To the Editor:
The faculty of the Cornell Coalition for Justice in Palestine stand for Palestinian human rights, sovereignty, liberation and the right to resist.
On the eve of a genocidal ground invasion of Gaza, and in light of the refusal of Cornell University’s administration to recognize the pain and suffering of the Palestinian people, we unequivocally condemn the ongoing genocide of Palestinians, as well as the racism and Islamophobia that have shaped the narratives of the media, U.S. officials and Cornell University administrators.
While we abhor any targeting of civilians, our collective represents a diversity of views about the tactics of the Palestinian struggle. Yet we unite in unwavering opposition to apartheid and to the ongoing occupation, displacement, degradation, collective punishment and slaughter of Palestinians.
We recognize that the inability of Cornell administrators to utter the word “Palestine” or to acknowledge Palestinian suffering reflects the violence of erasure and the denial of human equality — the very premises of colonial oppression that have brought the world to this tragic moment.
The essence of racism is that some people matter while others do not. The university’s uneven treatment of students and indifference to the pain of Arabs and Muslims is symptomatic of the racist logic that underlies settler-colonialism.
Our Palestinian, Arab and Muslim students, faculty, staff and their families have watched the world enact inhumane violence, even as their very being has been denied.
The racist and Islamophobic environment that both silences and neglects Palestinian, Arab and Muslim students, and that limits their access to resources, also fuels the doxxing and harassment of members of those populations and their allies.
The smothering of the dignity and aspirations of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim students, faculty and staff betrays the “Freedom of Expression” ideal that Cornell administrators endlessly invoke. This double-standard mirrors the hypocrisy of Western powers that proclaim liberal democratic principles while gagging expressions of solidarity with Palestine.
Building a just and democratic Cornell means combating the entrenched bigotry that renders invisible the grief and dignity of any member of our community.
Sustainable solutions to the violence that engulfs Palestine-Israel must rest upon ending apartheid and occupation.
Cornell Coalition for Justine in Palestine