Statement in Support of Student Protestors and Recommitment to BDS Read

Solidarity with Palestine

The Association of Asian American Studies condemns the brutal violence being inflicted on Palestinians in the besieged and blockaded Gaza Strip by Israeli airstrikes and the assaults on Palestinians in the West Bank and Israel by lynch mobs and vigilante settlers. These attacks come in the wake of forcible evictions of Palestinians from their homes starting early May 2021 and assaults on Muslim Palestinians during Ramadan in occupied East Jerusalem by the Israeli state. As ethnic studies scholars committed to antiracism and anti-imperialism, we understand this violence as a continuation of a long history of land grabs, displacement, racial segregation, immobilization, serial massacres, forms of apartheid, and mass incarceration by Israel, whose military occupation and Apartheid Wall are both illegal under international law.

We consider this ongoing violence in West Asia a form of anti-Asian violence that is both state and civil, legitimized by racist and Orientalist constructions of Arabs and Muslims, including West Asian American communities in the US. Israel’s impunity from international human rights law is enabled by exceptional support from the US government, including the Biden administration. We call for an end to the unconditional $3.8 billion aid given annually by the US to Israel and the reinvestment of these resources in higher education, healthcare, supporting domestic communities of color, and genuine safety for precarious populations.

Palestinians are confined to an open-air prison and then bombed from the sky. They are subject to inhumane and unconscionable treatment, including being locked in encaged territories, prevented from seeing family across militarized borders, thrown out of their homes, and attacked by an occupying police force in the streets. We oppose censorship and intimidation of those who speak out against this injustice in Palestine, in the academy or on digital platforms. Weaponizing antisemitism by conflating it with criticism of the Israeli state, as the Trump administration and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition have done, silences global justice activism and trivializes actually existing antisemitism.

Our field was created through a pan-ethnic social movement based on Third World liberation, and we continue that tradition of transnational, emancipatory scholarship. In 2013, the AAAS passed a resolution to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, condemning the Israeli occupation of Palestine and US support for occupation and racist practices by the Israeli state. We are horrified by the genocidal state violence and settler colonial dispossession we are witnessing today and stand resolved in our commitment to solidarity with Palestinian freedom struggles.