[The following letter was written and co-signed by members of the Department of Antrhopology at UC Berkley in solidarity with the Palestinian people as they continue to endure and resist settler-colonial violence at the hands of the state of Israel.]
We, the undersigned, current graduate students and alumni of the Department of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, write in condemnation of the ongoing violence faced by Palestinians from the settler-colonial state of Israel and its military. While the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle is over a century old, the most recent attempts to seize Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, the raids on Al-Aqsa mosque, the genocidal aerial bombing of Gaza, and the discriminatory targeting of Palestinian citizens of Israel are a continuation of transgressions against Palestinian rights to self-determination that have been ongoing since their forced displacement in the 1948 Nakba.
In our capacity as social scientists, we affirm that the ongoing situation in Palestine is anti-colonial indigenous resistance confronting what has long been classified by Palestinians, and most recently by Human Rights Watch, Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, and UN ESCWA, as an apartheid regime. We support Palestinians' right to resist and amplify their calls for a Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions campaign against the Israeli colonial machine. As academics, we endorse the Palestine and Praxis call to action and, in our local capacity, demand that the UC administration divest from all companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Nationally, we demand an end to the United States’ long-standing carte blanche military, economic and diplomatic support of Israeli violence towards the Palestinian people.
Palestinians have historically worked closely with other anti-colonial and anti-racism movements, including the struggle for Black liberation, in their fight against Israeli colonial violence. The recent Black Lives Matter movement has significantly contributed to laying the blueprint for solidarity work, and gratitude is owed to the momentum built by BLM. This energy has provided a beneficial and educational space that grounds many US-based and global movements. We reject all forms of racism, including the conflation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism.
We add our support to the spirit in which the statements by the UC Berkeley Department of Ethnic Studies, the Chair of our department, and the Muslim Student Association were written.