Can you imagine a bunch of white players going to South Africa in the 1980s and partying it up, sending out tweets about how wonderful it is, and basically sending the message that the oppression of Black people in Azania doesn't matter? That it's not important? That's the message the players sent out by participating in the sham trip with zionists.
Let's get straight to the point. Sheldon Adelson is a superrich capitalist, so it's easy to understand his zionist objectives in sponsoring this "tour." Omri Casspi is a zionist born and raised player, so I can see the reasons for his confusion. That's why the focus of this letter is for African (born wherever) players like Demarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Iman Shumpert, and others who participated in this sham trip. I'm hopeful this letter can help you brothers see how you are being used as pawns in a power play for white supremacy. I'm sure whatever Casspi and Adelson told you, it must have sounded pretty convincing if it encouraged you to travel to a place I doubt you have much information and understanding about.
My brothers, the promoters of this trip invited you specifically to use your popularity and physical presence in Occupied Palestine to discredit legitimate work taking place to expose the oppressive practices of zionist Israel against the Palestinian people. It's important you know this because your willingness to risk scrutiny when wearing the "I Can't Breathe" shirts was proof that you are conscious enough to understand the necessity to stand up against institutional racism and white supremacy against African people, but your inability to see the contradiction between that bold act, and supporting zionist Israel, is a flaw we must correct in whatever way that we can.
You see, there can be no separation in supporting justice for African people and the same for Palestinian people. African people suffer international racism and white supremacy because the capitalist system (profit over people) relies on exploiting Africa and African people to maintain it's cheap access to natural resources and labor. Zionism is a political system that uses Judaism to achieve the illegal and immoral political objective of stealing Palestine from the Palestinian people.
Let's talk a little about the history of the zionist movement to further make the point for you. In 1918, Britain declared Palestine the property of the zionists through the illegal Balfour Declaration and the settlements of Europeans to Palestine escalated. In 1948, three years after the defeat of the Third Reich in Germany, the zionist state of Israel was declared and all of the imperialist countries, led by the U.S. raced to be the first to recognize the zionist state. Understand that the Palestinians have never accepted this invasion into their home no different than the Indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere (The Indians) have never accepted/agreed with the invasion here, and we Africans have never accepted/agreed with the brutal intrusion into Africa.
So, with the theft complete, since 1948, the zionists have ruled over the Palestinian people with an iron fist enacting the most brutal and inhumane oppression imaginable. Children tear-gassed and shot as policy for simply standing up as human beings. People systematically and brutally harassed, moved and denied basic human rights like access to food and water. Murder being carried out against the Palestinian people as policy highlighted by the 2014 brutal attacks against Gaza by the zionist state. All of this to attempt to destroy the spirit of the Palestinian people to resist the illegal occupation.
Now, the international community has come together to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement in an effort to bring international attention to the brutal Israeli subjugation of the Palestinian people by encouraging folks to boycott products that do business with the zionist state. This is a legitimate tactic to apply pressure on the zionist state to cease and desist in its terror against the Palestinian people just as the same tactics were used in the 1980s to apply pressure against the apartheid regime in Azania, South Africa, to cease it's terror and oppression against African people there.
Brothers, can you imagine a bunch of white players going to Azania, South Africa, in the 1980s and partying it up, sending out tweets about how wonderful it is, and basically sending the message that the oppression of our people in Azania, South Africa, doesn't matter? That it's not important? Well, that's the message you are sending by participating in this sham trip with these zionists.
What makes what you are doing that much worse is you didn't even bother to study your own African history. The pursuit of the zionist agenda of establishing another white supremacist settler colony has always been funded on the backs of African people. This was true in the 1920s when zionists manipulated the movement of the Honorable Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA - millions of members worldwide, the Negro World publication published in 33 countries in English, Spanish, and French) by telling Garvey that his quest for a liberated Africa was the same as the Israeli quest for a zionist Israel. These efforts were designed to garner support from African people, who truly and legitimately understand the true need to return home, for the zionist agenda. This manipulation continued with the World Zionist Congress (WZC) and characters like Chaim Weizman tricking the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the 1920s and 1930s to actually sponsor them on speaking tours to raise money for the zionist occupation. And then, in the 1960s, when African youth in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) stepped out on courage by becoming the first national organization to take an anti-zionist position, the zionist movement worked with established civil rights leaders to further manipulate their thinking; causing honest leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others to support the establishment of Blacks in Support of Israel (BASIC) which became a major lobbyist on behalf of the zionist state. Lobbyists like BASIC are the reason the zionist state today is the number one benefactor of foreign aide from the U.S. government. And they have the nerve to accuse our people of being welfare recipients.
