OPINION: In Solidarity with the People of Palestine from Zimbabwe


THERE ARE many internal and internationalized conflicts currently going on in the world. They are “internationalized” mainly because there are global powers interests in them. The latter can be for historical, economic or holistic geo-political reasons.

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Massive rally in support of Palestine in Harare, Zimbabwe, 12 November 2023. [Image: ABNA24]

In the last 20 years global conflicts have allegedly been linked to mineral wealth (oil, lithium, platinum, uranium, gold) of geographical locations by mainstream and alternative professional media. With accusations of sponsoring one form of terrorism or the other by global superpower nations to poor or former vassal state ones. Easy examples of this include Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Venezuela (in part).

The key issue for me as a Zimbabwean has always been an understanding that war is always a final resort. Especially war between countries that can be considered by any measure ‘unequal’.   

With the coming into existence of the United Nations in 1945, there was also a global general acceptance of the dictum ‘never again’ would we allow wars on as colossal a scale as the Second World war. In subsequent years, the UN was also an important multilateral organization for the liberation of Africa from the 1950s through to 1994. Even though it still has the outstanding matter of the freedom of the Saharawi people to continuously attend to. 

But here we are in 2024 faced with multiple global conflicts on scales that should be unimaginable. We have a war in Gaza, Palestine. One in Sudan. Another in Ukraine. Ongoing ones in Syria, Iraq and in part Afghanistan where the Americans abruptly withdrew their formal troops.

And we also have threats of a second Cold War between the United States of America and China with added discourse around what are referred to as space and technological wars. 

As an African and in particular a Zimbabwean, there is a general assumption that first of all, I am probably not expected to have an opinion on the global state of war that we are in. Not least because of my skin colour or my geographical placement in what is still referred to as the “third world”. But also because of an assumed powerlessness that we as Africans are supposed to have in international relations. As derived from the colonial and imperialistic legacy of our being ‘othered’ as ‘inferior’ human beings.

There is however a particular matter that torches (not touches) my personal consciousness. This is the one of the Palestine- Israel conflict. For at least two reasons.  

The first being that I became aware of the dispossession of Palestinians of their land by way of reading on their history, interacting with both Palestinian and Israeli cdes in university and also by way of my own personal curiosity about the role of Palestine in broader struggles for African liberation.

On the latter point, it turns out that even in Zimbabwe’s own liberation struggle among other Southern African states, we either fought or were trained together with Palestine cdes about the struggle for liberation. Both militarily and ideologically. And that after we had already attained our own independence, the legendary Yasser Arafat was and is still revered by progressive cdes across the globe. And the late Palestinian ambassador to Zimbabwe Ali Halimeh who regularly reminded of his peoples struggles on mainstream local media. So we have known about the people of Palestine’s struggles for liberation even before 07 October 2023. We also know of the 1948 Nakba.

The catch however is the assumed Christian religious complexity that we as Zimbabweans have had with Israel and the biblical ‘Israelites’. And how we have a false popular perception that Israel is some sort of religiously promised land. 

This is far from the truth. The Israel you read in the bible is not the Israel of our contemporary reality. It is a settler state that with the help of the British government colonized land that belonged to the people of Palestine after the Balfour Declaration of 1917. 

But because most of us Zimbabweans are of the Christian religion we tend to assume our faith is the same as our realities and in the process believe every other mistruth we are told, we become political cannon fodder that regrettably ignores the rights of the people of Palestine. 

Yes we may sing songs about ‘Jerusalem being our home’ at funerals and other religious related functions but Jerusalem originally and in historical reality belongs to the people of Palestine. And we should always support their historical struggle for freedom from oppression and occupation. This will not change your faith or beliefs.   

As a final point, I have many profoundly Christian friends who will probably not be happy with this write up. As abstract as their religious views are, I have no doubt that the death toll of 30000 Palestinians since October 2023 must have a bearing on their religious Christian consciences.   

I also have a number of friends that will ask why I am arguing for the freeing of Palestine from occupation and in support of the UN backed two-state solution. My reply is that the people of Zimbabwe will always have a symbiotic relationship with the people of Palestine. As determined by our shared struggle history and common human equality values.

*This article was first published on, where Takura Zhangazha writes in his personal capacity. 

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