Barghouti to fearful Berkeley students: This is Alabama, 1963, please stand aside

on 14 Comments

Mustafa Barghouti has written a letter to the Berkeley students and Senate, who will vote tonight. Excerpt:

Palestinian voices are too rarely heard in the United States. We have too few opportunities to present our narrative of loss and dispossession. Hear us tonight along with our Jewish friends and colleagues who are speaking up and saying that there is nothing anti-Semitic in backing Palestinian freedom and an end to complicity with a military occupation that strips us of our rights and dignity and many Israelis of their humanity. Both peoples need a just peace and this bill helps speed that day.

Look at the student coalition before you tonight. From my time at Stanford, I firmly believe that such coalitions are one of the most beautiful aspects of American life. It is not uniquely American, but it is to be treasured. And for all those students who are not part of the coalition, but fearful of it, I say we mean you no harm. We seek only to live in freedom and as equals. Israel’s military repression of us must end eventually. Do not stand in the way like those angry Alabama students 50 years ago blocking integration. You have, I trust, nothing in common with those students, but misplaced fear.

And to student supporters of the divestment resolution remember your fellow students’ fear. It is misplaced, but real. Whatever the outcome tonight, I urge you not to be angry or over-joyous. There is a long road ahead of us still, and we do not know which among those who oppose us tonight may, five years from now, stand with us.

14 Responses

  1. Avi
    April 28, 2010, 5:30 pm

    Mustapha Barghouthi is a treasure in the region, not only for his beautiful and reasoned words, but for his views, his strength of character and above all his commitment to a peaceful and just resolution to this conflict.

    To the students at Berkley: Stand up for humanity, stand up for what’s right. Be on the right side of history and take this opportunity to end the pain and the suffering of an entire people.

  2. uberVU - social comments linked to this.
  3. Judy
    April 28, 2010, 5:53 pm

    Barghouti is my hero.

  4. Yams
    April 28, 2010, 5:57 pm

    I admire the California students who are willing to stand up for human rights. Whether it is apartheid Israel, South Africa, or Arizona, these brave young people are our real hope for a better world.

  5. potsherd
    April 28, 2010, 6:02 pm

    This is one of the voices that needs to be broadcast worldwide.

  6. VR
    April 28, 2010, 7:01 pm

    What is happening in Palestine is worse than this –


  7. David Samel
    April 28, 2010, 7:20 pm

    While no further evidence was needed, Barghouti shows once again how the world would be a better place if he were in a position of power. He is the Israeli leaders’ worst nightmare – a brilliant, articlate, reasonable man who believes in non-violence but is unyielding in his demands for freedom, justice and equality for his people.

    • Judy
      April 29, 2010, 5:51 am

      That’s why it’s critical that Abbas and Fayyad continue to the annointed leaders.

  8. Judy
    April 29, 2010, 9:54 am

    Interesting that the liberal zionists who support ongoing apartheid avoid this like the plague.

    • Sumud
      April 29, 2010, 10:03 am

      They’re terrified of comparisons haven’t you noticed? Israel is unique – there’s no precedents, blah blah blah – all comments designed to complicate and mystify the conflict.

      RW is the worst with his flimsy love and dialogue [ie. do nothing] rhetoric, somehow the Palestinians are supposed to combat drones and F16s by sending good vibes.


      • Richard Witty
        April 29, 2010, 10:06 am

        In contrast to your do-nothing, rather than go door to door arguing a better argument.

  9. eee
    April 29, 2010, 2:12 pm

    Barghouti is a joke. Let’s see how well he does in the next Palestinian elections.

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