The ongoing violence faced by Israelis and Palestinians has brought strong student voices on the Washington University campus forward, with Facebook posts, rallies and more.
Standing on the Green Line that divides Israel proper from the West Bank was not how I imagined the most impactful moment of my 12th-grade Israel trip. Yet, upon arriving and spending time in the world’s only Jewish state, I found myself more drawn to the modern political and social context surrounding Israel than its equally important foundations.
Two Israeli soldiers spoke in Seigle Hall on Sunday about their lives as Israelis and the Arab-Israeli conflicts as a part of the StandWithUs tour, hosted by Washington University’s Students for Israel.
I wish I could focus on how great the program was, but instead I must address anti-Israel protesters who came to the event with the intent to cancel it. A member of the Washington University faculty, graduate students and others from the St. Louis community came to the event late and began yelling at the speakers.
A series of emails relating to the “Ferguson to Ayotzinapa to Palestine” event reveal that the Missouri History Museum’s cancellation of the panel followed a member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis (JCRC) bringing the event to the attention of Frances Levine, the museum’s president.
The topic is certainly heated, but institutions must make an honest effort to handle it, and that includes Wash. U. The question is whether we are capable of listening to voices in a context that also represents their narrative.
With growing ties between #BlackLivesMatter and Palestine, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups are reviving a deliberate campaign of selective history: relegating the solidarity between black and Palestinian liberation movements—past and present— to taboo memory.
Instead of the intended panel discussion on Thursday, planners organized a rally outside the museum. Under the #SelectiveHistory banner, which protesters of the museum’s decision used on social media last week, a wide variety of around 75 attendees showed up to the changed event, which still included speakers from the four groups.
I am puzzled and concerned that in a recent article Student Life senior editors Zach Kram and Megan Magray referred to the Occupied Palestinian Territories as “contested land.”
Beyond mere optics, the museum is indeed engaging in selective history by denying a connection between the social movements in Ferguson and Mexico with those occurring in Palestine.