SASS Board Letter of Support for SJP
We the SASS board are submitting this letter in full support of Students for Justice in Palestine’s (SJP’s) efforts to remove Sabra Hummus from our college’s shelves. This is an intentional act, one that is motivated by Sabra’s ties to the Strauss group. The Strauss group is a corporation with financial ties to the Golani brigade, which is a brigade of the Israeli Defense Force with numerous human rights abuses.
It goes without question that Palestinian Liberation is intimately tied to Black Liberation.When the Black protesters took to the streets of Ferguson, Palestinian activists were among the first to stand in solidarity with the black freedom struggle, offering advice on how to deal with protests being violently repressed. Historically, police forces in 49 of the 50 states that brutalize black bodies have been trained by the Israeli Defense Force. The Anti-Blackness and white supremacy ingrained in this country’s founding result in the justification of police killings of Black people, but the Israeli Defense Force's trainings do facilitate this process by contributing to the militarization of the American police force. If we are to both accurately address and work to rectify and transform the reality of state violence on Black bodies, we must also confront the reality of the occupation of Palestine's land and peoples.
Many students on this campus have been able to go to Israel and the Occupied Territories of Palestine, and these students have seen the diversity and liveliness of Palestinian resistance. In Palestine you can see Palestinians form their own businesses to dispel stereotypes, empower their own, and welcome strangers from Swarthmore college. In Palestine you can see Palestinians in Nabi Saleh organize protests every week in the face of military crackdowns and being labelled as terrorists. In Palestine you can see Palestinians refusing to be reduced to their trauma and instead reveling in joy with their families to bring in the New Year. How can we as Swarthmore students see that resistance and not question our own complicity? For those that question the efficacy of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement, We ask, who are you to question the tactics of a people fighting for liberation? Critique is necessary for any movement, but if you are going to come to the table, come to the table with ideas about ways to right that which is wrong. That is why it is important that we the SASS board reiterate our commitment to the destruction of ALL oppressive systems. Only marginalized people will free themselves, there can be no outside savior. There is only solidarity and reciprocity, and that is why SASS has chosen to stand behind and for SJP in their boycott of Sabra as it ties into the overall fight for Palestinian liberation on this campus and in larger contexts. We encourage everyone to conceptualize what their resistance looks like.
The SASS Exec Board