A Response to President Wong’s Statement on Zionism

RE: “MESSAGE TO THE SF STATE COMMUNITY”

February 23, 2018

This morning, President Leslie Wong released a statement to the SFSU campus community publicly and personally apologizing to Zionist students and community members for his “past comments and actions.” This statement was published after a meeting President Wong had with Hillel students and staff in which he also stated his pledge to protect *Zionism on campus. President Wong made it clear in his own terms, “Zionists are welcome on our campus.”

As a body of Palestinian, advocates of justice for/in Palestine, Muslim, and Arab students, faculty, and staff who have endured constant vicious attacks every year by outside and internal Zionist forces, this is a direct response to us that we are unwelcome. President Wong has failed to address the concerns of GUPS, AMED, and Palestinian community members over the past years and has intentionally ignored our demands for justice, academic stability, and protection.

These past five years have been extremely difficult on GUPS/AMED and allies as we have been constant targets for racist, Islamophobic, and xenophobic campaigns to silence our struggle for justice and academic freedom. President Wong and Administration fail to be accountable for their complicity in allowing such vile actions to take place at San Francisco State University. These attacks on students and faculty come from organizations and people who are proud self-proclaimed Zionists.

President Wong has made a false declaration of equating Zionism to Jewishness. This does not speak for our Jewish members, friends, and allies who denounce Zionism and the destruction it has caused. Such a statement acts as a direct response to Pro Palestine activism and erases discourses held by anti-Zionist Jewish Students.

President Wong has and continues to create a toxic learning environment for students who have been directly impacted by Zionist attacks on campus. Today he has proven explicitly that he is only concerned with the interests of Zionist organizations. SFSU, as an institution, has capitalized off its false slogan that it is a campus that believes in social justice, yet has made it clear that justice for Palestine and supporters of Palestine are unworthy of this conditional “justice.”

GUPS is here to remind President Wong and administration that we will not be silenced, Palestine is NOT an exception, and we will continue the work we do as student organizers. GUPS calls for the immediate retraction and apology of this one-sided statement that silences anti-Zionist Jewish voices and further marginalizes Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim students at San Francisco State University. Zionism, racism, bigotry, and any form of hate are NOT welcome in the Bay Area, let alone SFSU.

OUR DEMANDS:

  1. End the hostile and unsafe work and study environment against Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians, at SFSU campus that intimidate, bully, silence and police scholarship, teaching and campus protest activists by faculty, staff and students.

2. Build AMED studies as a viable and stable program with tenure track faculty, operating budget and full time staff.

3. Immediate and public investigation by an independent panel into the multiple incidents of attacks against us.

In struggle,

The General Union of Palestine Students

*Zionism is the violent ideology responsible for the genocide and displacement of indigenous Palestinians and the destruction of Palestinian land. In 1948, Zionist militias destroyed over 500 Palestinian villages and exiled over 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland in order to establish the Zionist settler colonial State of Israel. Zionism is responsible for creating the largest refugee population in the world who have yet to return to Palestine.

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