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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Student groups respond to advertisement

To the UC Davis Aggie,

We as University of California, Davis students involved in a range of groups [e.g. MECHA, SCA, SJP, etc.] are deeply disappointed with The Aggie for printing a paid advertisement titled ‘The Palestinians’ Case Against Israel is Based on Genocidal Lies” last week.

We believe that The Aggie is a safe space for students to freely express their opinions. The advertisement was clearly timed to coincide with the Palestine Awareness Week held by the Student for Justice in Palestine. The aim of the advertisement is to outright deny the existence of Palestinians and falsely claim that all “Arabs and Palestinians” want to destroy the Jewish state of Israel. This ad is not only blatantly racist, but also threatening to not just Palestinians, but to all students of color and under-represented groups on the UC Davis campus, by challenging the existence of indigenous peoples and marginalizing groups struggling against racism and colonization.

These groups have been working in alliance as part of the Third World Coalition to oppose militarism, racism and xenophobia. This was seen in the mock wall created by SJP and Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan to represent the Israeli apartheid wall and the US-Mexico border fence. The ad makes illogical and historically inaccurate claims, and attacks all Arabs, falsely stereotyping them as “genocidal” “aggressors” who want to destroy Israel.

The Freedom Center is a radically racist, sexist and right-wing group and to have such a group be able to print a paid advertisement in The Aggie is an attack on the UC Davis “Principles of Community” and the dignity of our campus. We are glad The Aggie has issued an apology for the printing of this ad and hope that in the future such ads with hate speech agenda will not be printed.

Our vision for a campus is one safe for students to freely express their opinions without being threatened or attacked, and where all faculty, administrators and students utilize their positions to promote these ends.

Third World Coalition

Sikh Cultural Association

Sigma Omega Nu Latina Interest Sorority, Inc.

Students for Justice in Palestine

Student Activists United

Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.)

Pakistani Student Association

Muslim Student Association 


  1. The knee jerk acceptance of politically motivated, distorted history as if “fact” is disturbing. Among the most commonly distorted pieces of history in the general public is the history surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict and the “Palestinians”. Many naive folks seem to imagine that the designation of “Palestinian” is an ethnic or tribal designation. In fact, the Arab political designation of “Palestinian” was assigned in 1964 by the Arab Leagueto the ethnically diverse collection of predominantly Muslims that had left pre-state Israel in 1948. If one were to have visited pre-state Israel in 1865, there would have been a few scattered colonies of Muslims from different parts of the Ottoman empire, i.e. Bosnians in Cesarea etc but not a single cohesive group called “Palestinians.” It is not the denial of the “Palestinians” but rather a real, political not fantasy ethnic definition of the term. Similarly, the history did not begin in 1948 nor is Israel and “West Bank” the total of the “British Mandate of Palestine.” in 1923,2/3 of the British Mandate of Palestine was illegally severed, given to a family from Mecca,and re-named “Jordan” to be a “national homeland for the Arab people.” In 1937,(Peel Commission)and again in 1947, it was proposed that the remaining 1/3 be divided between Jews and Arabs. The Arabs not only rejected compromise, partition and peace, they rejected any political rights for Jews at all, and demanded that the Jewish population be limited to never exceed 7%. In response to Israel’s declaration of independence, the armies of five Arab nations invaded with the announced intent of “driving the Jews into the Sea.” Much of the conflict has it’s roots in Muslim intolerance of others, as has often been exemplified in past persecutions i.e. of all ten Sikh Gurus. When Arabs scream “Itbach Al-Yahud” (or “slaughter the Jews”, the traditional chant as was chanted before the 1929 Arab ethnic cleansing of the Jews from Hebron etc.) as I have heard at anti-Israel hate fests in the past in California,I, as a Jew, perceive that as an expression of genocidal intent, doesn’t everyone?


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