[The following is the launch statement of a new platform, Al Sijil (The Record), on BDS in the Gulf that was written on 25 May 2021.]
On 15 May 2021 we mourned 73 years since the Nakba, the catastrophic Zionist colonisation of Palestine and the ethnic cleansing of its people. The catastrophe was borne by the people of Palestine, but its reverberations have affected and shaped the lives and struggles of others across the region. The force of Zionist settler colonialism in shaping fundamental aspects of the lives of Palestinians everywhere in the world, and the lives of people of the region, continues up until this day. The attempted ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, lynch mob violence and murderous assaults in other Palestinian cities, and the monstrous bombing of Gaza are all a systematic part of the ongoing Zionist colonisation.
Today, on 25 May 2021, we take pause to reflect on the most recent iteration of the Palestinian struggle, to express our respect for those who fought for their liberation, to celebrate the achievements of Palestinian resistance, and to honour those who have lost their lives. This platform affirms its unconditional support for the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle. We reject - absolutely and without negotiation - the Zionist colonisation of Palestine. We have been inspired by the courageous resistance - in all its forms - of Palestinians across historic Palestine, and by the solidarity shown with them by Palestinians and others across the world. We see the most recent general strike, armed struggle, widespread protests, organisation through popular committees and media campaigns as articulations that are particular to this moment, in the context of a long and radical tradition of resistance.
We note that today, 25 May, is a celebration of the day of resistance and liberation in Lebanon, marking the withdrawal Zionist forces from the South. We remember that struggles for justice in the region are interconnected, and the struggle of the people of the region - in spite of divisions created by the geography of colonialism. We pay respects to those who carry the burdens of these struggle, while recognising that their victory is a victory for us all. We also honour the tradition of resistance of the free people of the Mashreq, Maghreb and the Gulf, as well as others throughout time and across the world who have today and in the past come together to fight against domination.
“The Record” is a website for news and updates on normalisation in the GCC, which was made official through the signing of the 'Abraham Accords' on 15 September 2020. The website draws on news and social media sources to monitor normalisation measures in the GCC. The sources include a range of news, web and social media accounts created by fronts and entities linked to branches of the Zionist regime, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as those linked to the Gulf regimes. It is linked to the Twitter account 'alsijil1', which produces our blog posts as tweets. The website operates in Arabic and English and we aim to share the same content in both languages- although this is not always available. The links are catalogued thematically, and the archive is searchable. We hope this platform will be a useful resource for scholars, activists, campaigners and analysts. The blog will also feature analytical contributions to complement the information collected. We invite users to share news or information that we have missed, or to share corrections to information published.
We know that the people of the Gulf stand with the Palestinians in their struggle today, as they have stood with them in the past. We salute those who have done so publicly. We support their demand, made in the past weeks, for withdrawal from the shameful “Abraham accords”, which do not represent the proud history and ongoing commitment to the liberation of Palestine upheld here. Today we remind ourselves that our collective work must continue. We hope that this platform, in its own small scope, can contribute to the long struggle for justice.