Students and Alumni Response to the Faculty Statement in Solidarity with Palestine

By || A group of students and alumni of Franklin and Marshall College

We, students and alumni at Franklin & Marshall College, express our support for the Palestinian global community. We express our support for Palestinians to have the right to peoplehood, homeland, and safety. 

We condemn the violence, displacement, and colonization of Palestinians by the militarized state of Israel. We condemn the imperialist United States and our contribution to the violence in the region. We condemn the inhumane treatment and portrayal of Palestinians, as well as all anti-Palestine sentiments globally. 

Although we are condemning the militarized state of Israel, it must not be taken that we are calling for anti-Semitism. We wholly recognize and condemn anti-Semitism globally, and acknowledge that liberation for one group must not come at the expense of another’s. However, criticizing Israel and settler-colonialism is not a form of anti-Semitism. It is more anti-Semitic to assume that the actions of the Israeli government represent the views of all Israelis, Jewish people, and Jewish identity. 

Nonetheless, we urge the F&M community to also recognize the uneven playing field and how that affects MENA (Middle Eastern and North African) students. There has been a lack of institutional support in terms of resources, professors, safe spaces, and even courses. Why is it that the only options given are Middle Eastern Music or Culture or Anthropology? Why is it that every time slurs are scribbled across the walls, trees, and papers, no one has looked out for us? The gaslighting by the F&M administration is not new but rather a constant sound, hammering in our ears that marginalized students should feel isolated at a PWI. Additionally, the systemic denial of Palestinian human rights by this institution and the lack of acknowledgment, in general, reflect western imperialism and dehumanizes many BIPOC students’ experiences. The oppression of Palestinian people is constantly reinforced by western forces leading to a dismissal of basic human rights in that region along with increased forms of Islamophobic violence everywhere. 

F&M claims to support free speech and “controversy with civility,” but attacks and silences anyone (especially marginalized folks) who goes against the dominant narrative in America and on campus. The way F&M is handling the recent discourse about Palestine and Israeli state violence does not reflect the way social justice and equal rights are preached in classrooms and is counterintuitive to any movements based on social justice. 

The response from the F&M Leadership team is an ignorant blanket statement they put out to support one community while completely neglecting another. The humiliation of faculty who showed support for Palestine by admin only reaffirmed the lack of care towards marginalized professors at F&M. It does not look good when the majority of the faculty that are being

threatened are professors of color who helped create an environment where students of color can thrive. We wholeheartedly support them and their efforts to advocate for Palestinian liberation. 

Signed, 

Disappointed and concerned students and alumni at F&M

The author of this piece chose to remain anonymous, any correspondence related to the piece should be directed to reporter@fandm.edu.

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