The following letter of solidarity from the Ukrainian people to the Palestinian people was first published in the Ukrainian socialist journal, commons. Its arguments reinforces the view that there can be no solution to the oppressed peoples through imperialist deals


We, Ukrainian researchers, artists, political and trade union activists and members of civil society, stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, who for 75 years have endured and resisted Israeli military occupation, separation, colonial violence, ethnic cleansing, land dispossession and apartheid. We write this letter from people to people. The dominant discourse at government level and even among solidarity groups supporting the struggles of Ukrainians and Palestinians often creates separations. With this letter, we reject these divisions and affirm our solidarity with all those who are oppressed and struggling for freedom.

As activists committed to freedom, human rights, democracy and social justice, and while fully recognizing power differences, we strongly condemn attacks on civilian populations – whether Israelis attacked by Hamas or Palestinians attacked by Israeli occupation forces and armed settler gangs. The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime. However, it does not justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people, the identification of all Gaza residents with Hamas and the indiscriminate use of the term “terrorism” applied to the whole of Palestinian resistance. Nor does it justify the continuation of the occupation. Echoing multiple United Nations resolutions, we know that there can be no lasting peace without justice for the Palestinian people.

On October 7, we witnessed Hamas’ violence against civilians in Israel, an event that is now being singled out by many to demonize and dehumanize the Palestinian resistance as a whole. Hamas, a reactionary Islamist organization, must be seen in a broader historical context, and in the context of Israel’s decades-long encroachment on Palestinian lands, long before the organization came into being in the late 1980s. During the Nakba (“catastrophe”) of 1948, over 700,000 Palestinians were brutally driven from their homes, and entire villages were massacred and destroyed. Since its creation, Israel has never ceased its colonial expansion. Palestinians have been forced into exile, fragmented and administered under different regimes. Some are Israeli citizens, victims of structural discrimination and racism. Those living in the occupied West Bank are subject to apartheid under decades of Israeli military control. Inhabitants of the Gaza Strip suffer from the blockade imposed by Israel since 2006, which restricts the movement of people and goods, leading to increased poverty and deprivation.

Since October 7 and at the time of writing, the death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to over 8,500. Women and children account for more than 62% of the victims, while more than 21,048 people have been injured. In recent days, Israel has bombed schools, residential areas, the Greek Orthodox Church and several hospitals. Israel has also cut off water, electricity and fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip. There is a severe shortage of food and medicine, leading to the total collapse of the health system.

Most Western and Israeli media justify these deaths as mere collateral damage in the fight against Hamas, but remain silent when it comes to Palestinian civilians targeted and killed in the occupied West Bank. Since the beginning of 2023 alone, and before October 7, the death toll on the Palestinian side had already reached 227. Since October 7, 121 Palestinian civilians have been killed in the occupied West Bank. Over 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners are currently being held in Israeli jails. Lasting peace and justice are only possible with an end to the current occupation. Palestinians have the right to self-determination and resistance against Israeli occupation, just as Ukrainians have the right to resist Russian invasion.

Our solidarity comes from a sense of anger at injustice and a deep sorrow at the devastating effects of occupation, the bombardment of civilian infrastructure and the humanitarian blockade we have experienced in our homeland. Parts of Ukraine have been occupied since 2014, and the international community failed to stop Russian aggression then, ignoring the imperial and colonial nature of the armed violence, which consequently escalated on February 24, 2022. Civilians in Ukraine are bombarded daily, in their homes, in hospitals, at bus stops, in bread queues. As a result of the Russian occupation, thousands of people in Ukraine live without access to water, electricity or heating, and it is the most vulnerable groups who are hardest hit by the destruction of essential infrastructure. During the months of siege and intensive bombardment of Marioupol, there was no humanitarian corridor. As we watch the Israelis target civilian infrastructure in Gaza, the Israeli humanitarian blockade and occupation of the territory resonate painfully within us. From this place of pain, experience and solidarity, we call on our fellow Ukrainians around the world and all peoples to raise their voices in support of the Palestinian people and condemn the ongoing Israeli mass ethnic cleansing.

We reject the Ukrainian government’s statements expressing unconditional support for Israel’s military actions, and consider the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s appeals to avoid civilian casualties to be belated and insufficient. This position represents a retreat from support for Palestinian rights and condemnation of the Israeli occupation, which Ukraine has followed for decades, including by voting at the UN.  Aware of the pragmatic geopolitical reasoning behind Ukraine’s decision to echo the Western allies on whom we depend for our survival, we consider the current support for Israel and rejection of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination to be at odds with Ukraine’s own commitment to human rights and the struggle for our land and freedom. As Ukrainians, we should stand in solidarity not with the oppressors, but with those who suffer and resist oppression.

