When I reinstated USC’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, I hoped to engage in productive, meaningful discussion around the rights of Palestinian people. I believe that access to water and electricity and freedom of movement are essential human rights. As a proud Palestinian, I am grateful that I can take part in educating my peers about the Palestinian people, their struggle and their resistance. I share stories about my family’s experience, my father’s inability to return to our land and my longing to grow up in my home country.
Our organization believes Palestinians should be treated with equality, justice and dignity. We also believe Mizrahi Jews and Ethiopian Jews should be treated with equality. We are proud to be a diverse organization advocating for human rights and calling on Israel to comply with international, humanitarian law.
Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, but House bill 3643 defines it as just that. Using the 2010 U.S. State Department definition of anti-Semitism, H.3643 defines anti-Semitism as “demoniz(ing) Israel,” applying a “double standard for Israel” and “delegitimiz(ing) Israel.”
We fully acknowledge and sympathize with the Jewish history, but assert our right to criticize the actions of Israel. We call on our state senators to follow the lead of Reps. Jonathon Hill, Josiah Magnuson and Leola Robinson-Simpson and vote against this anti-Palestinian legislation.
Our members, both Jewish and non-Jewish, will continue advocating for Palestinian human rights, as we set examples of free discussion and unity in diversity on college campuses.