Franklin & Marshall Faculty Statement in Solidarity with Palestine

By || Undersigned Franklin & Marshall Faculty

This statement represents the views of the undersigned faculty and reflects the views of the undersigned faculty alone, not the Franklin and Marshall Faculty as a whole.

We, members of the Franklin and Marshall College community, condemn the ongoing attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza by the Israeli armed forces, which represent the latest chapter of a nearly-fifteen-year blockade that has transformed the territory into a prison for its two million inhabitants, most of whom descend from refugees expelled and driven from their homes during the Nakba (1947–49) that accompanied the creation of the state of Israel.

We condemn the displacement of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem — part of a decades long campaign of warfare, expulsion, unequal residency rights, and discriminatory planning policies that advances the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem.

We mourn all loss of life. We also refuse the “two-sides” and “evenhandedness” narrative that ignores and conceals the meaningful differences between Israel — one of the most heavily militarized states in the world that receives $3.8 billion in military aid annually from the United States — and a Palestinian population resisting occupation and oppression. The story of children killed in the most recent Gaza attacks alone reveals the absurd inaccuracy of the “evenhandedness” narrative.

We stand by Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem in calling Israel’s systemic discrimination and violence by its proper name: Apartheid. The brutal system that controls Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is ideologically founded upon Jewish supremacy, rules over the lives of Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel alike, and is practically committed to territorial theft from Palestinians who continue to resist physical removal and existential erasure.

We salute the bravery and will-to-survival of Palestinians — in the Occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and within Israel — as they resist the violence of the Israeli military, settler militias, and lynch mobs, and as they find the strength to resist daily humiliations even when not faced with outright violence. We recognize, as they do, that peace with justice in Palestine/Israel is not possible under conditions of military occupation and unending settler-colonial expansionism.

We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their indigenous liberation struggle against forced dispossession by the Israeli settler colonial state. For decades, the ostensible peace process has perpetuated Israel’s land grabs and the violent displacement of Palestinians under the fictions of military necessity and a perpetually postponed “final status” negotiation. A single example is telling: of water resources under the West Bank, Israel by force of military occupation takes 83%, much of it for illegal settlers, leaving Palestinians 17%.

We wholeheartedly endorse the Palestine and Praxis open letter and call to action, affirming our own commitments to speaking out in defense of the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people as well as foundational principles of scholarly integrity and academic freedom.

We stand in solidarity with Palestinians and their Jewish Israeli allies, understanding that their struggle is fundamentally entwined with many other movements for equality, justice, and liberation both within the United States and around the world. We join together in rededicating ourselves to working against all forms of racism, colonialism, and injustice at Franklin and Marshall, in the classroom, on campus, and beyond.

Signed,

Sylvia Alajaji, Music

Douglas Anthony, History

Robert J. Barnett, Classics

Antonio Callari, Economics

Stephen Cooper, Religious Studies

Shari Goldberg, English

Van Gosse, History

Zeshan Ismat, Geosciences

Katherine McClelland, Sociology

Stephanie McNulty, Government

Jorge Mena-Ali, Biology

John Modern, Religious Studies

Padmini Mongia, English

Judith Mueller, English

Richard Reitan, History

Leanne Roncolato, Economics

Laura Shelton, History

James Strick, STS and Earth and Environment

SherAli Tareen, Religious Studies

Ryan Trainor, Physics

Eric Usner, American Studies

Mark Villegas, American Studies

Carla Willard, American Studies

Eiman Zein-Elabdin, Economics

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7 comments to “Franklin & Marshall Faculty Statement in Solidarity with Palestine”
  1. Pingback: Professors at Expensive Pa. Private College Sign “Palestinian Solidarity” Statement Containing Nazi Language - The Brooklyn News

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  3. I grew up in Lancaster and am familiar with Franklin and Marshall. I will recommend as widely as possible that high school seniors–and I may send this to my high school’s guidance department– select Millersville or Penn State over F&M. Nobody should pay one penny, let alone $60K a year, to study ill-informed and anti-Semitic swill they can get for free from the nation’s left wing and white supremacist extremists alike.

    The word “Nakba” is openly anti-Semitic noting that it refers to the establishment of Israel within its 1948 borders, at which point its neighbors attempted to commit a genuine genocide by driving all the Jews into the sea. Arabs had to flee their homes in 1948 not because of anything the Jews did but because of what the neighboring terrorists did. (I use “terrorists” rather than “Arabs” because tens of millions of Arabs had nothing to do with it.) Nakba has nothing to do with the territory Israel occupied justifiably in 1968 after terrorists broke the peace three times in less than 20 years, it is open denial of Israel’s right to exist which is anti-Semitic.

    Use of language like “Jewish supremacy” suggests meanwhile that the writers have a problem with Jews as a whole rather than just Israel, so maybe F&M is not an academically safe place for Jews, and maybe even a hostile learning environment for Jews. That last part is not legal advice but I think (my opinion) that the instant somebody in a position to grade student assignments uses language like “Jewish supremacy,” students of that identity would have reasonable cause to feel afraid. If this sounds like an extreme conclusion then please see “‘Jewish Supremacy’: A Nazi Slur Goes Woke | Opinion” at Newsweek. “Nazis justified their mass murder of Jews by escalating the canard about Jews controlling the world into a struggle against ‘Jewish supremacy.'”

    “The story of children killed in the most recent Gaza attacks alone reveals the absurd inaccuracy of the “evenhandedness” narrative.” The story of the children killed is a litany of Hamas’ violation of the laws of warfare by positioning its weapons among civilians with the specific intention that they be killed when Israel returns fire, plus some Hamas rockets that landed on their own people. The people who signed this letter either failed to get their facts in order (not somebody from whom I would want to take a class if they don’t get their facts straight) or found it convenient to overlook Hamas’ war crimes to blame Israel and Jews.

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