NEPA DSA condemns in the strongest terms the McCarthyite suspension of Rutgers Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) that is totally opposed to the liberal democratic values of Rutgers. In the midst of a U.S. supported genocide, it is against the foundational principles of academic freedom and first amendment freedom of expression to attempt to silence students for speaking out to stop the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
On December 13, Israel began flooding the tunnels, and therefore the aquifer, under Gaza with seawater, threatening to not only drown their own citizens if they are present in the tunnels, but are damaging the remaining drinking water and agriculture in Gaza. They are salting the Earth as part of a comprehensive and genocidal plan to destroy every place of refuge, be it a childrens’ hospital or UN building, to push people south from northern Gaza and block their ability to return with sniper fire. It remains to be seen what will happen in the south, but already Israel has been attacking locations they have designated as “safe”. More of Northern Gaza has been destroyed than Dresden was in the allied firebombing campaign during World War II.
We are not deceived. While the older generations are more likely to be supporters of the genocide of Palestinians, young people have come out to support Palestinian liberation in a big way with 52% of 18-34 year olds saying their sympathies lie more with Palestine than Israel in a November 16th Quninnipiac Poll—and this is showing up in who attends protests. Israel is the United States’ “unsinkable aircraft carrier” in the oil-rich and strategically important Middle East. On December 8th, the United States, given its permanent veto status, was the lone and crucial no vote on a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire. It failed 13 yea and 1 nay, with 1 abstention (92% support). On December 12th, the UN General Assembly held a non-binding vote to call for an immediate ceasefire that passed overwhelmingly with 153 yea, 10 nay, and 10 abstentions (93% support). Threatened with the loss of domestic and international support for a critical ally, the U.S. ruling class has turned to McCarthyite tactics to suppress dissent.
This counterattack is now focused on universities due to the youth demographic shift against Israeli genocide and annexation of Gaza. Recently, the President of the University of Pennsylvania, Liz Magill, was deposed for timidly supporting the right to free speech, as is her duty. All that is needed to successfully repel this attack is for youth movements to continue to speak out and take action on campus. If this attack on the anti-genocide movement fails, we suspect the terrain will shift in favor of the movement. The students need our support!
We call for the immediate reinstatement of Rutgers SJP and for an apology by the administration. We applaud and stand with Rutgers AAUP-AFT for standing up for their students and against McCarthyism. We call on all unions, educators, students, progressive organizations and the people generally, to defend their right to freedom of expression and for the right to academic freedom in the United States; freedom to oppose genocide; freedom to support the liberation of the oppressed!
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APPROVED December 14, 2023 by an in-chat Steering Committee vote 5:0:0.