by Steven Salaita / January 27th, 2009
We stand in support of the indigenous Palestinian people in Gaza, who are fighting for their survival against one of the most brutal uses of state power in both this century and the last.
We condemn Israel”s recent (December 2008/ January 2009) breaches of international law in the Gaza Strip, which include the bombing of densely-populated neighborhoods, illegal deployment of the chemical white phosphorous, and attacks on schools, ambulances, relief agencies, hospitals, universities, and places of worship. We condemn Israel”s restriction of access to media and aid workers.
We reject as false Israel”s characterization of its military attacks on Gaza as retaliation. Israel”s latest assault on Gaza is part of its longtime racist jurisprudence against its indigenous Palestinian population, during which the Israeli state has systematically dispossessed, starved, tortured, and economically exploited the Palestinian people.
We reject as untrue the Israeli government”s claims that the Palestinians use civilians as human shields, and that Hamas is an irredeemable terrorist organization. Without endorsing its platforms or philosophy, we recognize Hamas as a democratically elected ruling party. We do not endorse the regime of any existing Arab state, and call for the upholding of internationally mandated human rights and democratic elections in all Arab states.
We call upon our fellow writers and academics in the United States to question discourses that justify and rationalize injustice, and to address Israeli assaults on civilians in Gaza as one of the most important moral issues of our time.
We call upon institutions of higher education in the U.S. to cut ties with Israeli academic institutions, dissolve study abroad programs in Israel, and divest institutional funds from Israeli companies, using the 1980s boycott against apartheid South Africa as a model.
We call on all people of conscience to join us in boycotting Israeli products and institutions until a just, democratic state for all residents of Palestine/Israel comes into existence.
Opal Palmer Adisa
Evelyn Azeeza Alsultany
Allison Hedge Coke
Rima Najjar Kapitan
J. Kehaulani Kauanui
Daniel AbdalHayy Moore
Simon J. Ortiz
Naomi Shihab Nye
Frank X. Walker