October 26, 2023

Letter to the Editor | We Must End Racist Discrimination on Campus and Beyond

Print More

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