SAO Letter of Solidarity for BDS

The board members of the Swarthmore Asian Organization (SAO), write today in solidarity with the Swarthmore Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and their Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Following SJP, we find it abhorrent that Swarthmore College continues to invest in companies that provide the material and technical resources necessary for the maintenance of Israel’s Occupation of Palestine. Simply put, as long as Swarthmore College continues to support any of the seven companies listed by SJP (Hyundai Heavy Industries, Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Elbit Systems), Swarthmore supports settler-colonialism and apartheid.

Like all the other student groups who have written in support of SJP, we promise to lend our time, energy, and resources towards helping SJP and their BDS campaign. We urge members of the Swarthmore community to follow SJP and support their initiatives. We urge them to learn more about the history of settler colonialism in Palestine – about how the Israeli state has engaged in systematic ethnic cleansing, from Plan Dalet to the ongoing forced demolition of Palestinian homes. We urge them to value and listen to the stories of Palestinians around the world who have been forcibly displaced by Israeli violence and have lost countless loved ones to the illegal regime.

We need to stand with Palestine. We need to do our part in condemning Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights. We need to pressure the College to act financially with the “deep sense of ethical and social concern” that they expect of their students. Since the decision to divest from apartheid in South Africa, a decision only made after years of sustained protest, Swarthmore College has failed to uphold their values through their financial holdings. The College cannot continue to make the morally bankrupt decision to do nothing in the face of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

Like SASS, and countless people of color who have come before us, we recognize that no one is free until we are all free. To show your support, please join SJP this Wednesday, December 12 at 1:15pm in Parrish Parlors to deliver their petition and message to President Smith and the Board of Managers. More information on Swarthmore SJP’s BDS campaign can be found here.

In love and solidarity,

SAO Board

Alex Jin ‘19, co-president

Grace Zhang ‘20, co-president

Tiffany Wang ‘21, treasurer

Evelien van Gelderen ‘21, board member

Iris Wang ‘21, board member

Kenny Mai ‘21, board member

Yi Wei ‘21, board member

Joanne Miao ‘22, board intern

Kieran Huang ‘21, board member