By Signatories Below, Engage Minnesota
When Fadi Alloun became the second Palestinian teenager in as many days to be killed by Israel, the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) re-posted a report by Electronic Intifada on their Facebook page. For this they were attacked as supporters of terrorism and “disgusting.” As this is only the most recent of attacks on SJP, several organizations issued the following statement:
For months the world has watched as the racial violence in Palestine perpetrated by Israeli civilians escalates while the Israeli government refuses to hold accountable those responsible. The extrajudicial execution of Fadi Alloun is a recent example. No attempt was made to arrest Alloun; he was killed by the military urged on by a mob of Israeli settlers. Only after his killing was he accused of having perpetrated a knife attack on an Israeli Jew, as if an excuse was needed to kill him without due process.
The accusation is typical of a mentality that claims victimhood for the oppressors. The world is slowly waking up to Israel’s human rights violations.
Members of the SJP student group at the University of Minnesota are helping Minnesotans wake up and learn about these human rights violations. But as any human rights activist knows, exposing Israel’s human rights abuses and international law violations makes one vulnerable to accusations of anti-Semitism from pro-Israel advocates. These advocates, bankrolled by wealthy right-wing neo-cons like Shelden Adelson, spend millions attempting to silence advocates for human rights, especially advocates for Palestinian rights, and most especially those on campuses in the US.
Recently, the SJP became the target of some of these pro-Israel forces and has been on the receiving end of threats and accusations.
This fits perfectly into the model that the Israel advocacy organizations typically use: accuse the students of anti-Semitism for speaking against Israeli human rights abuses, escalate to accusations of “incivility” (see Steven Salaita’s new book, Uncivil Rights), and get the university to cancel events or even suspend a student group for exercising their First Amendment rights.
These tactics are all spelled out in a new report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal called “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech.” Threats to First Amendment rights should concern everybody, regardless of one’s stance on Israel or Palestine.
Tactics going beyond suppression of speech, such as disrupting future job prospects or threatening bodily harm are also in the pro-Israel advocacy arsenal, and should trouble all Americans.
All who value human rights must equally value Palestinian human rights. All who value constitutional rights should be proud and humbled by the courageous students of SJP who speak out for justice and equality in the face of suppression tactics.
Join Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Minnesota for our annual Palestine Awareness Week 2015!
A weeklong of grassroot discussions, panels, exhibits, speakers, art, poetry, music, free food, and overall…solidarity! You don’t wanna miss these amazing opportunities to expand your knowledge and learn more about Palestine and other social justice issues, the truth that the media won’t show you.
Mock Refugee Exhibit
Time: 10:30am – 2:30pm
Location: President’s Room – Coffman Memorial Union
*Life in Palestine” Speaker Event
Time: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Location: Robert H. Bruininks Hall (STSS) Room 512A
Speakers: Nour Nabris and Iman Ahmed
Wear your Keffiyeh day! Snapchat us a pic to @SJPUMN
“From Ferguson to Palestine” Panel
Time: 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Location: Coffman Memorial Union – Room 324
US/Mexico Border & the Apartheid Wall – Artistic Expression
Stop by, draw on our panels, and take a picture to show your solidarity!
Time: Anytime between 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: La Raza Student Cultural Center – CMU Room 211
“Caging the Oppressed: Mass Incarceration from the US to Palestine”
Time: 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Location: Augsburg College, Science Hall- Room 123
Co-hosting with: Anti-War Committee, Students for Racial Justice Ausburg College – SRJ, and Save The Kids Augsburg College
MN Break the Bonds Campaign
Coalition for Palestinian Rights – MN
Women Against Military Madness – Middle East Committee
Middle East Peace Now
Minnesota BDS Community
United States Palestinian Community Network
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