Statement on Jordan Neely & Al-Nakba Day

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Al-Nakba, or the expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland and the creation of the state of Israel on May 15th, 1948. Zionist forces pushed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into exile, destroyed homes, and brutalized villages. Since then, Palestinians have resisted the occupation in their homeland and across the world. The Young Democratic Socialists of America stands with Palestinians, the Palestinian Diaspora, and youth organizations like Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) and National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) as they fight for justice, return, and liberation. This past weekend and today, we have shown up to Al-Nakba protests across the US. We will continue to show up until Palestine is free. 

At home, we mourn the murder of Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old Black man who was put in a chokehold by a white, 24-year-old man on New York City public transit. Jordan Neely did not have food, water, or housing. When he voiced his frustration and desperation, he was publicly executed. In the wealthiest city in the US, racial capitalism has created mass unemployment, leaving Black and brown people without jobs or any income to support themselves. This unemployed class of our Black and brown siblings is then violently discarded and killed in the streets by cops and vigilantes or in prison. There were so many ways to help Jordan, and we send our deepest condolences to his family, to a grieving city, and to every Black and brown American threatened with death because they don’t have a home. 

We see the connection between these two injustices—the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, and the murder of a Black man without a home in New York—as an international system of racial capitalism that kills Black and brown people for the profit of an international ruling class. 

In the Middle East, the United States government sends billions—over $3.3 billion, in fact—to Zionist forces to fund the Iron Dome and buy military equipment. In doing so, leaders like Biden solidify their connection to the apartheid state and reap the benefits as they trade commodities and services worth $50 billion annually with Israel. It’s no accident that the US is Israel’s largest trading partner and also the first country to have recognized Israel as a state on Al-Nakba. 

In New York, over 815 people without homes died of neglect in 2022 alone. Meanwhile, luxury apartments have hundreds of empty rooms where foreign capitalists hold their investments in case of financial crises back home. When Black and brown people cannot find jobs, cannot pay for any housing in the city, and cannot eat, they sleep on the streets. They are then filtered into our prisons for petty crime or killed outright by cops and “Good Samaritans.” In the West Bank and in New York City streets, the world’s suffering people are deprived of basic needs, attacked, and killed when it ensures the safety of the elite and their capital. 

The young socialist movement in the United States recognizes that the liberation of all oppressed and exploited people—of the multi-racial working and unemployed classes—relies on the liberation of Palestine and all people like Jordan Neely. We will work tirelessly to win a new world where we are all free with Palestinians, with the Black and brown unemployed class, and with the working class.