Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of Vermont is a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, and community members organized on democratic principles to promote justice, human rights, liberation, and self-determination for the Palestinian people.
SJP believes that while the Palestinian people must ultimately be able to decide their future in Palestine, certain key principles, grounded in international law, human rights, and basic standards of justice, will be fundamental to a just resolution of the plight of the Palestinians. These include:
- Ending the colonial occupation of Palestine and other Arab lands by the state of Israel, and abolishing Israel as a political entity in favor of a single secular and democratic state, which exists to promote the welfare of every member of the region as an explicitly multi-ethnic and religiously plural entity;
- Instituting a right of return for Palestinian refugees, and returning historic lands to individuals and families who were displaced from them by settlement and expansion;
- An end to the Israeli system of Apartheid and discrimination against the indigenous Palestinian population
- The recognition of the Palestinian people as an independent and autonomous cultural group with unique traditions, practices and ways of life;
- Attempting to redress the historic injustices of colonialism, and particularly settler-colonialism, in Palestine and elsewhere in the world, including the United States and its territories through a program of decolonization and reparations.
As members of a solidarity group, we defer to the Palestinian civil society’s requests regarding international support. We have endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the rights it is aimed at achieving. In addition to calling for economic and state pressure on Israel, the BDS guidelines also define and clearly oppose normalization, and to that end, we as students, faculty, staff, and community members in solidarity with Palestinians refrain from participating in projects that normalize the occupation.
Just as SJP condemns the racism and discrimination underlying the policies and laws of the state of Israel, SJP rejects any form of hatred or discrimination against any religious, racial, or ethnic group. SJP’s strength is in the great diversity of its membership. SJP welcomes individuals of all ethnic and religious backgrounds to join in solidarity with the struggle for justice in Palestine.