Letter to the editor: Students for Justice in Palestine respond to a previous op-ed

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(Christina Yacono/ Daily Collegian)

(Christina Yacono/ Daily Collegian)

To the editor:

In an op-ed published last week, “Uncomfortable on my own campus,” Nov. 18, Carly Korman wrote of her dismay that Students for Justice in Palestine was included in last week’s powerful Million Student March. We feel the need to correct some glaring inaccuracies in her piece that misrepresent and slander our group.

She stated that, “the overall goal of (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is to eliminate Israel as the state of the Jewish people.” This is incorrect. In 2005, Palestinian civil society – including over 170 Palestinian organizations – issued a global call to people of conscience to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel for its myriad human rights abuses. The call for BDS outlines three specific demands of Israel:

  1. End its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantle the Apartheid Wall.
  2. Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
  3. Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

As can be seen, neither BDS nor SJP call for the destruction of Israel.

She also claimed that BDS targets her as a pro-Israel individual. Again, this is not the case. BDS targets institutions that perpetuate the occupation and oppression of Palestinians, not individuals. For example, we are currently campaigning for the removal of Sabra products from campus retail stores. Sabra is a company that invests in and supports the Golani Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces, whose human rights abuses have been extensively documented and include arbitrary murders, evictions and arrests of children.

Our enthusiastic participation in the Million Student March is a result of our long-standing solidarity with all struggles for justice. We look forward to continuing our work for human rights and equality for all.

Signed,

UMass Amherst Students for Justice in Palestine