‘Palestinian liberation incomplete without the liberation of all’–a statement on the siege of Yarmouk

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A Palestinian woman protests in Ramallah in solidarity with the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. (Photo: Nasser Nasser/AP)
A Palestinian woman protests in Ramallah in solidarity with the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. (Photo: Nasser Nasser/AP)

Note: This statement, originally published on Sixteen Minutes to Palestine, is a response to the posting from Cornell SJP on the situation in Yarmouk camp in Syria. This is not meant as a comprehensive statement on the conflict in Syria. It is also not our intention to cast aspersions on or vilify Cornell SJP but to respond to the content of their statement. If you would like to add your name to this statement, either as an individual, or as an SJP chapter, please email with the name as it should appear.

All of us have seen the horrifying pictures coming out of Yarmouk refugee camp. Each of us holds our sisters, our brothers, our nieces and nephews, our seedos a little tighter as we struggle to see what can be done for Palestinians who are literally starving to death. Many of those killed by the Assad regime in the past three years were Palestinians, some carrying cameras to document the regime’s brutality, some delivering aid to besieged Syrians, some carrying a weapon while fighting for freedom and dignity, and some sitting quietly in their homes when a TNT barrel fell through their roof. Yarmouk was home to over 100,000 Palestinians. Suffice it to say that there are those in Yarmouk who support the armed resistance, those who don’t, and those who simply want to live, all of them wish to return to their homes in Palestine.

Yet we also know that ultimately Palestinian liberation is incomplete without the liberation of all oppressed people, whether their oppression comes from occupation and settler-colonialism or a repressive regime from within.

We therefore stand in solidarity not only with the Palestinians of Yarmouk, but also with the people of Syria, fighting for freedom and a better future for their children. We totally reject holding the armed resistance responsible for the crimes the Assad regime has committed against the people of Yarmouk and the people of Syria. The government of Syria has the responsibility to protect innocent civilians and allow vital aid to reach those in need. We condemn the Assad regime’s siege on Yarmouk in the strongest terms. To abrogate any of the regime’s responsibility for their own actions is outrageous.

We will not attempt to speak for the people of Yarmouk or Syria, or continue the cynical use of these people as pawns, either in war or in debate. As solidarity activists, and more importantly, as human beings, we stand with the downtrodden, the abject, and the oppressed.

Until freedom,

Individuals, Students and Alumni
Neda Kit, Rutgers SJP
Mohannad Rachid, Loyola University of Chicago SJP
Tarek M. Khalil, University of Illinois at Chicago SJP Alum
Bekah Wolf, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Dina Sayed-Ahmad, Rutgers SJP
Ahmad Aburas, Rutgers SJP
Noran Elzarka, Drew SJP
Ephrain Hussain, Montclaire State University
Shiyam Galyon, University of Texas at Austin PSC Alum
Baha Abusharara, University of Illinois at Chicago SJP
Toufic Haddad, School of Oriental and African Studies
Wael Alasady, Portland State University
George Kadifa, alum of SJP UC Berkeley
Rasha El Endari, University of Toronto
Daniela Jorge, Steinbeis University
Sherry Wolf

SJP Chapters
SJP Ryerson
Rutgers-Newark SJP
Loyola University of Chicago SJP
Drew University SJP
University of Illinois at Chicago SJP
Students Against Israeli Apartheid- University of Toronto (Mississauga)

MENA Solidarity Network-US
Salim Salamah-Yarmouk, Syria

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“all of them wish to return to their homes in Palestine”

Has anyone asked them? I’m sure the ‘refugees’ would rather be treated as normal citizens where they live than be used as pawns for ‘leaders’ who care less about them than about their prides.

You and your “open letter” have the freaking gall to completely bypass the alquaida army of freakazoid cannibals on a mass killing spree in Syria?!! Calling them “resistance fighters”?! Buzz off! You are using the Palestinians in a disgustingly cynical way! You and your zio-saudi sugar-daddies have lost the war and lost the plot! Unbelievable! Unbelievable too that Adam and Phil would fall, twice in a row, for BS infiltrators such as the article above… Read more »

Thank you for posting this. Certainly, statements by SJP chapters are important. Regarding this statement: We therefore stand in solidarity not only with the Palestinians of Yarmouk, but also with the people of Syria, fighting for freedom… Is there any way to measure roughly what percent of Syrian people support the insurgent fighters? One of the main bodies that is democratic and organized and in opposition to Assad is the Local Coordinating Committees. Their statements… Read more »

The logic of this letter seems to be that the Palestinians will never find justice until Saudi-Western backed al Qaida forces in Syria overthrow the Assad regime. It is hard to imagine a more cynical use of the Palestinian cause. There is even one commentator here that refers to the Palestinian people as Palis who decries their oppression (by Syria, for course). Right now the quickest way to see the end of the suffering for… Read more »

The term “people dying of hunger” is used loosely by Arabs to dramatically describe harsh times and should not be taken literally. It’s origin dates back to Ottoman times when people were so taxed, they were left with so little to eat that some people actually starved. So the term was handed down from generation to generation and today it’s used in all sauces and it’s being annoyingly used for political reasons, but it doesn’t… Read more »