/> Letter from a Mapuche woman to a Palestinian woman – Moira Millán

As I’m writing these lines, my keyboard is moist from the tears that won’t stop flowing out of so much pain.
Hopefully, that water flowing like torrents from the eyes of millions of people, outraged by this genocide against the Palestinian people, will help to cleanse so many injustices.

Dear sister Palestine: I am writing from very distant lands, from my territory of Puelmapu, Mapuche Territory, in southern Patagonia, under the administration of the Argentine state. I am the daughter of a nation that was also invaded : the Mapuche nation people, a people that still remembers its days of freedom, when we could walk without borders and without wires around our Wallj Mapu. Like your people, dear sister, mine also knows the injustice of dispossession, the pain of genocide, the desolation of being slaves in our own land, the deportations leading to death, the forced relocations. We have felt the indolence of the world, and even today we suffer the imposition of two colonial states, Argentina and Chile, which continue to persecute, imprison and murder us.

My family has miraculously survived concentration camps perpetrating torture and extermination. That’s where I come from, from a bloodline rooted deep in the telluric memory of these territories, a courageous people, full of dignity.

The Palestinian people had been dwelling in my heart for several years when I learned that there, in the far and at the same time so close Middle East, a story similar to ours was unfolding : an indigenous people, the Palestinian people, are being invaded by a colonial state, Israel. This story is similar and happened with some decades of difference, since the Argentinian state ended its genocidal campaign in the late 1800s but settle down its State in Puelmapu in the early 1900s.

Every bullet that kills the lives of my Palestinian sisters and brothers penetrate through y body. I relive the genocide with every bomb that falls on Gaza, with every child killed, with the death of innocents that increase throughout the Palestinian territory in the hands of the Israeli state.

I have received from my elders a very ancient teaching of the Mapuche philosophy, The kuifikimvn. They talk about the YERPUN, which means going through the night to become someone, elevating our BEINGS as humanity; we must go through obstacles, pains, deep sorrows, go through the darkest night to dawn a new day, luminous and full. I wonder: when will we finally break through the night? what hrappened to the Jewish people who also had to cross a long and deep night? did they stay in the darkness? or have they been kidnapped by those who rule that night, being inoculated the worst nightmares? maybe the monsters of the night have taken control of the world, numbing our senses with sleeping pills full of lies?

We will have many YERPUN, dear sister, but sooner rather than later the telluric peoples will go through the night, and the colonial military forces will have to surrender to the unity of the peoples, to the solidarity and the strength of justice and brotherhood of a humanity that, in every corner of the word, will continue to take the streets out of the conviction that as long as there is no justice, there will be no peace for the criminals.

The occupying forces have always acted by setting in motion a propaganda apparatus that silences the conscience of the peoples, that justifies before the world their aberrant crimes. The colonial narrative begins with the labeling of the victims as terrorists, and the terrorist states as vigilantes. The Mapuche nation knows very well this perverse tale, which works for the oppressors because the racism structuring the doctrine of hateful democracies, is not questioned by the vast majority of the world’s population. A small portion of humanity that concentrates power is supremacist, racist and has decided that the lives of racialized peoples do not matter.

I have learned that a portion of the Jewish population is repressed by the tyranny of the genocidaires who rule the state of Israel; I know that Jewish women and men have bravely raised their voices to vociferate their rage and make it clear that they will not allow people to continue to be murdered in their name. Many of these brave people have suffered mistreatment, torture and imprisonment by the forces of the ultra-right-wing Zionist and fascist Israeli government. That fraction of anti-Zionist Jewish sisters and brothers are persecuted for feeling and assuming their deep humanity, ashamed of the murderers who claim to represent them. I also extend my embrace to them; they remind me of the Argentinian men and women who bravely went out to denounce the state together with the Mapuche people when the bullets of the Argentinian command fired against our children, only a year ago. Of course the repudiation of that hunt of Mapuche children and women was not massive, just a handful of conscientious and supportive beings. There will always be a voice that arises wisely and courageously to say Enough!

Lately, I’ve been told about Hannah Arendt, Jewish, Zionist and yet persecuted and hated by her own people. They didn’t bear her revisionism, criticisms, and interpellations targeting a colonial and racist nationalism that announced itself to be as cruel as her Nazi persecutors. She was able to see what would become of this political force that was articulated to sustain an occupation that political force that was articulated, to sustain a bloodthirsty and cruel occupation by force.

I deeply wish, dear Palestinian sister, that the women of the world start to unite in a call for a world strike against genocide. To stop the war, we may have to stop the world. In that way those who profit from war, the real beneficiaries of this massacre, must know that we are determined to wrest from them our right to justice and peace. I firmly believe in our strength, in our ability to build consensus, in our discernment to see above all differences the importance of sustaining LIFE.

My dear sister Palestine, I embrace your people with all my being full of love. I am ashamed of my limitations and helplessness in the face of what you are going through. Believe me I wish I was there helping, as a Mapuche woman, I know what it is to be lacking everything, and how wonderful it is when in the midst of distress a helping hand reaches out with the help we need. I wish for the freedom of your people as much as I dream of the freedom of mine.
Weayiñ lamngen Palestine! We will overcome sister from Palestine!
From the southern mountain range Puelwillimapu, for our territories, for justice and freedom, marici weu!!!
Moira Millan- Weychafe Mapuche