the sjp issue
by sarah,
shayhan & iqra

volume i. issue ii. april 2018.

PUT me on your fucking lists!
by sarah & shayhan

After a few successful events on campus, it is becoming clear to me that the future of Palestine is something people want to talk about. Students on Brooklyn College campus care about Ahed Tamimi, students care about women in the carceral state, students care about the links between Palestine and black oppression and students care about liberation.

When it comes to the issue of advocating for the liberation of Palestine, it’s quiet on our campus. It’s been this way ever since the infamous faculty council ‘disruption’ which the administration used as an opportunity to tarnish the name of Brooklyn College’s SJP chapter and terminate all prospects for any meaningful dialogue regarding Palestine on our campus (Chopra). In this sense, the administration at Brooklyn College campus effectively silenced the student body. After being targeted by harassment and administrative pressure, why should students feel safe to express their opinions fully? I suppose that’s the point though.

Closing off our borders with walls and barbed wire is the method of this school, city, state and country to make it appear as though these issues are too contentious for discussion. However, on our campus it is clear they are too contentious for mere mention. With Zionist organizations like CAMERA publicly shaming any attempts of Palestinian advocacy at Brooklyn College, it is only fair that anti-Zionist activists also get to be a part of this dialogue (CAMERA). Rather than silencing those who are advocating for the most marginalized people in our society, we should be encouraging active, passionate advocacy that isn’t hindered by bureaucracy and infringements on free speech.

The international community has spoken with an overwhelming majority recognizing Palestine as a state: a state whose capital is Jerusalem (Al Jazeera). It is stunning to me that while the international community can make such assertions, students are fearful of backlash for sharing the sentiments of the rest of the world. This might possibly linked to the stake that CUNY and our country at large has in the upholding of the apartheid state in Israel (Action Network).

In this way, having a sense of justice puts a target on your back. That must change. And it will change. We will have our talks, create our dialogues, and speak without fear. We will not fear being persecuted, as the fear we have as student activists is nothing compared to the fear that Palestinians who fight for their liberation must feel on a daily basis. Tell them to put us on their lists. These will be the lists that go down in history as the names who fought in the face of fear (Forward).

Without being in solidarity with all of those who face oppression, we are nothing. I call upon the students of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexualities, creeds and class: we must speak without fear and we must speak with a unified voice.

Palestinian children, the future of tomorrow
by iqra

Recently an article in the Excelsior student newspaper condemned Palestinians of using their children as human shields in their larger attempts to resist against the Israeli occupation. But this article and similarly advanced arguments that posit the parents of these children in this light do a great disservice to the Palestinian cause for liberation. First, there is the problematic assumption that Palestinian children are not capable of taking part in protests and rallies, an assumption that denies agency on part of these children. It attempts to disconnect the youth’s struggle for their ancestral homeland from that of their parents and grandparents, thus, effectively de-historicizing the eviction and fueling the larger project of the erasure of Palestinian heritage.

Second, it ignores the possibility that children are politicized by the Israeli occupation officers. It ignores that these armed soldiers barge into Palestinian homes at 4 am in the morning to arrest children. It ignores that these armed soldiers actively shoot Palestinian children/family members, terrorize children through use of weapons or dogs, shoot children in the legs as they attempt to engage in peaceful protests, resulting in the very trauma that forces them to take up these positions in the first place.

The article verges on illegitimacy however, when it attempts to write-off any protest of Israeli occupation as a glorification of the “martyr culture”. When it shamefully groups any and all resistance by children as that led by Hamas. This is yet another pathetic attempt at invalidating the Palestinian liberation, perpetuating the false myth of the peaceful colonizer, harbinger of human rights to the barbaric Arabs in the region. By conflating any resistance by the Palestinian people with Hamas, it seeks to render any other interpretation of this issue futile. It makes this an issue of Palestinian terrorists vs the peaceful colonizer. Let us not forget that colonization is never peaceful. It is the violent plunder, rape and eviction of a people and everything they hold dear. It is the erasure of a heritage and history thousands of years old. It is the capitalist project that attempts to undercut the sacred traditions and dehumanizes the people who practice them.

To Grossman, I ask, how would you feel if you were awakened at the forsaken hour of 4 am by armed militants to be told that your father would be held in detention? Anger is a very natural response to the conditions that many Palestinians are subjected to. Let us not assume a fairy-tale-esque Palestine, not at the current moment at least. As long as Israel continues to impose its brutal rule over Palestine, we will not be able to “celebrate the lives” and “innocence” of these children, as Grossman so foolishly suggests to the Palestinians. A video released by Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor shows Israeli soldiers trying to detain a three-year-old Palestinian boy. These soldiers feel threatened by a three-year-old, enough to arrest him and separate him from his parents. Looming over these arrests and means of terrorizing children is the fear that theirs is a fragile state and so the settler state attempts to hold onto power as its legitimacy is increasingly being questioned. Thus, Israel attempts to overcome this anxiety by attacking the next generation of Palestinian resistance, the youth, the children. Yes, Grossman, the very people we should, indeed, keep out of this genocide. The nature of genocides, however, is that they are indiscriminate and the genocide of Palestinians cannot be completed without the total removal of their heritage and legacy; this includes children. So, Grossman, I suggest you ask for a better response from the colonizers, not from the Palestinians.