As we write, greater than 26,000 Palestinians have been killed, over 8,000 are lacking and presumed lifeless, and 61,154 have been wounded by the Israeli army’s pulverization of Gaza since Oct. 7, 2023. On our campus, College of Minnesota neighborhood members who’ve protested this horrific slaughter of civilians have endured silencing, censorship and accusations of antisemitism.
School members have confronted threats and harassment, and Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) College neighborhood members have confidentially shared with FLAGS-JP that they’ve obtained racially motivated and discriminatory therapy for supporting Palestine. Some Minnesota school have — falsely and irresponsibly — maligned College neighborhood members who advocate for Palestine and critique the state of Israel with baseless accusations of anti-semitism and pro-terrorist sympathies. They’ve additional used these spurious expenses to name for college and federal investigation of their co-workers and college students.
We echo our colleagues at Birzeit College within the occupied West Financial institution that there could be no ethical equivalence between colonizer and colonized: nothing justifies genocidal violence.
Alarmed by this sample of persecution and refusing silence within the face of genocide, a bunch of College neighborhood members has fashioned the FLAGS-JP collective in keeping with the decision from U.S. Marketing campaign for the Tutorial and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) and fashioned the School, Librarians, Alumni, Graduate College students, and Workers for Justice in Palestine (FLAGS-JP) collective.
FLAGS-JP stands in solidarity with the Palestinian folks and condemns — within the strongest attainable phrases — the persevering with violence Israel has unleashed, with the help of america, on Palestinians and their homeland. We ask our colleagues to hitch us in difficult imperial grammars that try to normalize or sanitize the violence in Gaza. We’re professionally and ethically obliged to acknowledge and encourage important evaluation of state propaganda that upholds settler colonialism, white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence.
The choice to type this collective is born of urgency. We have now no alternative however to work towards educating our campus concerning the immensity of loss and devastation in Palestine. We have now a accountability to amplify the calls for of the Palestinian folks for an finish to Israeli colonization and occupation. We should additionally maintain the college accountable to our neighborhood, our college students, and our colleagues amidst rising Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian violence within the US.
Whereas College management has issued a number of statements acknowledging the lack of Israeli lives in Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault, it has revealed its bias by remaining silent concerning the Israeli state’s massively disproportionate and unjustified violence towards Palestinian civilians since October, in addition to concerning the day by day terror Palestinians have confronted, earlier than and since, from the Israeli state and settlers.
The campus neighborhood obtained a SAFE-U emergency alert on Jan. 11 about particular threats to shoot individuals. Nonetheless, inexplicably, neither the unique notification, the College’s 5 updates, nor the College’s or legislation enforcement’s public statements, reported that the suspect named Iranian college students as major targets.
We have now witnessed Israel deliberately obliterate instructional establishments throughout Gaza. On the College, to advocate for Palestine’s proper to exist is to additionally advocate for educational freedom and freedom of speech. Professional-Palestinian speech, activism, and mental work are arguably probably the most frequent triggers of educational freedom violations, employment discrimination and censorship in academia: few political or private stances render college neighborhood members who maintain them as weak to public persecution and administrative reprisals. We perceive this actuality as reflective of the bigger fact that few, if any, sociopolitical causes are as stigmatized and marginalized as that of the Palestinian folks’s proper to self-determination and liberation.
We firmly stand towards Islamophobia and antisemitism, and we adamantly refuse the declare that supporting Palestinian liberation constitutes antisemitism. We assert that Zionism isn’t an intrinsic or definitive characteristic of Jewish id and acknowledge that silencing dissent and harassing Jewish and non-Jewish advocates for a free Palestine is a central a part of the Zionist political undertaking to normalize Israeli occupation, colonization and genocide.
We hope and set up for Palestinian liberation from 75 years of Israeli settler colonialism, the tip of the Israeli state’s apartheid system and occupation of the Palestinian Territories, justice and equal rights for Palestinian residents of Israel, and the precise of return for all Palestinian refugees.
As staff and college students at a college based on the dispossession of the Dakota folks and which invests in firms that help the Israeli state’s persecution of Palestinians, we adhere to the founding rules of the USACBI, and we ask the College to help the decision from Palestinian civil society and divest from the state of Israel.
To be taught extra concerning the FLAGS-JP collective and our rules of unity, go to our web site. We invite members of the College neighborhood, in addition to colleagues at different Minnesota faculties and universities, to hitch us by signing this manner.
Signatures in alphabetical order:
Lana Barkawi, Postdoctoral Alumna; Timothy Brennan, School; Danielle Dadras, Workers; Leith Ghuloum, Doctoral Scholar; Serra Hakyemez, School; Esther Liu, Doctoral Scholar; Megan O. Manion, Doctoral Scholar; Nathaniel Mills, School; Terresa Moses, School; Sima Shakhsari, School
* Signers are submitting this op-ed on behalf of School, Librarians, Alumni, Graduate College students and Workers for Justice in Palestine (FLAGS-JP) on the College of Minnesota – Twin Cities.