Interfaith Center Interns Letter of Support for BDS Campaign
We, the Interfaith Interns of Swarthmore College, write to stand in solidarity with and show our support for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). On October 9th, 2018, members of Swarthmore’s SJP launched a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, calling on the college to divest from seven companies that actively contribute to and perpetuate Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Companies like Hyundai Heavy Industries and Caterpillar, for example, “supply construction equipment used to build and maintain the internationally-condemned apartheid wall, demolish Palestinian towns, and murder Palestinian civilians” in their own homes. Other companies like “Hewlett Packard (HP) aid Israel in the tracking of citizens, Palestinian "residents" of Israel, and Palestinian nationals by issuing biometric ID cards, which enforce a system of ethnic identification and segregation” not unlike that of South African apartheid. These companies are actively killing and displacing Palestinians, and it is through large investments from institutions like Swarthmore that they are able to commit such atrocities. It clear to us, as interns, students, and representatives of the college, that we must take action.
To begin, sign SJP’s petition to divest from apartheid here.
As interns of the Interfaith Center, it is our responsibility to serve as resources of knowledge and clarification on “faith-based” issues. On this note, it is necessary to state here that, although often misconstrued as a conflict between Muslims and Jews, what is happening in Israel-Palestine has very little, if anything, to do with religious differences. Palestinians cannot be generalized as Muslim and Israelis cannot be generalized as Jewish; attempting to do so would be deeply islamophobic and anti-semitic. Instead, it is important to keep in mind that Muslims, Jews, Christians, Druze, and many other religious and denominational identities exist in and around the region of Israel-Palestine. To learn more about this, the BDS movement in general, and the liberation of Palestinian people, please attend SJP’s teach-in TODAY, Tuesday, Nov. 20th, at 4:15pm in the Sproul IC Dome.
As Interfaith Center Interns, we promise to commit our time, energy, and resources toward SJP’s BDS campaign.
The Interfaith Center Interns
The following edit was submitted to Voices by the Interfaith Center staff on February 8th, 2019: “The Interfaith Center exists to support all Swarthmore students across diverse identities and affiliations. Late last semester our Interfaith Center interns shared a message of support for the BDS movement through Voices. We encourage all students, including our interns, to express their opinions and strongly held convictions as individuals (not as representatives of the college). We encourage diversity of viewpoints and the free and open exchange of ideas, which are hallmarks of our community.”