We strongly oppose the assimilation by some politicians of Western military aid to Ukraine and Israel. Ukraine is not occupying the territories of other peoples, but fighting against Russian occupation, and international aid therefore serves a just cause and the protection of international law. Israel has occupied and annexed Palestinian and Syrian territories, and Western aid to it confirms an unjust order and demonstrates a double standard in relation to international law.

We oppose the new wave of Islamophobia, such as the brutal murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian American child and the attack on his family in Illinois, USA, as well as the equation of any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. At the same time, we oppose holding all Jews worldwide responsible for the policies of the State of Israel, and condemn anti-Semitic violence such as the mob attack on the plane in Dagestan, Russia. We also reject the revival of the “war on terror” rhetoric used by the US and the EU to justify war crimes and violations of international law that have undermined the international security system, caused countless deaths, and which has been borrowed by other states, notably Russia for the war in Chechnya and China for the genocide of the Uighurs. Today, Israel is using it to carry out ethnic cleansing.

Call for action

We urge the implementation of the ceasefire call put forward by the UN General Assembly resolution.

We call on the Israeli government to immediately cease attacks on civilians and to provide humanitarian aid; we insist on the immediate and indefinite lifting of the siege of Gaza and on an urgent relief operation to restore civilian infrastructure. We also call on the Israeli government to end the occupation and recognize the right of displaced Palestinians to return to their lands.

We call on the Ukrainian government to condemn the use of state-sanctioned terror and the humanitarian blockade against the civilian population of Gaza, and to reaffirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. We also call on the Ukrainian government to condemn the deliberate aggression against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

We call on the international media to stop pitting Palestinians and Ukrainians against each other, where hierarchies of suffering perpetuate racist rhetoric and dehumanize those under attack.

We have seen the world unite in solidarity for the Ukrainian people, and we call on everyone to do the same for the Palestinian people.

Signatures (as of 2023/11/06)

