November 24, 2014

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Setting the Record Straight

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To the Editor:

Re: “Letter to the Editor: The Right to a Safe Campus and a Secure Israel”

The accusation in yesterday’s letter to the editor that any member of SJP “followed students around Central Campus” and threatened their safety is absolutely false. In fact, it was SJP’s Arts Quad display on Oct. 29 to 31 which was attacked and vandalized by a group of Cornell students; two SJP members merely attempted to retrieve the signs from the nearby vandals in a civil manner.

In addition, the members of the protest on Nov. 19 who were quoted in the letter as saying “We will respond to aggression with aggression” were not members of Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP does not hold a monopoly over all activism for the cause of the Palestinian people, and does not dictate the tactics of others.

The demonstration did not comment on the recent events in Jerusalem, but rather drew attention to ongoing conditions in Palestine as well as Cornell’s institutional ties with the Israeli occupation. The claim that SJP “brings the Palestinian aggression against Israel to campus” not only willfully misrepresents our members’ action, but also attempts to deliberately distract the Cornell community from the real issues SJP struggles to make visible: the massive oppression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation and Cornell’s complicity with that oppression through its ties to Technion–Israel Institute of Technology. A campus in which political questions cannot be openly posed is not a safe campus, but a sterile one.

SJP will further present our own viewpoint on last week’s action after the Thanksgiving break. This letter is meant merely to correct a few of the most glaring factual errors in yesterday’s letter to the editor.

Ehab Ebeid ’18

Emad Masroor ’17

Hadiyah Chowdhury ’18

Michael Mintz ’17

Yashvardhan Rathore ’15

Members, Students for Justice in Palestine