A newly-formed student group at Harvard University is demanding that the school reveal its financial ties to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and divest from it entirely.
Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine (HOOP) posted a mission statement on Medium earlier this month in which they declared themselves to be “a campaign centered around the actualization of Palestinian liberation.” Last week, the group hosted a kickoff event that featured Brown University student organizers Yara Doumani and Anchita Dasgupta, Harvard Divinity School fellow Rami Younis, and professor/political activist Cornel West. BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti also made remarks via Skype.
“We believe that Palestinian rights are part of justices for indigenous people across the world, for black people, for women, and for LGBT communities, for progressive choice, against discrimination, against racism of all the types,” said Barghouti at the event, “We are proud to be part of this progressive way around the world.”
“No one is free until we are all free.” -MLK Jr.
We stand in solidarity with @Harvardoop in calling for an end to Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.
Harvard must divest and end it’s complicity now.https://t.co/cr0S5Z9Ppp
— Harvard College Students for Bernie (@Harvard4Bernie) February 21, 2020
The establishment of HOOP comes soon after the creation of another pro-Palestine organization on campus, Harvard Jewish Coalition for Peace. That group defines itself as “anti-Zionist” and its first event was called “The Jewish Case for BDS.” “We build on a long history of Jewish anti-Zionism which teaches us that Jewish safety or liberation will never come at the expense of other people’s lives and land, and are committed to following the leadership of Palestinians in supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on and off Harvard’s campus,” reads a statement from the group.
Pro-Palestine campus groups have faced increasing attacks in recent years. According to Palestine Legal’s annual year-in-review report, the legal organization responded to 247 incidents of suppression in 2019. 74% of those incidents Seventy-four percent of incidents targeted students and scholars across 61 different schools.