SJP Statement on IDF Protest

        On the night of May 18, 2016, several members of various organizations, including the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the Black Student Union (BSU), the Muslim Student Union (MSU), Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MeCHA), La Resilencia Trans/Queer de UCI, American Indian Student Association (AISA),  Asian Pacific Student Association (APSA), and Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP), demonstrated against the Students Supporting Israel (SSI) film screening and IDF panel due to the presence of Israeli “Defense” Force (IDF) soldiers on campus. The presence of the IDF, better known as Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), and police threatened our coalition of Arab, Jewish, Black, Latinx, API, undocumented, trans, and queer students and the greater activist community. Our demonstration was held to protest the presence of military and police forces on campus, which threaten the lives of Black and Brown people every day.

      The connections between the Israeli Defense Forces and military, colonial, and genocidal regimes all over the world are numerous. Not only do police departments in the U.S. send police delegations to train in Israel, but weapons trade and marketing–especially after the siege on Gaza in 2014–allows Israel to demonstrate the ‘effectiveness’ of its violent military technologies in order to market it to other nations/regimes. An example in California is the “Urban Shield,” which is a SWAT team training and weapons expo that brings together local, regional, and international police-military unitsincluding those from the settler colonial, apartheid state of Israelto collaborate on and profit from new forms of surveillance, state repression, and state violence. Urban Shield has an annual Weapons Expo to showcase and sell military weapons to the police, and have been shut down multiple times by pressure campaigns and community mobilizations. The connections between the IOF and the police are numerous; NYPD has an official headquarters in Israel itself. Police officers are being trained in “counterterrorism” techniques in Israel. Since 2001, over 300 high-ranking sheriffs and police from agencies large and small–from New York to Maine to St. Louis County to Oakland to Los Angeles to Orange County–have traveled to Israel for privately funded seminars to train in “counterterrorism” and “counterinsurgency” strategies and techniques. The discourse of “counterterrorism” is particularly disturbing and violent, considering Israel and the United States’ use of the rhetoric of “security” to justify genocidal and violent policies that criminalize dissent and liberatory, abolitionist, and anti-colonial movements and struggles. Israel receives over $3 billion in military aid from the United States each year, which it uses to create weapons and military technologies that are largely tested in Gaza, which functions as the biggest open-air prison and laboratory for Israeli weapons-testing. Violent militarized governments, such as the Brazilian and Filipino government, have purchased weapons from Israel as a result of the ‘effectiveness’ of their bombardment on Gaza. These governments use Israeli weapons against Black, Brown, and indigenous communities.

      The protesters did not belong to any one organization- members of APSA, AISA, BSU, MEChA, SJP, JVP,  La Resilencia, and MSU attended. The demonstration was held to challenge the presence of Israeli occupation forces on campus, as well as the general normalization of police and military presence on UCI’s campus. Students have consistently challenged police and military presence, only to face harsh consequences by administration and by conservative media outlets. The presence of IOF on campus is extremely triggering to many students who have lost land and loved ones as a result of the Israeli occupation. For opposing students to claim to feel unsafe at the presence of protesters is incomparable to the fear and vulnerability of Palestinians who face violence at gunpoint by IOF forces and who are facing systematic genocide, ethnic cleansing and erasure as a part of their colonization of Palestinian land.

     In talking about providing a safe environment for all students on campus, administration’s double standards must be acknowledged. There have been countless incidents, reported and unreported, to which administration has never been responsive to. Two years ago, two members of SJP were cornered and harassed by a visiting IDF soldier. Last year, a suspicious older man with a brief case demanded to interrogate the MSU as to their beliefs on Charlie Hebdo attack, just to name a few occurrences. These incidents reflect the violence that institutional and systemic policies exercise against minority populations.

     The demonstration against the Israeli Defense Forces presence is wholly justified. We will not allow the presence of Israeli Occupation Forces or the police on this campus, while remaining silent. Let us not forget the violence through which this institution was built, on Acjachemen and Tongva land without any respect for the 86 sacred sites and burial sites that this institution sits on. Our demonstration against the Students Supporting Israel expands beyond the spectacular violences that the IDF and that the police commit, but extends against the normalized violence of the every day. As students, we have every right to express anger and outrage over the Students Supporting Israel’s invitation of Israeli Defense Forces to campus, as well as the statements of the College Republicans at UCI and their acquaintances, which stated that “Social Justice is Cancer” and “Black Lives Matter exists only to wallow in victimhood and break things”. These so-called “sentiments” and “attitudes” are  an extension of violent politics and are acts of violence in themselves and reflective of and actively defend a system of Islamophobic, anti-Black, and white supremacist domination that leads to violent oppression against Arabs, Muslims, Black people, and Indigenous people, globally.

