Stanford Students Protest Gaza Offensive, Demand Student Action & University Divestment

 by a coalition of students concerned about the siege on Gaza

Stanford students, faculty and alumni will gather at White Plaza  Friday, November 16 at noon to sit in solidarity with the residents of Gaza currently under siege by Israeli military forces. They will protest the Israeli assault and economic chokehold on Gaza, and will rally students to demand that the University divest from companies implicated in the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

A coalition of concerned students have been meeting since  Wednesday, when Israel first commenced the “Pillar of Defense” – a naval, air and artillery offensive on the besieged territory of Gaza. The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated civilian regions in the world.

The coalition has planned a sit-in that will symbolize the Israeli blockade and siege of Gaza. Allied faculty have confirmed their attendance in support.

Given the death of many Palestinian civilians and our complicity in this violence as Stanford students, we have a responsibility to do something about it.

Since  November 8 – when Israel first began violent aggression against Gaza, killing six civilians, including three children – at least 23 more Palestinians have died as a result of Israeli attacks, including another six children. Israeli strikes have injured over 300 Palestinians in this time.  The IDF has attacked over 500 targets in Gaza since the formal Israeli offensive began.

The blockade of Gaza – created by crippling sanctions from Israel and Egypt – limits Palestinian access to the outside world, including access to food and medicine. Such conditions constitute what can only be described as an open air prison.  

This is the second full-fledged military offensive Israel has perpetrated against Gaza since the blockade began in 2006 after Hamas was elected to power.  During Operation “Cast Lead,” – a three-week-long Israeli assault on Gaza – Israeli forces killed more than 1400 Palestinians. The vast majority of these casualties were civilians, including 300 children. In this same time, 10 Israeli soldiers and 3 Israeli civilians were killed – illustrating the imbalance of power that defines the Palestine-Israel dynamic.

The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Conflict in Gaza found that Israel was in gross violation of international law – intentionally targeting innocent Palestinian civilians. The report found Israel guilty of war crimes during this devastating assault.

Sadly, the current developments in Gaza look like a treacherous walk down memory lane.

We as students are not powerless in this conflict. The endowments of Stanford University ($17 billion) and the Associated Students of Stanford University ($5 million) both invest in multinational companies that facilitate human rights violations in Palestine. Both endowments are also implicated in the current Israeli assault on Gaza.

We call for students and faculty to demand that these endowments divest from the suffering Israel inflicts on Palestine. One of the most ethical and responsible actions Stanford University and the ASSU can take at this time is to divest from this grievous occupation.

We encourage students to put pressure on the university by signing the petition for selective divestment developed by Stanford Students for Palestinian Equal Rights (SPER). More information about the divestment campaign and petition can be found at sper.stanford.edu.

Our call for divestment is not one in isolation, nor is it one in vain. The UC-Irvine student body unanimously passed a resolution for its university to divest from the Israeli conflict on Monday; the Brown Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies (ACCRIP) recommended  Wednesday that the Brown Corporation consider divestment from companies profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. And on Thursday, Swarthmore Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine sought to clarify whether its university invested in 45 companies implicated in the occupation in order to further their divestment campaign.

We are confident in our stand to champion social justice and the advancement of human rights. We are confident that students all around the world will unite with the right side of history. The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.

We ask all students to come to White Plaza at  noon to sit with us in solidarity with the people of Gaza.  There is power in numbers, and we call for the campus to mobilize. This is our chance to show Stanford taking an active role in this global movement. Your presence comes at a critical point in the human struggle for freedom, justice and dignity.

We implore Stanford to do its part. We implore you to do your part.

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13 thoughts on “Stanford Students Protest Gaza Offensive, Demand Student Action & University Divestment

  1. […] University divest from companies implicated in the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine,” read a statement sent by SPER member Anna McConnell ’14 to multiple mailing […]

  2. esqg says:

    Israel assassinated the leader of Hamas while a truce was being negotiated. It really, very clearly looks like Israel does not want peace. Many Israelis do but the people in power do not. Knowing this fills me with despair, but people should know it.

    • Anonymous says:

      What truce was being negotiated? Do you call hundreds of rockets fired blindly at Israeli civilians in a matter of days “a truce”. Since when has this “truce” ever lasted more than a few months before Hamas starts targeting Israel again? This is the most uninformed comment I have ever seen. Israel does want peace with the Palestinian people, and in order to do so it has to fight Hamas (who are a separate entity to the Palestinian Authority) in order to be able to negotiate peace with the Palestinian Authority (who themselves are terrified of the Hamas leadership). I hope you check more of the facts in the future.

      • esqg says:

        A truce with Hamas. That comment has a link, which should be enough information to answer your first question and address your misconceptions.

  3. Naghman says:

    If Israel was that peaceful do you really think they would be killing innocent people,kids,’women and reporters????and the world is silent, i call Israel authority and Hamas both terrorist.

  4. RG says:

    Silly students. How blind and gullible you are. Perhaps you should do a sit-in for the 8 month pregnant woman who was bombed in her apartment last week by Hamas.

  5. Anonymous says:

    stanford?! really? sad..

  6. Ariel says:

    I would imagine Stanford students as being intelligent enough for minimal analysis and seeing cause and effect, but hell – if you want to divest from Israel be my guest. Rockets will continue to fly on civilians for religious zealotry reasons, but Stanford students will somehow be content.

  7. Concerned says:

    Hamas is a terrorist organization bent on destroying the only multicultural, peaceful, and Jewish state on the Middle East. HAMAS is using its citizens as human shields and ensuring the death of the entire Israeli population. They do not want peace, they want hatred, They do not want coexistence, but annihiliation. Students of Stanford should stand for what is right, to defend the right of Israel to defend itself as a legitimate nation. Palestinian rights, however, should be shouldered by those WHO REFUSE TO GIVE THEM EQUAL RIGHTS, the ARAB LEAGUE. Israel has done nothing but to offer peace ever since it was reborn, but terrorists such as Hamas, had liked nothing more than death and bloodshed. Rally, not for terrorism, but for PEACE. Yes to Israel!

    • Anonymous says:

      So are you saying that Israel is willing to recognize Palestine as a nation? I don’t think thats true at all. Israel is not as innocent as you’re saying either. I’m not saying what Hamas has been doing is okay, but Israel’s sanctions and blockades on Hamas gives them a reason to try to attack.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You folks are obviously not seeing the bigger picture.
    I invite you to take a quick look at some facts we’ve pulled together in order to present a snapshot of what is going on – RIGHT NOW – in Israel and in Gaza
    http://www.facebook.com/Supporting.Israel

  9. […] could not go to the student protest today, or the one in San Francisco, because I am home with my family in New Jersey, and now more than […]

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