Students support the American Studies Association boycott resolution

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics

This letter originally appeared on the National Students for Justice in Palestine website, where you can find the most up-to-date-list of sign-ons. If other SJPs wish to sign on, please email:[email protected]. For more on the American Studies Association boycott resolution, see here

Dear Curtis Marez, Lisa Duggan, Matthew Jacobson, and John Stephens,

ASA logo tiff (1) copyAs nationwide chapters of SJP, we write to give our unqualified endorsement of the ASA resolution in support of the Academic Boycott. In so doing, we stand in solidarity with the call from Palestinian civil society to put in place an institutional boycott of Israeli universities and other academic centers to protest the ongoing belligerent occupation of Palestine, and the systemic infringements of the rights to education and academic freedom of Palestinian students and scholars in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel.

We are deeply aware of the concert of colonial and imperial interests which has led to over 130 years of Zionist colonization of Palestinian lands. We know that the Palestinians – as with so many other peoples – are still reckoning with the brutal legacy of North Atlantic capitalism’s restless drive to dominate the planet. And so we see the Palestinian struggle for national liberation as part of the larger struggle for self-determination by the peoples of the global South as they have sought to break free of the fetters of European colonialism and US imperialism.

As students, we acknowledge and pay homage to the proud history of the student movement in supporting freedom and justice in so many of those struggles, from the Sandinistas to South Africa. It is a heritage we strongly defend, and it is one we aspire to uphold.

And as students, we first of all defend that heritage by refusing to forget it, by insisting on remembering it. This is our first task – for as students, we respect knowledge as a vital tool of struggle. But knowledge is not enough. It must be joined with sustained action. In particular, we refuse to live in a world in which militarized borders and economic degradation are taken for granted as natural features of the global system. We reject that world, in favor of one in which everyone can learn and study without hindrance, borders can be crossed without effort, people may live and breathe free, and students can go to school afraid neither of power cut-offs nor of their research centers being bombarded by Israeli munitions.

And so, as students, we stand with our Palestinian comrades in their just struggle for decolonization. And so, for these reasons, the ASA resolution for a full academic boycott of Israeli institutions is in total accord with our work. As members of the student movement, we are proud to lend our words and our voices to the Palestinian struggle for liberation amidst this ongoing and brutal colonial occupation. We recognize, too, that in struggling alongside the Palestinians in their effort to determine their own destiny, we must acknowledge the myriad ways in which the country we stand upon has been built on denying the self-determination of so many others – from the Native societies it destroyed in the processes of state-formation and continental expansion, to the African societies the enslavement and brutalization of which formed the backbone of our current economic system.

This is not merely a stand in support of a resolution which moves us one small step closer to a world of democracy, freedom, and justice, but it also evinces what we see as a non-negotiable position on the nature of academia and the burden of history. Because the occupation of Palestine is not a symmetrical conflict in a vacuum but rather the continuation of a racist regime of colonialism, and because higher education is not a neutral instrument in the service of career advancement but rather necessitates the ethical commitment between knowledge and action, freedom of inquiry and political freedom, we choose to support the Academic Boycott as a sustained action in solidarity with a people denied their self-determination.

Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine
National Students for Justice in Palestine
American University Students for Justice in Palestine
Boston College Students for Justice in Palestine
Brown University Students for Justice in Palestine
College of Staten Island Students for Justice in Palestine
Columbia University Students for Justice in Palestine
DePaul University Students for Justice in Palestine
Evergreen State College Students for Justice in Palestine
Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC)
Northwestern Students for Justice in Palestine
Oberlin College Students for a Free Palestine
Rutgers New Brunswick Students for Justice in Palestine
Students Allied for Freedom and Equality – University of Michigan
Students Against Israeli Apartheid – George Mason University
Students for Justice in Palestine – American University
Students for Justice in Palestine – George Washington University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Georgetown University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Loyola – Chicago
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of California, San Diego
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of Maryland
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn College
Students for Justice in Palestine at CSU Fullerton
Students for Justice in Palestine at CSU Northridge
Students for Justice in Palestine at Florida Atlantic University
Students for Justice in Palestine at Fort Wayne
Students for Justice in Palestine at Marquette University
Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Florida
Students for Justice in Palestine at University of California, Berkeley
Students for Justice in Palestine at University of California, Davis
Students for Justice in Palestine at University of California, Irvine
Students for Justice in Palestine at University of California, Los Angeles
Students for Justice in Palestine at University of California, Riverside
Students for Justice in the Middle East at the University of Kansas
Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, Pacific State University
University of Southern California Students for Justine in Palestine
University of California Santa Cruz Committee for Justice in Palestine
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Students for Justice in Palestine
University of Massachusetts Amherst Students for Justice in Palestine
University of Massachusetts Boston Students for Justice in Palestine
University of New Mexico Students for Justice in Palestine
Yale Students for Justice and Peace in Palestine

3 Responses

  1. Michael W.
    December 5, 2013, 4:10 pm

    Doesn’t Cornell have a close relationship with Technion?

    • pabelmont
      December 5, 2013, 6:08 pm

      Yes and I hope the Cornell SJP and all the others will protest that existing close relationship as well as the planned partnership of the two schools in New York City with a future campus of Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island (see: technioncornell.org).

  2. W.Jones
    December 5, 2013, 11:17 pm

    Your chance to thank the ASA:
    link to org.salsalabs.com

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