#UCIntifada

Palestinian Youth Movement International Call to Support the Intifada

We, Palestinian youth in exile, call on all Palestinians and our allies to defend our homeland and support the resistance and steadfastness of our people in Palestine. In recent weeks, Al-Aqsa Mosque has been the target of particularly brutal assaults while arbitrary killings are committed daily by the Zionist military and settlers and mass youth arrests are implemented in Palestine. In response to this Zionist violence, we must recognise that resistance is a mandatory element to surviving in the face of an ongoing project of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

The intersections of Zionist military enforcement, settler encroachment, and a complacent Palestinian leadership who are serving as the gatekeepers to occupation and no longer the forerunners of the liberation project, culminate to ensure the suppression of resistance and the acceleration of ethnic cleansing. In this unbalanced struggle between a racist project and the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people, Israel still enjoys the support of its allies whom we hold accountable for all these crimes.

However, we as Palestinian youth must assume our full rights and responsibilities to defend our people and our land and take action wherever we are.  The current struggle in all of Palestine is ours; it is a question of making justice prevail over a colonial project, and of standing against colonialism in all its forms and manifestations. This struggle is the uprising of a new generation of Palestinians, united everywhere around principles of dignity, justice and the liberation of all Palestine!

We share the voice of the Palestinian resistance. We denounce the Zionist crimes and complicity of their allies. We break the isolation of the Palestinians under occupation.

We call on all the Palestinians in exile, the solidarity movement and all the people who believe in justice, to continue all mobilisation efforts and to join us in support of the Palestinian resistance culminating in international mobilisation on November 29, 2015 and ongoing until Palestine is free.

By choosing the “UN international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people” we re-affirm that solidarity is only genuine if it respects the full Palestinian national principles, the role of all Palestinian communities everywhere in their liberation struggle, and the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance.

Stop the Zionist occupation and colonization of all Palestine

Full support for the Palestinian resistance

Freedom for the Palestinian prisoners

Return of Palestinian refugees

Stop the complicit silence of the International Community

Support for BDS – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions against Israel

For endorsing this call you can email us at: pal.youth.transnational@gmail.com

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Nosotros, la juventud palestina en el exilio, pedimos a todos los palestinos y a nuestros aliados que defiendan nuestra patria y apoyen la resistencia y la firmeza de nuestro pueblo en Palestina. En los últimos tiempos, la mezquita de Al-Aqsa ha sido el objetivo de asaltos particularmente brutales. Al mismo tiempo, el ejército sionista y los colonos han perpetrado diariamente matanzas arbitrarias, que se han unido a detenciones masivas de jóvenes en Palestina. En respuesta a esta violencia sionista, debemos reconocer que la resistencia es un elemento obligatorio para la supervivencia ante el proyecto en curso de limpieza étnica del pueblo palestino.

La suma de imposición militar sionista, invasión colonial y un mando palestino cómplice (que está sirviendo como guarda de la ocupación en lugar de llevar adelante el proyecto de liberación palestino), culmina con el intento de supresión de la resistencia y la aceleración de la limpieza étnica. En esta lucha desequilibrada entre un proyecto racista y la resistencia heroica del pueblo palestino, Israel todavía disfruta del apoyo de sus aliados, a quienes sostenemos y que son también responsables de todos estos crímenes.

Sin embargo, como juventud palestina, debemos asumir todos nuestros derechos y responsabilidades de defender a nuestro pueblo y a nuestra tierra actuando dondequiera que estemos. La lucha actual en toda Palestina es nuestra lucha; hacer que la justicia prevalezca sobre un proyecto colonial, así como posicionarnos contra el colonialismo en todas sus formas y manifestaciones. ¡Esta lucha es el levantamiento de una nueva generación de palestinos, unidos en todas partes alrededor de principios de dignidad, justicia y la liberación de toda Palestina!

Compartimos la voz de la resistencia palestina. Denunciamos los crímenes sionistas y la complicidad de sus aliados. Rompemos el aislamiento de los palestinos bajo ocupación.

Llamamos a todos los palestinos en el exilio, al movimiento internacional de solidaridad y a toda la gente que crea en la justicia a seguir con los esfuerzos de movilización y a acompañarnos en el apoyo de la resistencia palestina, que culminará en una movilización internacional el 29 de noviembre de 2015 y que continuará hasta que Palestina sea libre.

Eligiendo el “Día Internacional de Solidaridad con el Pueblo Palestino de la ONU” (29 de noviembre) reafirmamos que la solidaridad solo es genuina si respeta todos los principios nacionales palestinos, el papel de todas las comunidades palestinas en todas partes en su lucha por la liberación y la legitimidad de la resistencia palestina.

Fin a la ocupación sionista y a la colonización de toda Palestina

Apoyo total a la resistencia palestina

Libertad para los presos palestinos

Derecho al retorno para los refugiados palestinos

Fin al silencio cómplice de la comunidad internacional

Apoyo al BDS – Boicot, Desinversiones y Sanciones contra Israel

Para unirse a este llamado por favor envíenos un email a: pal.youth.transnational@gmail.com

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http://www.pal-youth.org/