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Palestinian CSO Message to Student Movement

by Union of Agricultural Work Committees
6 May 2024
6 May 2024
To the resilient student movement:

The undersigned Palestinian civil society organizations extend our deepest gratitude and unwavering support to the courageous students in the United States and across the globe who are standing in solidarity with Palestine and advocating for justice and an end to the ongoing genocide in Gaza in the face of adversity.

Palestine has become the litmus test of our generation. Taking a stand for Palestine is a stand against colonization, racism, and militarization. In this moment, it is standing against genocide. From the civil rights movement to the anti-war protests of the Vietnam era, the student movement has always been on the right side of history. Your steadfast commitment to justice, human rights, and Palestinian liberation is continuing a revolutionary tradition that spans generations and geographies.

Today, you are making history once again. Your encampments, calls and demands for divestment, cutting institutional ties to complicit Israeli universities, and other strategic and principled forms of protests are materially challenging the harmful status quo and shaking the foundations of institutions complicit in settler colonialism. Your actions are a testament to the power of grassroots activism and the importance of solidarity in the collective struggle for justice.

The interconnection between American police brutality and the Israeli occupation forces cannot be ignored. Their close relationship – including joint training programs, exchange of tactics, and sharing of military intelligence and equipment – perpetuates a cycle of violence and oppression that targets marginalized communities in the United States and Palestinians in Palestine. American university endowments invest billions of dollars in state violence, both in the United States and in Palestine, making a profit off of settler colonialism, apartheid, and genocide. We commend your courage to reject your universities’ complicity in the face of the repression and violence that we know too well.

For decades, we Palestinians have faced the brutal reality of occupation, dispossession, and displacement as a result of Israeli settler colonialism. University officials, politicians, and the media are attempting to distract and misframe our cause. Their focus has been on you as students, and the disruption these protests are causing, rather than the cause for these protests. Rather than considering the demands of students to divest from genocide, they evade responsibility by vilifying the protesters themselves. Your uprising is a rejection of these forces, a call for indigenous sovereignty, and a source of strength for our steadfastness in our struggle. In the face of extreme police brutality and physical and verbal assault by zionists and their allies, you remain strong. The path to liberation is not linear, and we will continue to face strong attempts to divide us through multiple tactics. The power of community in taking care of and protecting one another reminds us that united we stand. Your determination has been a beacon of light and a reminder to all that we must do whatever we can to end this genocide, and achieve justice for all. You have inspired hope across Palestine and the globe.

As Palestinian civil society, we see you and we call upon you to carry on until all demands are met, knowing that your struggle is our struggle, and our liberation is interconnected.

Thank you.

In strength and solidarity,

* Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
* Bisan Center for Research and Development
* MIFTAH- The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy
* The Palestine institute for public diplomacy (PIPD)
* Sabeel
* Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)
* Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)
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