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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Guest: Students for Justice in Palestine — kill and expect love?

SJP responds to recent guest opinion by Aggies for Israel

While we do not normally care to respond to statements released by Aggies for Israel or any of its members, its latest statement published by The California Aggie contains some serious accusations that we felt had to be cleared up. The premise of the argument was that they want nothing but peace and love, and we just want hate. This is no different than the argument employed by the Israeli government (that they defend) and stems from the stereotype that Palestinians are irrational and savage primitives, while Israelis are peaceful promoters of democracy. It oversimplifies our struggle and delegitimizes our cause. It also attempts to replace the moral issue at hand with a legal justification for Zionist practices embodied by the state of Israel. When we choose to take over the Memorial Union patio, Quad or any other space on campus to protest, we do so because Palestinian houses are simultaneously being demolished, and Palestinians are being imprisoned, slaughtered and tortured. We demand to have our voices heard because the voices of Palestinians are being killed off one by one. We will continue with these efforts because we will not allow the victims of Israeli colonization to be forgotten on this campus.

First, in this guest opinion piece, Aggies for Israel claimed that a protester referenced the Holocaust during our March 5 mock-apartheid wall action, stating: “The referencing of the Holocaust as an experience we ‘should have learned from’ must be considered unacceptable in any academic institution.” This is simply not true. It seems they are referring to a speech we gave discussing the parallels between the Berlin Wall in Germany and the apartheid wall built by Israeli occupation forces in Palestinian territories. This is an excerpt from that speech: “Walls do not lead to peace. They create physical and psychological separations that only perpetuate even more hatred. Restricting movement and cutting off Palestinians from basic resources like land, health care and education is just one aspect of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians. We stand here today against the wall, against apartheid and against Israel. Israel should learn a lesson from Germany. Walls that separate people, cut up lands and deny freedom of movement WILL BE TORN DOWN.”

While it is no surprise that Aggies for Israel would misconstrue our words and make false accusations, we are disappointed with The Aggie for publishing such a piece with false information.

Furthermore, there are inherent structural, political and ethical contradictions when Aggies for Israel claim to support a variety of issues such as Black Lives Matter, DACA and environmental justice, while simultaneously supporting the settler colonial state of Israel. When you support Black Lives Matter, you stand against police brutality and state aggression in every form. You understand that the oppressive state apparatuses at work here are connected to those abroad. Black-Palestinian solidarity has a long and rich history because it is clear that the oppressive institutions in America that disproportionately kill and imprison Black Americans are very similar to those in Israel against Palestinians — so much so that the Israeli Offensive Forces have been training U.S. police officers to increase militarization. Moreover, Israel treats its own African “citizens” with brutal racism. For example, the Israeli state systematically sterilizes its African population in order to support a white-supremacist bio-political project. When you support DACA, you stand against the deportation of immigrants from the country. It doesn’t seem at all possible to support this either considering Israel’s existence relies on the expulsion of native Palestinians from their land, who are then denied the right to return. In both cases, there is an administration forcibly uprooting people from their homes and denying their right to freedom.

Environmental justice is also a huge problem in Palestine. Israel controls and regulates water flow into Palestine. Subsequently, Palestinians suffer from extreme water shortages and contamination, affecting their health and well-being. Thus, the so-called progressive members of AFI who are attaching themselves to these causes are logically contradicting themselves.

Lastly, it is an ideological fantasy to really believe that progress is possible so long as the state of Israel exists. Underlying this naive fantasy is the belief that a state that engages in racist laws, systematic killings and home demolitions can also function as a beacon of peace. The goal of Palestinian resistance is not to establish “love” with those who are responsible for the suffering of the Palestinian people; it is to completely dismantle those forces at play. So continue to watch in “horror,” because we are here to stay.


Written by: Students for Justice in Palestine

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.


  1. Despite what nationalists may think nation-states aren’t equivalent to the people who reside in them and therefore, someone wanting to abolish a particular state (or all states) doesn’t automatically mean that they desire any sort of ethnic cleansing. Instead, wanting to abolish the state is often an act of love based on the desire to liberate those who are oppressed by these states, both within their borders and outside of them. On top of this, we should prioritize challenging states that have the greatest ability to cause harm as a result of their oppressive policies which includes the U.S. and Israel due to their economic, political, and military power. Yes, the U.S. is certainly an oppressive settler-colonial state. I’d be quite surprised if any supporters of SJP disputed this (less so if any supporters of AFI did) but either way one state enacting violence on some of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities doesn’t justify another state doing so (especially when these two states frequently work together on developing “improved” methods of attacking the people as the original op-ed pointed out). We should be uniting against all oppressors, not defending some while claiming to oppose others. The ruling class loves to divide the people and tell them that fellow workers are to blame for their suffering rather than a system designed to benefit the elite at the expense of everyone else. This is typically done in conjunction with various forms of bigotry and appeals to institutionalized and culturally accepted systems of oppression (like white supremacy and misogyny). We’ve been seeing this quite clearly lately with conservative talking points around immigration. Let’s refute this flawed line of reasoning whenever it’s presented instead of upholding, uplifting, or reinforcing it.

  2. The only thing dumber than this long-winded tapdancing designed to fool people is that it probably will fool enough people to be believed.

  3. At least you honestly admit your goal is the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from the region.
    To further this aim, you use the Palestinians as pawns.
    You are not only an enemy of peace, you are an enemy the very people you claim to support.

  4. Whenever Amerikans or those who want to be Amerikan open their mouths to support fakestinians, they need to get over their history as settlers and colonizers themselves. Ever heard of the Mexican War? Or the settlement of Mexican lands in what Amerikans now call Texas, California, Utah and other so-called states in the same area. These lands are Mexican lands, and belong to the Mexican people in perpertuity. Your “constitution” allows you freedom of speech, but it also allows me to carry weapons, and where does my freedom come up against yours? Interesting question.

  5. We’re seriously supposed to believe that the reference to Germany was to the Berlin Wall? I hope they stretched before that reach. What Jews learned from Germany is that we needed our own country in which they could defend themselves with force if threatened.

    Also, Israel has never systematically sterilized anyone. For a brief period decades ago, some newly-arrived Jewish women from Ethiopia were given contraceptives without their consent. This was wrong. It was a shameful episode that should never have happened. But they were not permanently sterilized, it wasn’t systemic, and it absolutely does not continue to this day.

    I know this because I myself am a Jew from Ethiopia. In the meantime, the good folks at SJP, who are no doubt white Arabs, might want to look into their own community’s history of anti-Blackness.

  6. All you need to know about SJP’s motive”
    “Lastly, it is an ideological fantasy to really believe that progress is possible so long as the state of Israel exists.”
    And there mantra: Set Palestine free from the river to the sea.
    There goal is the destruction of the State of Israel.

  7. All you need to know about SJP’s motive”
    “Lastly, it is an ideological fantasy to really believe that progress is possible so long as the state of Israel exists.”
    And there mantra: Set Palestine free from the river to the sea.
    There goal is the destruction of the State of Israel.


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