We, the Students for Justice in Palestine, who strategized, organized, and mobilized in order to further the cause of the BDS movement at Vassar College, have decided to send a very clear and straightforward message to respond to the lies, propaganda, and misrepresentation leveled against our movement. Baseless ad hominem attacks have been launched against us in an attempt to mystify both our politics and those of our attackers. In the face of this confusion and fear-mongering, we maintain that our political mission is clear: we are an anti-racist, anti-colonial group that strikes at the core of the racist power structures within the Israeli apartheid regime. We know that the manufactured misrepresentation of our mission does not occur in a vacuum. We are aware of the watchdog organizations who pay alums and students to generate slanderous claims against pro-palestinian activists to detract attention from the gaping holes in the logic behind a settler colonial regime continuously cleansing its indigenous population. We work on a campus where students have been paid to promote and re-brand birthright trips as well as now attracting the attention of organizations such as CAMERA, whose goal is to police and muzzle pro-Palestinian voices.
We find it an appalling irony to be accused of supporting white supremacy by those who support the racist Israeli regime and its white nationalist agenda. This agenda is comprised of policies that work towards exterminating Palestinians and African migrants, only to replace them with predominantly white Euro-American settlers. Ethnic cleansing and “purification” is the operational logic of the Zionist state project, which is untenably white supremacist at its core. In order to compensate for the insubstantial case for Israel, we see the white Zionist alumni of Vassar College look toward the students of color in our organization and proclaim to the administration that we support white supremacy. We see these bizarre claims for what they are: attempts to mystify the discourse, and have those who suffer from systemic racism and white supremacy be pegged as the perpetrators of their own oppression.
This should go without saying, and yet here we are saying it: providing an article link from a white nationalist publication does not mean we support white nationalist ideology; rather, we found this particular article’s description of those behind zionist propaganda campaigns and how they operate to be a helpful articulation of problems many organizations like us face. A profound irony is that we have come under assault from the very same trolls the article describes. As students who must navigate the world under the thumb of white supremacy, we understand what it is like to have to take ideas from organizations that have supported white supremacist structures, whether they be from Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, Legal Insurrection, or the Occidental Quarterly, and put them in a productive conversation. The struggle for justice for the Palestinian people will continue despite petty slander, and we at SJP Vassar strongly encourage anyone who may read this to question the dominant narrative.
Palestine will be free,