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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Letter to the Editor | We are Tulane for Palestine

Dear The Hullabaloo,

With respect to the statements being made by the Tulane University administration, We, Tulane4Palestine, would like to clearly state our position. We are a group of Tulane students, faculty and alumni united by the shared dream of a free Palestine. We aim to call attention to what many experts in the international human rights community have deemed a genocide occurring in Gaza right now. We vehemently rebuke President Joseph Biden’s political and financial support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israel Defense Forces as this massacre unfolds. 

Based on Israel’s military actions and the statements of its leaders, we agree with these experts’ assessment that the Israeli government intends to carry out a genocide against the Palestinian population in Gaza. The UN defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such.” These acts include killing target populations, subjecting them to deadly living conditions or forcibly moving their children away from them. Countless human rights organizations share this interpretation of Israel’s actions as intent to commit genocide — evidenced by a recent International Criminal Court letter from 100 such organizations demanding that prosecutor Karim Khan intervent in Israel’s “incitement to commit genocide in Gaza.” 

Over 10,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children, have been killed by Israeli attacks. We feel it is important to emphasize that these attacks are funded by U.S. taxes. 

We have received many statements from members of our community expressing a need for representation for Palestinian support on an increasingly restrictive campus. In a Google Form we sent out asking Tulane community members to anonymously share their experiences with repression on campus, one response read:

“I feel unsafe on my own campus. I feel unsafe in my own home, In America, walking on the sidewalk. I’m afraid I’ll be harassed or killed for being Palestinian. I never thought that students who you would think are ‘grown up’ and ‘responsible’ talk about you, give disgusted looks, and make racist/islamophobic/Zionist comments towards you like a little middle schooler. You would think that your university is supposed to protect you from these things but it is all shoved under the rug and no one is willing to hear us out.”

Another read:

I am constantly reminded of how the people around me support the genocide of Palestinians with pride. One day after sharing that I was Palestinian with my sociology class, another student later brought up to the class that she is an avid donator to the Israeli Defense Forces. Statements like this are implying exactly what it sounds like: that Palestinians like me are the targets for the IDF.” 

Due to these concerns, we took many precautions to ensure a safe environment for students to speak and publicly state our demands to the Tulane community. Many of our demands build on the unmet demands from Tulane student organizations in the past. When planning the Oct. 26 rally, our precautions included organizing a security team of students to emphasize to all participants to keep off Tulane’s campus and remain nonviolent. This information was repeatedly shared on our social media and reiterated publicly during the event.

Even though not all of the rally was what we had envisioned, our priority remains to make sure all participating Jewish, Arab and Muslim students feel safe to show their support for Palestine on a campus that has repeatedly shown the opposite. In continuation with the first anonymous response, the student further lamented: 

“I am sick and tired of being clung to my phone worried for my family members every second of the day. I can’t sleep or eat right. I feel guilty. I feel angry. I feel defeated. I am disappointed in humanity, and am appalled at the fact that the death of children is debatable in today’s world.” 

This violence is not new to campus. Arab, Muslim and students of color have experienced intimidation, hate speech and slurs not only for the past month but since the segregationist — racist — origins of Tulane University

Tulane’s long and sordid history of white supremacy laid the foundations for a campus where students of color clearly do not feel safe. In the last month we have seen a concerning pattern from the national media to promote and enable censorship, disseminate propaganda and demonize Palestinians as well as anyone who expresses solidarity with Palestine. 

The repeated bias shown against advocates for Palestinian rights during their struggle against occupation is extremely alarming, and the increasing censorship and suppression of Palestinine’s supporters cannot continue. 

Tulane administration and many news outlets were quick to display this pattern, portraying our rally as antisemitic. Tulane administration and the local media failed to mention a crowd of over one hundred Tulane students and community members, one of the most notable demonstrations Tulane has ever seen of student activism, that gathered to stand against genocide and to come together in support of Palestine as well as Arab, Palestinian and anti-Zionist Jewish students. As the first event for a new organization, we were blessed with a large wave of community support. 

We stand to support Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and Jewish anti-Zionist students, staff and faculty at Tulane that have been targeted, intimidated and criminalized for speaking against or opposing the genocide of the Palestinian people. It is not contradictory to condemn both anti-semitism and Zionism, in fact, both positions must be taken to stand against oppression. Our demands were made to ensure accountability from Tulane to represent its students justly and protect them from discrimination. 

  1. Denounce the Israeli genocide of the Palestinian people. 
  2. Divest from Israeli occupation. 
  3. Protect Muslim and Arab Tulane students and others who speak out against Israel.
  4. Drop the charges on all protestors and those criminalized by TUPD for standing against the genocide of the Palestinian people.

Sincerely,

Tulane4Palestine

[email protected]

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