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.

19 Comments on this Post

  1. Barry Schiller

    As a UCD graduate student (MA 1963) I like to follow any campus issue I come across as in this case. In the 1960s the issues were peace, environment, civil rights, I don’t recall anything about the Middle East.
    It is obvious both Israelis and Palestinians have done bad things, but those cannot be undone. It is also obvious that both sides putting all the blame on the other helps improve the lives of neither. The only way Palestinians can improve their lives, develop economically, be free of the annoying restrictions imposed on them, and, the only way Israelis can live free of the threat of terror, rockert attacks, firebombs, is for both sides to stop the hate, name-calling and blame game, instead seek compromise by all, reconciliation, tolerance and mutual respect and understanding. While it won’t be easy, and these advocacy groups get in the way, its the only way. And its consistent with what I remember of Cal Aggie values!

  2. Eddie S

    Well said. So proud. Keep up the good work!

  3. The stream of lies in the editorial aside, admitting that SJP’s real goal is the destruction of Israel (and the second Holocaust that goal would require) should be the final nail in SJP’s coffin. Anyone who supports their racist, terror-loving agenda should look in the mirror and ask whether he/she really wants to associate with a group calling for the extermination of 6 million Jews living in Israel. Oh, they may not use those words, not exactly, but what do you think he means, when he decries the continued “existence” of Israel? When they chant “from the river to the sea,” it means they want Israel destroyed. 6 million Jews. Again. If this doesn’t align with your values as a human being, you should avoid SJP like the plague.

  4. Just goes to show the sad state of education in this country. SJP is a group predicated on one big lie: There NEVER was an Arab Palestine. NEVER! To call a fence a wall is a public relations gimmick that the Arabs push upon the world. Living Arab refugees from the 1948 war STARTED by the Arabs number close to 30,000 —– that is it! Unlike EVERY other refugee situation in history, these Arabs have been kept as refugees in order to use them as a weapon against Israel. Too bad! Arabs in Gaza and the area referred to as the West Bank have ZERO right to enter the sovereign State of Israel. NONE whatsoever. It is not their land nor do they have any rights to it. NO RIGHTS. As good muslims they dream of martyrdom and innovative ways to kill while Jews dream of a peaceful future and innovative ways to live. When groups like SJP scream in hate they are simply incapable of dealing with the truth.

  5. Geroge

    Why are you calling for the elimination of the sovereign state of Israel? I support Israel and think Students for Justice in Palestine is totally wrong.

  6. Josh Herskovitz

    “Lastly, it is an ideological fantasy to really believe that progress is possible so long as the state of Israel exists.” This statement alone calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. How is political discourse possible when one side calls for destruction and the other calls for peace? I was a student when swastikas were painted on the AEPi house following the passing of a BDS resolution. More of the same here. Could not be more disappointed with a piece published in the Aggie

  7. Moshe Akiva

    The problem is we can’t even agree on the basics. You see Israel as a “settler colonial state, “ which is an odd accusation from someone living in actual settler colonial stayed on stole a Native American lands, but I digress. I see Israel as a state founded by indigenous people, who had been unjustly expelled and dominated by a series of oppresser states. The Palestinians are the remnant of those oppressors. It cannot be denied that the Hebrew language in the Jewish religion are indigenous to the land, while Arabic and Islam are not. Indigenous people might be able to “re-settle“ but not “ colonize “ their own homeland. SJP prove themselves to be false progressives and there is therefore nothing for us to discuss

  8. So your goal is the complete destruction of a state. Good to know you favor the genocide it would take to destroy Israel and the expulsion of the survivors, which is what would happen if your deranged dream came true. Students for Justice in Palestine is not interested in peace, but the mass murder and ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Middle East, and here they admit it.

  9. Jerry Hirsch

    The Jews have watched in “horror” for the past 100 years as Palestinian Arab violence burned all hope for peace. As your comments clearly demonstrate, the same desires your ancestors held a century ago have not changed in this generation. Let’s be honest. You don’t want justice. You only want the destruction of the state of Israel!.

    Terrorism deaths committed by Palestinian Arabs against Jews 1920 – 2000

  10. Exactly.

    • SJP is nothing more than a KKK for Muslims.

    • Good thing these fools just now flat out say they are terrorists. News flash honey Palestine never exist nor will it but Israel does and always will get used to it.

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