palestinians posted pictures on social media with instructions of how to treat the inhalation of tear gas. Organically, an analysis emerged highlighting similarities, but not sameness, of Black and Palestinian life, and more aptly, of their survival.


This critical moment was built on a rich historical legacy of intellectual production on, as well as movement building between, Black and Palestinian communities. During the Baltimore protests against systemic deprivation and sparked by the murder of Freddie Gray, Palestinians recognized the protests as an uprising and a number of Black protesters renamed their convergence an intifada, bridging the struggles against state-sanctioned violence from the bottom up.


Since the devastating attacks on Gaza and in Ferguson, the assault on Black and Palestinian bodies has continued unabated. As we mourn the lives of Tanisha Andersen and Mohammed Abu Khdeir, Ali Dawabshe and Eric Garner, Sandra Bland and Nadeem Nowarah, we are making connections between the systems of violence and criminalization that makes Black and Palestinian bodies so easily expendable.


The onslaught on Black and Palestinian lives is rife with a discourse of victim-blaming that softens the edge of systematic violence and illuminates the dehumanization process. This video is a message to the world as much as it is a commitment among ourselves that we will struggle with and for one another. No one is free until we all are free.


WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW.

Below that, see the Script, the Credits, and a statement from Black-PalestinianSolidarity.com