1. Volodymyr Artiukh, researcher

2. Levon Azizian, human rights lawyer

3. Diana Azzuz, artist, musician

4. Taras Bilous, editor

5. Oksana Briukhovetska, artist, researcher, University of Michigan

6. Artem Chapeye, writer

7. Valentyn Dolhochub, researcher, soldier

8. John-Paul Himka, professor emeritus, University of Alberta

9. Karina Al Khmuz, biomedical engineer programmer

10. Yuliia Kishchuk, researcher

11. Amina Ktefan, fashion influencer, digital creator

12. Svitlana Matviyenko, media scholar, SFU; Associate Director of Digital Democracies Institute

13. Maria Mayerchyk, scholar

14. Vitalii Pavliuk, writer, translator

15. Sashko Protyah, filmmaker, volunteer

16. Oleksiy Radynski, filmmaker

17. Mykola Ridnyi, artist and filmmaker

18. Daria Saburova, researcher, activist

19. Alexander Skyba, labour activist

20. Darya Tsymbalyuk, researcher

21. Nelia Vakhovska, translator

22. Yuliya Yurchenko, researcher, translator, activist

23. Iryna Zamuruieva, ecofeminist researcher, artist, climate & land policy project manager

24. Alisha Andani, history of art student

25. Daša Anosova, curator, researcher, UCL SSEES

26. Lilya Badekha, activist, culturologist, social media manager of the Spilne journal

27. Anastasia Bobrova, researcher

28. Anastasiia Bobrovska, dj, activist, digital strategy consultant

29. Mariana Bodnaruk, researcher

30. Yuriy Boyko, researcher, scientific assistant

31. Vladislava Chepurko

32. Daria Demia, artist

33. Olena Dmytryk, researcher

34. Olha Dobrovolska, teacher, culture researcher

35. Svitlana Dolbysheva, artist, filmmaker

36. Hanna Dosenko, anthropologist

37. Vitalii Dudin, activist of NGO ‘Sotsialnyi Rukh’

38. Oksana Dutchak, sociologist

39. Nastya Dzyuban, choreographer and performer

40. Kateryna Farbar, journalist

41. Taras Gembik, culture worker, co-organizer of SDK Slonecznik at Musuem of Modern Art in Warsaw

42. Anna Greszta researcher, co-founder of Collect4Ukraine

43. Olenka Gu, sociologist

44. Nataliya Gumenyuk, journalist

45. Tetiana Hanzha, documentary film director

46. Andrii Hulianytskyi, researcher

47. Serhii Ishchenko, journalist

48. Hanna Karpishena

49. Milena Khomchenko, curator and writer, chief editor of SONIAKH digest

50. Daria Khrystych, researcher, activist

51. Amira Khussein, fashion business manager

52. Kyrylo Klymenko, historian

53. Lyuba Knorozok, producer, documentary filmmaker

54. Oleksandra Kokhan, researcher

55. Vladyslav Kononok, project manager

56. Mariia Kosenko, translator

57. Olga Kostyrko, independent researcher, activist, editor

58. Iaroslav Kovalchuk, PhD Candidate, historian

59. Anna Kovtoniuk, software developer

60. Dmytro Kozak, PhD candidate, anthropologist

61. Ruslana Koziienko, PhD candidate, social anthropologist

62. Yustyna Kravchuk, cultural worker, translator

63. Yulia Krivich, artist, co-organizer of SDK Slonecznik at Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, PhD fellow at Academy of Arts in Krakow, Poland

