Following the death of an autistic Palestinian man in Jerusalem’s Old City, members of The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) have come out in support of the protests occurring over the racially-motivated killing of George Floyd in America. Thirty-two-year-old Eyad Halak was shot by a member of the Israeli Border Police Force on May 30, after being mistaken for an attacker. Following the incident, the BNC has spoken out about the parallels that exist between Palestine and America’s fight for justice, and their unwavering support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Eyad and George were victims of similar systems of supremacy and oppression. They must be dismantled.
Palestinian Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter.
It is time for justice. pic.twitter.com/EoE0opIKiR
— ThePIPD (@ThePIPD) May 31, 2020
In a statement released on May 30, following the respective deaths of Floyd and Halak, the Committee noted that they stood “with the Movement for Black Lives and other Black-led organizations in their righteous struggle for justice.” Using a peaceful and targeted approach, they called on activists to target the “boycott, defunding and divestment campaigns against institutions, banks, and corporations that are implicated in the system of racial injustice”
Drawing upon a number of institutionalized parallels between themselves and their African-American counterparts, the Committee further noted their denouncement of mass incarceration, economic injustice, and police violence; the latter of which became a pertinent domestic issue following the murder of Halak last Saturday.
Following the comments made by the BNC, hundreds of protestors have gathered in small demonstrations across Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. Echoing the language and tone embodied by their peers over in the United States, protestors can be heard chanting “I can’t breathe,” while carrying signs that read “Palestinian Lives Matter,” and “Justice for Eyad.”
In a conversation with NPR, Hala Marshood noted the killing of Eyad was “not a mistake,” but rather, an “aberration.” “It’s a systemized policy towards Palestinians, oppressing an entire population,” she concluded.