We give you this history to illustrate the point that Africans being manipulated to support zionism isn't a new phenomenon. You are not the first, and you won't be the last, but we do want you to recognize the reasons why it's important for zionists to have African allies in their immoral quest. It's important again to highlight for you that zionism has always relied on exploiting Africa as a primary means of financing the zionist movement. It is a fact that refined diamonds remain today one of the largest gross national products of the zionist state. The problem is there are no diamond mines in occupied Palestine (Israel). These diamonds are stolen from Africa where our people spend all day, everyday, mining them and receiving nothing in return except disease and death. This industry is a human disgrace highlighted by the fact the richest man in Africa today is a Dutch man - Nicky Oppenheimer - the President and CEO of DeBeers Diamonds. This is not to mention the fact zionism has profited from the illegal international sales of guns e.g .the Uzi sub-machine to finance the zionist state. As you know, many of these guns are used to maintain instability in our communities from South Los Angeles, to Port a Prince, Haiti.
Finally, but most definitely not of least importance, these zionists who claim to represent the sacred religion of Judaism, demonstrate their contempt for the religion by continuing to treat the Ethiopian Jews, people escaping harsh conditions brought to Africa by capitalist exploitation, with disrespect and brutality. Today, these Africans in Occupied Palestine are treated with the same hatred that the Palestinians are subjected to. This, when those Ethiopian Jews represent the direct lineage of the Falasha Jews who by all historical and theological accounts, are the original Jewish people.
So, my African brothers, it is very important that you understand what your big brother is telling you here because contrary to whatever Casspi, Adelson, and whomever else is telling you, zionism is a political movement. It is a movement that is designed to create political power for the zionist elite in conjunction with international capitalism and imperialism (the enemy for African people worldwide). Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism, which like Christianity, Islam, etc., is a religion of peace with roots in Africa. A Jew cannot be a zionist and a zionist cannot be a Jew. Furthermore, any conscious African cannot be a zionist. You have been tricked into supporting an illegal and criminal regime. This is verified by the fact that I'm sure they have gone to great pains to limit your trip to the clean and pristine parts of the occupation. It's a pity you did not have the knowledge to demand they take you to Gaza so you could see the actual devastation their "democracy" causes to the original and rightful inhabitants of the land you visited.
To conclude, my brothers, there is an old African proverb that says "it isn't the error that counts, but how you respond to the error." You, like many of our people before you, have had our legitimate desire to see oppression eliminated and our genuine connection to returning home (to freedom, to Africa) manipulated by the well organized and determined zionist movement. We cannot demand justice for African people without understanding the need to do the same for the Palestinian people and all oppressed people. You brothers have a privileged position today because African people fought for you to have it. One hundred years ago, you could have been the best basketball players on the planet as you are now, but you would not have gotten the chance you have today to earn millions playing basketball because the conditions of oppression would not have permitted it. People you will never meet made sacrifices that you have benefited from to reach the position you occupy today. Those people made those sacrifices not so you could flick their losses in the face of the world today, but because they wanted you to have opportunities they didn't have. They wanted that because they wanted you to use your influence to make things better for future generations. Therefore, your status cannot belong to you alone because you are there, at least partially, because of those you struggled against injustice before you. Therefore, you have the responsibility to continue to use your popularity and status to continue the work for true justice. Now, it is time for you to do that for Africa and the Palestinian people. History will record your response.
* Ahjamu Umi is an organizer for the All African People's Revolutionary Party. He's the author of "The Courage Equation" and "Mass Incarceration, It's about Profit, Not Justice."
* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM
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