Defend Dr. Hatem Bazian and Palestinian Academic Freedom at UC Berkeley
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We, students at UC Berkeley, stand in solidarity with Dr. Hatem Bazian and the UC Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender.
We stand with Dr. Hatem Bazian for his principled advocacy for justice, freedom and respect for all peoples, including Palestinians. This is not the first time nor we believe (regrettably) it is going to be the last time that Dr. Bazian will be subjected to bullying, demonizing and death threats for his work shedding light on Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism by those attempting to defend occupation and state-violence.
We, students at UC Berkeley, reject the mischaracterization, bullying and blatant racism of Tikvah: the Zionist Voice at UC Berkeley and off campus Zionist organizations in their continued attempts to suppress open discussion and honest academic analysis of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as their demonization of academics and human rights activists calling for freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people. Tikvah resorts and relies on post 9-11anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and Islamophobic rhetoric to demonize those who disagree with far-right Israeli policies and the maintenance of endless occupation.
As students at UC Berkeley, we have faced repeated attempts to suppress academic freedom and our freedom of speech. Time and time again, the argument of anti-Semitism has been misused as an attempt to silence Palestinian voices and legitimate criticism of Israeli state policies. UC Berkeley has become an incredibly hostile environment for Palestinians, students, faculty and staff, where they face verbal and racial abuse for their mere existence as Palestinians on this campus. Palestinian students have been labeled as terrorists and placed on racist blacklists like Canary Mission for speaking about their lived experiences. And during all of this, the UCB administration has stayed silent and compliclit while members of their community have been targeted by off-campus organizations and institutions and has failed to even acknowledge the harm and violence mediated against Palestinian students and Dr. Hatem Bazian.
We, the students at UC Berkeley, demand the administration to:
1. Investigate the Tikvah: the Zionist Voice for disrupting the presentation by the Member of Israeli Knesset Haneen Zoabi.
2. Make public the action[s] taken against Tikvah, and
3. Ensure that no group who violates the inherent right to free speech and academic freedom would be tolerated at the campus.
4. Support the creation of a Palestine Studies Program that is developed in partnership with communities and led by Palestinian academics.
5. Jewish and Palestinian voices that are critical of Israel should be welcomed, celebrated on campus and represent the social justice norm
We, the students at UC Berkeley, invite our fellow students, academia and all people of conscience to stand in solidarity for truth and truth-tellers and against hate, bigotry and bullying.
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