We are concerned by some of the discourse that has emerged from progressive circles with regards to the ongoing crisis in Syria. In particular, we are embarrassed by the ways in which some individuals known for their work on Palestine have failed to account for some crucial context in their analysis of Syria.
The Syrian revolution was in fact a natural response to 40 years of authoritarian rule. The Assad regime, with the support of its foreign financial and military backers, is attempting to preserve its power at the expense of the millions of Syrians whom the regime has exiled, imprisoned, and massacred. We believe that minimizing this context in any discussion of Syria dismisses the value of Syrian self-determination and undermines the legitimacy of their uprising.
We also believe that an important consequence of all foreign interventions, including those purportedly done on behalf of the uprising, has been the setback of the original demands of revolution. The revolution is a victim, not a product, of these interventions. It is imperative for any analysis of Syria to recognize this fundamental premise. We cannot erase the agency of Syrians struggling for liberation, no matter how many players are actively working against them.
Though we maintain that the phenomenon of foreign aid demands thorough critique, we are concerned by the ways in which foreign aid has been weaponized to cast suspicion on Syrian humanitarian efforts. Foreign aid is not unique to Syria; it is prevalent in Palestine as well. We reject the notion that just because an organization is receiving foreign aid, it must follow then that that organization is partaking in some shadowy Western-backed conspiracy. Such nonsense has the effect of both undermining humanitarian efforts while simultaneously whitewashing the very crimes against humanity that necessitated the aid in the first place.
Furthermore, we object to the casual adoption of “war on terror” language. Enemies of liberation have historically used this rhetoric to target humanitarians, organizers, and community members. From Muhammad Salah to the Midwest 23 to the Holy Land Five, our community is all too familiar with the very real consequence of employing a “war on terror” framework. Therefore, we reject a discourse that perpetuates these old tactics and peddles harmful and unwarranted suspicion against Syrians.
Along these lines, it is our position that any discussion of Syria that neglects the central role of Bashar Al-Assad and his regime in the destruction of Syria directly contradicts the principles of solidarity by which we abide. We have reflected on our own tendency to heroize those who advocate on behalf of the Palestinian struggle, and we fear that some members of our community may have prioritized the celebrity status of these individuals over the respect and support we owe to those Syrians affected most directly by the war, as well as those living in the diaspora whose voices have been dismissed as they have watched their homeland be destroyed.
We will no longer entertain individuals who fail to acknowledge the immediate concerns of besieged Syrians in their analysis. Despite reaching out to some of these individuals, they have shown an unwillingness to reflect on the impact of their analysis. We regret that we have no choice left but to cease working with these activists whom we once respected.
We would like to encourage others who are guided by similar principles to do the same.