64. Amir Ktefan, personal translator and voice over artist

65. Olexii Kuchanskyi, researcher, film programmer

66. Veronika Kulak, student of business economics

67. Yuliia Kulish, researcher

68. Kateryna Lysovenko, artist

69. Kostiantyn Maleoniuk, activist

70. Daryna Mamaisur, filmmaker, visual artist, researcher

71. Daniil Marchenko, bike messenger, cook

72. Anastasia Marusii, art historian

73. Mykyta Mikhalkov, student, volunteer

74. Andrii Myroshnychenko, cultural manager and translator

75. Pavlo Molochko, signaller in the AFoU

76. Andriy Movchan, publicist

77. Serhii Movchan, left activist, volunteer

78. Zarina Netovkina

79. Zhanna Ohanesian, researcher, humanitarian worker

80. Kateryna Olieshko, artist, activist, creative producer

81. Olga Papash, researcher, producer, volunteer

82. Anton Parambul, soldier

83. Mariia Pastukh, activist, head of Ukraine solidarity collective “Vsesvit”

84. Valerii Petrov, game maker

85. Julie Poly, artist

86. Mariia Ponomarova, film director, creative producer

87. Zakhar Popovych, activist

88. Nina Potarska, researcher

89. Dariia Puhach, computer linguist

90. Olha Pylypenko, art manager

91. Anna Rebrii, journalist, PhD student, activist

92. Maksym Romanenko, doctor

93. Marta Romankiv, artist, researcher, PhD fellow at Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk

94. Betya Roytburd, artist, organizer, curator

95. Kseniia Rybak, researcher

96. Bohdana Rybenchuk

97. Mariia Salan, artist

98. Abdula Sarkhan, digital artist

99. Yulia Serdyukova, film producer

100. Mariia Shynkarenko, researcher

101. Maria Sonevytsky, professor, researcher

102. Veronika Stancheva, psychologist

103. Vladyslav Starodubtsev, historian

104. Oleksandr Svitych, researcher

105. Olena Syrbu, researcher, cultural worker

106. Nast’ey Teor, graphic artist and designer

107. Natasha Tseliuba, feminist, activist, artist, curator

108. Dr. Nataliya Tchermalykh, University of Geneva

109. Marharyta Tokarieva researcher, filmmaker

110. Leo Trotsenko, artist

111. Viacheslav Tsyba, philosopher, translator, editor

112. Elen Udud

113. Tetiana Usova, translator, filmmaker

114. Kateryna Volochniuk, researcher

115. Valeriia Voronova fashion influencer, digital creator, interior designer

116. Bogdana Yakovenko, photographer, activist, volunteer

117. Mariana Yaremchyshyna, culture worker, activist

118. Aisha Yusupova, psychologist, creator

119. Fattukh Zhalal, student of international economic relations

120. Roma Zimenko, humanitarian worker

121. Yevheniia Stepko, editor

122. Oksana Karpovych, filmmaker

123. Rita Adel, research analyst

124. Olena Martynchuk, cultural anthropologist

125. Kris Maslyuk, student

126.  Oleksandra Hryhorenko, translator

127.  Arsenii Kniazkov, film researcher

128.  Olena Mykhaylova, researcher

129.  Islam Dabank, poet and company manager

130.  Diana Khalilova, artist

131.  Sylvestr Kozurak, artist

132.  Vitalii Zalozetskyi, philosopher

133.  Denys Gorbach, social researcher

134.  Mykhaylo Maliarenko, military

135.  Alexandra Paul Zotov, Museum

136.  Tasha Gnatenko

137.  Ira Tantsiura, activist, researcher

138.  Oleksandra Chernomashyntseva, volunteer, stage designer

139.  Ostap Bohoslavets, researcher

140.  Anton Karyuk, artist

141.  Tania Banakh, historian

142. babych kateryna, activist

143. Stepan Bilousov, student

144. Iryna Tsiuk, proofreader

145. Mila Teshaieva, photographer, film director,

146. Oleksiy Godz, architect

147. Mariia Goubernik, psychotherapist, activist

148. xenia mil’ushkina, activist, online influencer

149. Anna Zakharchenko, student

150. Alyssa Naryzhny

151. Marta Iwanek, photographer, filmmaker

152. elliott miskovicz

153. Anna Lykhohliad, researcher

154. Diana Yehorova, researcher and artist

155. Polina Piddubna, director

156. Tetiana Sokolnykova, arts mediator, coordinator and facilitator of socio-cultural projects

157. Mariia Kovtun

158. Anna Nykytiuk, artist

159. Maria Panchenko, cultural worker

160. Julia Kosova, social activist

161. Daryna Miahka, activist

162. Madina Mahomedova, multimedia artist & graphic designer

163. Varvara Spilt, student, artist, director

164. Oleksandra Marushchak, animator

165. Roman Levin, activist

166. Katia Denysova, art historian and curator

167. Di Horban, artist

168. Sam Veremchuk, PhD student

169. Antonina Mambyk, public sector

170. Olena Lyubchenko

171. Bohdana Andrieieva, web-designer

172. Bogdana Yakovenko, photographer, activist, volunteer

173. Artem Remizovskyi, culturologist, trade union activist “Direct Action”

174. Khromyi Denys, anarchist, translator, student, essayist

175. Filyuk Kateryna, curator

176. Oleksii Popovych, student

177. Oksana Demidova, artist

178. Nataliya Gubenko, business consultant

179. Yelyzaveta Monastyrova, PhD candidate

180. Marty Horobiichenko, artist

181. Aldushchenkov Evgen, worker

182. Nina Sodin, animator

183. Daryna Prudnikova, student

184. Mohsen Timoor Raphatovich, student

185. Mosiychuk Andriy, web designer

186. Kyrylo Chehrynets

187. Michael Nikitiuk, cook

188. Yuliya Gwilym, illustrator and author

189. Aliona Sydorenko, clinical counsellor

190. Sakara Oleksandra, freelancer

191. Valeriia Bondarieva, climate justice activist

