In her 13-minutes recorded message of solidarity with Palestinian people, and against the US-led de-funding of the UNRWA, the renowned scholar and activist Gayatri Chakraborty Spivak of India spoke out against Israel’s settler colonialist genocide, still on-going, in Gaza.

Spivak was scheduled to speak LIVE in the global protest rally on YouTube on 1 February 2024, co-organized and co-hosted by a number of international activist networks including Just Peace Advocates, the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute, Speaking Out of Place Podcast, Free Rohingya Coalition and the Forces of Renewal Southeast Asia (FORSEA).


The 3-hr LIVE event denounced a long list of Western governments for their genocidal complicity, or more accurately, “direct involvement”, as Lemkin Institute points out in the Zionist settler colonial genocide against 2.3 million Palestinian people in Gaza while shining the light on the near famine that is fast developing among Gaza’s natives.

Emboldened by Washington’s unconditional support, financing and political protection, the Netanyahu coalition government has been spearheading this genocidal onslaught against the entire population of Gazans over the last nearly 4-months.

In his LIVE discussion with US-based Foreign Policy magazine, former Israeli Prime Minister Euhad Barak, called the current Israeli government “messianic and Fascist”.

In a public relations episode reminiscent of US Secretary of State ex-General Colin Powell, showing up at the UN Security Council with “evidence of (Saddam’s) WMD”, the Netanyahu government had concocted, with the help of the Zionist mouthpiece New York Times the convenient story of the oldest UN aid agency or Palestinian people as “riddled with”, as one Israeli blog put it, Hamas terrorists, their supporters and families.

On 29 January, the New York Times reported, religiously, thus: “The Israeli military provided the United States with a dossier alleging that roughly 10 percent of the agency’s 13,000 employees in Gaza are Hamas members. That assessment is derived from cross-referencing an UNRWA staff list with a directory of Hamas members that soldiers found on a computer during a recent operation inside Gaza, according to the military officials.”

Falling short of demeaning UN agency as “a humanitarian arm of Hamas” – the US and Israeli apparently chose to double down on their utter disregard for the worldwide opposition to Israel’s weaponization of food, water, power and medicine against the entire population of Gaza, in the name of fighting Hamas “terrorists”.

In a recent videotaped news clip by the Middle East Eye, S. African Foreign Minister told an audience in her country, that Israel is spreading Fake News about her government citing two specific examples: that S. Africa is painted as a legal arm of Hamas (in the ICJ genocide case) and S. African government takes orders from Iran.

Almost 8 years ago, in May 2018, former Israeli Prime Minister and Shin Bet assassin Ehud Barak, noted with apparent honesty, the humanitarian conditions confronting Gaza’s residents: “We have nothing against the Gazans per se – they want food, shelter, electricity, a reasonable quality of water, and they don’t have this. Our struggle is only with Hamas. But we cannot hide behind the fact that Hamas are manipulating this.

Barak obviously knows that the wretched conditions result in “terrorism”, which Israel has deliberated designed to inflict genocidal pains on the occupied population of Palestine – in the “intellectual father of genocide” Rafael Lemkin’s words “a nation under occupation”.

According to the Guardian, Barak,  who was born in a kibbutz without electricity or running water, expressed his understanding of the Palestinian violence against their occupier: “if I was [a Palestinian] at the right age, at some stage I would have entered one of the terror organisations and fought from there”

Drawing on one of the world’s most influential anti-colonial scholars and revolutionaries, Frantz Fanon, Professor Spivak speaks on the root cause of the unceasing waves of violence against and by Israel when she points out that the violence by the colonizer/oppressor violence generates violence by the colonized/oppressed. To end this, the colonial conditions must first end.

Instead of looking at and appreciating the root cause which has given rise to waves of violence in the Occupied territories, more than one dozen European, Canadian and Australian governments including a non-European state of Japan – considered “honorary white” in South Africa during apartheid – decided to openly side with the perpetrating Jewish apartheid state of Israel. In an obviously coordinated fashion they all announced k various funding cuts, or suspension to the key Palestinian lifeline of UNRWA within 24-hours of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) provisional measures in S. Africa vs. Israel including the (non-enforceable) order that Israel lift all restrictions on the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Gayatri Chakraborty Spivak, giving her closing keynote at the Berlin Conference on Rohingya genocide, The Jewish Museum of Berlin, 26 February 2018 (photo: Free Rohingya Coalition)

So far, Israel has initially accused 12 – out of the 13,000 UNRWA Palestinian staff – of having been involved in the Hamas attack on 7 October. (The grand total of UNRWA staff serving 7 million displaced Palestinian across the Middle East is 30,000). Even of the 12, Israel has reportedly produced what it says is “evidence” for 4.

Spivak who holds the University Professor in Humanities at Columbia University has consistently taken a public stand against genocidal regimes in both Myanmar and Israel and lent her voice to both Rohingya and Palestinian victims of textbook genocides which they have suffered on their own ancestral lands for decades.

She was a close friend and colleague of the late Edward W. Said, the acclaimed scholar of globally influential “Orientalism”, whom she credited with the bringing Palestinian cause to the world’s attention. Recently, she joined the London Emergency Meeting of Global Intellectuals who signed the Declaration of Conscience in support of Palestinian people, co-organized by Princeton University Professor Emeritus of International Law and former Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Palestine Richard Falk and former Prime Minister of Türkiye Ahmet Davutoğlu.

Maung Zarni

This compilation of pre-recorded messages of solidarity with Palestinian people follows the stand-alone recording by the world-renowned feminist scholar and black revolutionary thinker Angela Davis of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Banner: Spivak speaking on “The Strength of Critique: Trajectories of Marxism–Feminism” at the Internationaler Kongress. Wikipedia Commons

Posted by Maung Zarni

Dr Maung Zarni is a scholar, educator and human rights activist with 30-years of involvement in Burmese political affairs, Zarni has been denounced as an “enemy of the State” for his opposition to the Myanmar genocide. He is the co-author (with Natalie Brinham) of the pioneering study, "The Slow Burning Genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingyas" (Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal, Spring 2014) and "Reworking the Colonial-Era Indian Peril: Myanmar’s State-Directed Persecution of Rohingyas and Other Muslims" (The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Fall/Winter 2017/18).