***UPDATE: Unfortunately, some persons who may wish to undermine the legitimacy of this statement have chosen to submit fake responses and sign on behalf of others. We are working to ensure that no names appear on this form without consent. Until we find a way to verify signatures, this form is temporarily closing submissions. If you would like to add a legitimate signature, or if someone signed on your behalf and you'd like your name removed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.***
Abdul-Wahab KayyaliAbdulla AlShamataanAbdullah MAbed Abou Shhadeh Abir KoptyAdam AkkadAdnan abd alrahmanAdrian McAfeeAhlam abdulrahmanAhmad Ahmad Al-SholiAhmad KakiAhmad N Ahmed Ahmed AAhmed MousaAiman Abdelmajid AJ NAla KAla'a SalemAlexis AbuhadbaAli A. OmarAli Mohammad KabliAli Y.Amal A. Amal AyeshAmanda BatarsehAmanda MichelleAmanda N Amani Alkowni Ameen MAmeen Q.Amena ElmashniAmera AK.Amir BeyAmira SAmjad HajyassinAmr KhalifaAnassAndrew KadiAreejAref NammariArwa AlkhawajaAsma HussinAtef KhalafAya KhalifehAziz F Ammoura Aziz JamousBashar SubehBayan AbusneinehBeesan Ramadan Bilal ShreidiBoulos BathishBushra HayatiButheina HamdahDalal HillouDaliaDaliaDalia Abu ShararDana Itayem Dana MDania BarakatDania MukahhalDanielle Rabie Dareen MohamadDena E.Diana J.A.Diana Naoum Dina A. Dina MouminDina SayedahmedDiyala Shihadih Dorgham AbusalimDr. Isam Abu QasmiehEbaa RezeqEman AbdelhadiEyad HamidEyad Mohamed Alkurabi Fadi AmirehFarah SaeedFaran KharalFaris GFaten Awwad Fatima El-ghazaliFouad Halbouni George AbrahamGMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid Gorbah Hamed Grace GhunaimHadeel HejjaHaitham OmarHaleemah AHana KhalilHaneen Al-Ghabra Haneen AmraHani Barghouthi Hani Kharufeh Hani KhatibHanin ShakrahHanna AlshaikhHareth YousefHasan H.Hashem AsfourHassan AboudHatem HammadHazem JamjoumHeba NimrHelal JwayyedHusam El-QoulaqHussain Al-SahyuniIbraheem SumairaIbtihal MahmoodIda A.Imran SalhaIskandar AbbasiIsm MustaarIyad El-BaghdadiIzzaddine M.Jackie HusaryJane TannousJaneen ObeidJannine MJehad AbusalimJenien BJennifer MogannamJennine KJihad Ashkar Joey Husseini AyoubJomana AbdallahJon DayJordan RobinsonJulia HachmeJumana Al-QawasmiKareana KeeKareem El-HosseinyKareem Samara Karmel Sabri Kefah Elabedkhaled bobakriKhalid HijaziKowther QashouLaith HLama Abu OdehLamees MekkaouiLana BarkawiLara Abu GhannamLara KollabLayan JaberLayanne H.Laymoor SaadatLeena AboutalebLeila AbdelrazaqLeila PeinadoLila SubohLina BarkawiLina EidLinah AlsaafinLinda EreikatLojain SaadatLojayn OttmanLoubna QutamiLubna HLubna MorrarMagda MagdyMahmoud ElsheikhMahmoud KhalilMahmoud QudaihMai Anwar Mai NasrallahMaisa MorrarMajed A. of JerusalemMajed AbuzahriyehManal Abokwidir Manal El HajManal HMaram KamalMarguerite DabaieMariam BarghoutiMariam Rimawi Mariam SalehMarwa FataftaMaura YasinMaxine AnwaarMekarem E. Menat ElattmaMichael HuntMinem MaroufMira ShihadehMjriam Abu SamraMohamad Batrawi Mohamad SabbahMohamed hassanMohamed TalebMohammad Abou-GhazalaMohammad Al-Ashqar Mohammad HorreyaMohammed SulaimanMohsin SMona Bibi Mona NaserMoureen KakiMsallam AbuKhalilMuna Sharif Muniba HassanMusaab Balchi Nadeen Shaker Nader IhmoudNadia Z. IsmailNadia ZiadatNadine DNadine HNaeem NAJI EL KHATIBNatalie SpringNawal MuslehNayef Al Smadi Neil FowlerNida KhalilNidal Bitari Nihal QNoor GaithNoor QutamiNora AbushaabanNour AzzouzNour HamidaNour SalmanNusayba HammadOmar CoolaqOmar JamalOmar Masood Omar Zahzah Osama Aburumuh Osama KhawajaOsama MorRaed KhartabelRaef zreikRami OkashaRamsey KRamzi Issa Rana AsadRana BakerRanda MKWRani AllanRania SalemRasha A. Rawan A.Rawan Eewshah Rawya Makboul Reem JReem SReema AsiaRena ZuabiRenad SaadatRiad AlarianRiya Al-sanah Ryah ASabreen EttaherSaeed USalim SalamahSamar AzzaidaniSamar BatrawiSameeha Elwan Sami J.Sami MubarakSami Shahin Samia S.Samir H.Samya Abu-OrfSandra TamariSara ZubiSarah Abu ShararSarah Abu.Sarah AliSarah AlySarah GhoulehSarah Shahin Sarah ZSarona BedwanSeham AlyanSerena Umer KhanShadi HShady ZarkaShafeka Hashash Shahrazad OdehShermin Ahmed Shifa Alkhatib Shirien DSima DajaniSOAS Palestine SocietySoheir AsaadSonia FarsakhSusan Al-SuqiSusan Jenin YaseenSusie AbdelghafarTahani H.Taher HerzallahTala BarakatTalal AlyanTamar Ghabin Tarek Abou-GhazalaTareq RTariq LuthunTasneem Abu-HejlehTasneem mujahidTawfieq MousaTawfiq KayyaliTsedenya BizaniUmmi FulaniWajih AbousalimWala SalamehWalid ShoebatWassim KanaanYahiya SaadYahya Abou-GhazalaYahya Abu SeidoYamila shannan Yasir M. TinehYasmeen SyasmeenshYasmine NammariYasser QuzzYazan AmroYazan MeqbilYousef Y Yousuf SolimanZachariah BarghoutiZaid KhatibZaid MuhammadZainab Alkowni Zein Rimawi Zeina A.Zeina Labadi Zeyad El Omari