192. Kateryna Kasianenko, researcher

193. Iryna Kulinich, digital artist

194. Yevheniia Vasylenko, compliance specialist

195. Ivan Bychkov, student

196. Asia Tsisar, curator, researcher

197. Alice Zhuravel, social actor and entrepreneur

198. Karolina Gulshani, artist

199. Kachan Anna, QA engineer

200. Mariia Zadvorna

201. Ganna Zakharchenko, architect, artist

202. Leontyuk Yuliia, legal scholar

203. Viktoriia Markova, volunteer, graphic designer

204. Anastasia Orydoroha

205. Anya Tsaruk, photographer

206. Iuliia Kandaurova

207. Kate Zavertailo, translator

208. Maksym Shumakov, activist

209. Yuliia Palamarchuk, architect

210. Katya Gritseva, artist

211. Khrystyna Slobodianyk, doctor

212. Slobodianiuk Daryna, mama

213. Iryna Ullah, home wife

214. Alla Zhyvotova, artist

215. Rachitska Katerina

216. Iryna Krupenko, bartender

217. Larisa Sayej, doctor

218. Alisa Pogrebna-Raizman, PhD student at the University of Warsaw

219. Olena Mykhalska

220. Azarova Kateryna, IT programmer

221. Oksana Arkhypchuk, educator

222. Olena Haies, housewife

223. Viktoria Sergienko, director of educational centre

224. Balytska Yana

225. Maryna Shapovalova, housewife

226. Alieva Viktoriia, pedagog

227. Asiya Umm Yahya, kids writer

228. Polina Skrynnikova, assistant, humanitarian NGO

229. Diana Bishtavi, dentist

230. Iryna Baraniuk, mother

231. Tetik Serafyma, teacher

232. Alina Volosiuk, engineer, in maternity leave

233. Olena Malakhova

234. Maria Dibrova, finance student

235. Orlova Anastasiia, owner of small business

236. Yevheniia Holovachova, beauty master

237. Nadiia Guzenko, teacher

238. Iryna Refahi, journalist

239. Guseynova Mate

240. Anastasiia Onufriv, climate activist

241. Alona Aljadaan, public figure

242. Yelyzaveta Riznychenko, student

243. Valentyna Chehlatonieva, dancer

244. Lozinska Yana

245. Dinara Abdo, UX/UI web designer

246. Victoriia Abuiaiia

247. Victoriia Bratushkina

248. Olha Chychko, pensioner

249. Alina Babaieva, mom is on maternity leave

250. Venzovska Victoria, lawyer

251. Vladyslav Taratutenko, logistics dispatcher

252. Diana Maksymenko, translator and book blogger

253. Strashynska Tetiana

254. Ivanna Kosteniuk, finance and operations manager

255. Valeriia Zurigat, psychologist

256. Yana Maletska, student

257. Gavrilitsia Hanna, doctor

258. Bogdana Kosmina, architect, artist, curator

259. Masha Vlasenko, mathematician

260. Ruslan Kulevets, author, cinephile

261. Biduliak Lilia, psychology

262. Polina Sobos

263. Ihnatiuk Valeriia, visual communication

264. Tsymbalyuk Victoria

265. Albina Bykova, housewife

266. Tatyana Gagina

267. Kukunina Kateryna, software developer

268. Ivanna Bykova, housewife

269. Fedir Horash, seafarer, activist of Inicjatywa Pracownicza trade union

270. Valeriia Ganicheva, designer

271. Sasha Zakrevska, musician

272. Alyona Kobel, manager International tourism

273. Anastasia Muntyan, Unemployed

274. Alina El Assadi, artist

275. Maritchka Ryniejska, researcher

276. Bohdan Diedushkin, teacher

277. Sofiya Taranenko, student

278. Nadiya Kachmar, student of political science

279. Oleksii Poliakov, software developer

280. Daria Pochepnia

281. Mameedova Natalia Igorivna

282. Aisha Zankidaeva

283. Daryna Kolesnyk, chambermaid

284. Svitlana Al-Azzawi, teacher

285. Derbin Serhiy, architect

286. Siver Iryna Rawilivna, orchestra artist

287. Anna Skrypnyk, pharmacist

288. Serhieieyva Kasia

289. Mstyslava Nesteruk, HR

290. Anna Matsuka, translator

291. Nastasya Yaremchuk, musician, Slavic Studies student

292. Natalka Gurba, activist

293. Obertynska Iryna

294. Anastasia Petriuk

295. Аsyenye Bulatova

296. Kutsenko Iuliia, teacher

297. Yermolayeva Kateryna, artist

298. Mahmuda Ruzieva

299. Kovalenko Daria, beauty therapist

300. Stanislava Ovchinnikova, interdisciplinary artist and curator

301. Mariya Bokhonko

302. Liubov Kuibida, programmer

303. Yusuf Baysangurov

304. Olena Mogylna, designer

305. Mehrabi Dariia, international relationship

306. Hanna Bodnarchuk, choreographer

307. Diana Romanenko, ingenieur assistant

308. Amaliia Mamedova, student

309. Vsevolod Kazarin, photographer

310. Hanna Horbasenko, interpreter

311. Hrodzitska Veronika, photographer & volonteer

312. Taras Fedirko, anthropologist, researcher

313. Daria Pysaruk, student

314. Anna Schlegel, employee

315. Polina Pysaruk, student

316.  Victoria Levchenko, researcher, engineer, activist

317.  Christina Cherniievska, artist

318.  Sofiya Chotyrbok, artist

319.  Tetiana Burlachenko

320. Vyacheslav Bondarenko, PhD student

321. Oksana Prokhorovych, PhD student, translator

322. Oksana Potapova, activist and feminist researcher

323. Alina Horodyska, photographer, psychology student

324. Fedir Khorkov, artist

325. Luke Ivanovich, activist, photographer

326. Zoriana Strockyj

327. Sonya Bilocerkowycz, writer

328. Paul Genyk-Berezowsky

329. Luca Iwasykiw

330. Maksym Khodak, artist

331. Petrenko Vlad, cultural studies, writer

332. Gromov

333. Yevhen Zaiats, director, video artist

334. Voitenko Arseniy, activist



also see:

EL&SD Ukraine coverage since 2013

EL&SD coverage of Palestine, Zionism and Israel since 2002

EL&SD Coverage – Looking at the world through non-campist lenses