As the Chair’s Council of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, we vehemently condemn the Israeli genocide and displacement of Palestinians in Gaza. We demand an immediate ceasefire, the provision of humanitarian aid, and a permanent end to the genocide.
The College of Ethnic Studies at SFSU was created as a result of a 6-month strike demanding an education that represents the histories, perspectives, and experiences of communities of color and Indigenous peoples. For the last fifty-five years, the College has offered a fearless and engaged education committed to social justice and a curriculum responsible to the diverse histories, cultures, and struggles of our communities. It has understood the fight for justice and equity as indivisible, not as analogous or equivalent, but as entangled. We call attention to the links in anticolonial and anti-racist theories, methods, and organizing. We see our rights to self-determination as inter-dependent.
To date, over 15,000 Palestinians have been murdered, over 60 percent children. Survivors are facing rampant disease and imminent starvation. We join the international community, including the United Nations, and organizations such as Jewish Voices for Peace, in condemning the genocide of the people of Gaza and the unrelenting apartheid regime of the Israeli state.
We condemn equating the support for Palestine with antisemitism. We also condemn the equation of criticism of the Israeli nation-state, its apartheid regime, and its expansion through military occupation as antisemitic. We denounce longstanding Zionist efforts to punish us for speaking out against Israeli colonialism and for educating our students on the links between our struggles. We refuse to be silent or censored. We refuse the logics of “washing” (pink, green, and otherwise) genocide in order to recast apartheid as democracy.
SFSU claims in its mission statement that it is dedicated to “supporting our diverse communityand advancing social justice and positive change in the world.” We demand that the SFSU, and the CSU system of which it is part, stand by this commitment by taking the following actions:
- Support the rights of our students, staff, and faculty to advocate for Palestine and to teach and learn about Palestinian history in the classroom. Make explicit their commitments to supporting student and faculty rights to intellectual and political freedom.
- Reject the doxing, incitement, and harassment of targeted communities and grassroots organizations for their opposition to the current genocide in Gaza through means including but not limited to publicizing their personal and employment information with the intent of inspiring official censure and falsely charging them of terrorism and antisemitism.
- Support calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and divest from and end contracts with all states and corporations that invest in Israeli occupation. (For more information about what BDS entails, see https://bdsmovement.net/ and https://bdsmovement.net/pacbi).
- With respect to the BDS call to not support institutions that benefit from apartheid, we demand the CSU suspend all Israel study abroad programs and enable Palestine study abroad.
- Institute programs such as Arab and Muslim Diasporas and Ethnicities (AMED) across the CSU and provide such programs with funding, faculty hires, intellectual autonomy, and academic freedom.
Chair’s Council, College of Ethnic Studies
Dr. Falu Bakrania, Chair, Race and Resistance Studies
Dr. Joanne Barker, Chair, American Indian Studies
Dr. Katynka Martinez, Interim Chair, Latina/Latino Studies
Dr. Abul Pitre, Chair, Africana Studies
Dr. Wesley Ueunten, Chair, Asian American Studies