On Monday morning, the Israeli flag was flown from third flagpole in front of the Davis Center. Its placement was approved by administration in a misguided attempt to show support for Jewish people following the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh on October 26th. In fact, the displaying of the Israeli flag is a symbol of supremacy, not solidarity. The flag of Israel does not represent all Jews, though it is often conflated as doing so both by hardline Zionists who want to promote a one-sided narrative, and by the uninformed. What it does represent is a violent and oppressive history carried out by the state of Israel as a settler-colonial entity.
Israel is an apartheid state, built on the expulsion and erasure of the Palestinian people, and flying its flag is a poor example of solidarity with the oppressed people of the globe. The fact that Zionist students felt it appropriate to fly this flag is evidence of the moral bankruptcy of Zionist ideology, which seeks to liberate the Jewish people exclusively through a colonial project which continues the morbid legacy of the last three centuries of Western imperialism. This is not solidarity.
We will not stand for the defense of apartheid, colonialism and imperialism couched behind the false assertion that criticism of Israel’s colonial project is anti-semitic, especially considering Israel’s close relationship with the progenitors of this wave of far right violence against innocent people in the United States, in which this recent attack is one of the most deadly. We will not stand for the erasure of Palestinian and Pro-Palestinian voices on campus, or attempts to claim the Israeli flag as a symbol representing all Jews, which silences the voices of Jews across the globe who are openly opposed to Israel, and targeted for it.
We implore the student body and the university community – faculty, administrators, and staff, to stand in solidarity with our mission to resist fascism, colonialism and ethnic cleansing at its high tide in Israel, not just because it matters to and in Palestine, but because all of our liberation is inextricably bound together. Because our anti-fascism, our anti-racism at home must have a global view. Because no one group of people can be liberated at the expense of others. We must stand together, on campus and across the world.
Students for Justice in Palestine