May 4, 2024

MULTIMEDIA | Students Reflect on the Coalition for Mutual Liberation Encampment

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The Sun asked five students with varying perspectives to reflect on the pro-Palestine encampment on the Arts Quad, which has been up for over a week. They spoke about the protests, the administration’s response and the events at Columbia University that sparked it all.

Sivan Gordon-Buxbaum grad, encampment participant and member of Jewish Voices for Peace

“I am here because I can’t stand by while a genocide in happening in front of my eyes and being doing in my name,” Gordon-Buxbaum said. “I’m Jewish, and that is a huge reason why I’m here — because my Jewish values have taught me to love and not to hate.”

Jeremy Zarge ’25, former president of the Cornell Center for Jewish Living

“Being able to protest — that’s a right,” Zarge said. “At the same time, those have to be done under the correct boundaries to also create a space that’s conducive for everyone to feel totally safe.”

Malak Abuhashim ’24, president of Students for Justice in Palestine

“I am Palestinian. I have family in Gaza — so it means a lot that all these students are gathering together in solidarity to demand divestment from these war companies that are killing civilians,” Abuhashim said. “I really do think that with community action we can bring about a better world.” 

Talia Dror ’24, a student leader for Cornellians for Israel

“I am all for being Pro-Palestinian. I am all for expressing your right to what you believe,” Dror said. “But to go after a religion, to go after students in a way that creates a hostile environment on campus where Jewish students can no longer attend school … is absolutely everything against what our country and our institutions should be standing for.” 

Maral Asik ’24, Day Hall occupation participant

“I think that the response from [the] administration has honestly been disgusting. Issuing suspensions for my friends, who are taking a stand against such a moral injustice is awful,” Asik said. “I think the University in 10 years is going to be celebrating this encampment. I think the fact that they’re doing anything less than that right now is a show of their complete hypocrisy.”

Interview by Gabriel Muñoz
Filmed by Marian Caballo, Jade Dubuche
Edited by Marian Caballo
Produced by Marian Caballo, Gabriel Muñoz