Dear Readers of the Daily Campus,
Being Palestinian on the University of Connecticut’s campus means our identities are not valued and our narrative is silenced.
While we understand that many minority communities experience discrimination, we want to bring attention to the challenges and struggles we as Palestinians consistently face.
During November of 2021, Students for Justice in Palestine organized a protest expressing our frustrations as students at a university with strong financial ties to institutions that directly harm our families back home. We also expressed our frustration with the fact that seven out of 11 Experiential Global Learning Programs in the Middle East were hosted in Israel, an apartheid state that has been actively ethnically cleansing Palestinians since 1948 (UConn is complicit in Israel’s crimes | The Daily Campus).
Among this sorrow and frustration, we were confronted by a blue table, boldly emblazoned with the word “Hillel,” looming near our protest, only 10 feet away. They confidently handed out pamphlets within our crowd depicting a Muslim man holding a Quran in one hand and a knife in the other (In support of Students for Justice in Palestine | The Daily Campus). Members of this table claimed to be respectful of our demonstration while passing out inflammatory material that would spur numerous hate crime incidents later that semester. No action was taken on behalf of the university and no apology was ever made.
Allies of the Palestinian cause put up fliers around campus. When one was torn down and Anti-Palestinian remarks were made, the school’s administration sent an incredibly lengthy and biased email stating that this situation was antisemitic while completely disregarding the shock and sadness the Palestinian community felt.
These feelings of frustration continue to plague Palestinians on a daily basis; one student’s Palestinian flag was torn down from her dorm room door. Another student was mocked by peers after speaking at a protest on campus. Palestinian students taking the one-credit course on antisemitism felt disparaged and targeted. When we want to bring a speaker on campus, we are restricted by precedent; in 2019, UConn tried to cancel and thus censor Palestinian speaker Linda Sarsour (UConn Law dean apologizes for his handling of a campus speech on Islamophobia by Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour – Hartford Courant).
Time and time again, attempts are made to silence and belittle us, both from the administration and our peers. Nonetheless, we will continue to demand to feel safe. We demand more inclusive academic and cultural programming that educates the community on the Palestinian struggle. We demand culturally competent and unbiased staff who understand our struggles. We demand to be listened to by our administration. We demand justice.
UConn SJP has posted a video on their Instagram (@uconnsjp), PLEASE REPOST & SHARE.
Its not all about you, in other universities its the jewish students getting trashed, maybe if BOTH of you people figured out your BOTH guilty in this crap both your people could chill out. And BTW, Georgetown has a full on Mosque on their Catholic campus, don’t see any Muslim universities even entertaining giving any other religion or culture any sort of consideration.