Statement by Students for a Democratic Society |
November 21, 2021
Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from Students for a Democratic Society (National).
National SDS unequivocally condemns Israel’s designation of 6 Palestinian human rights organizations as “terrorist”. The targeted organizations include the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Al-Haq, Addameer, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Defense for Children International-Palestine. All of these organizations have longstanding roots among the Palestinian people. We see this as the US-backed Israeli apartheid regime paving the way to ramp up political repression against the Palestinian people, so that US companies can protect their interests in the region at the expense of millions of people. We as National SDS wholeheartedly condemn this.
Up to this point, these 6 organizations have operated legally and openly, even getting funding from the European Union. They perform a variety of services, such as investigating human rights violations committed by the Israeli government against Palestinian farmers, workers, prisoners, women and children. They organize protests, collect donations, and provide education and legal aid. It is clear that the Israeli government has only designated them as “terrorists” for the so-called crime of exposing the Israeli occupation.
At the same time that they outlaw these groups, the Israeli government commits war atrocities and violates the UN Geneva Convention every day. From the Nakba of 1948 to the present day, the Israeli government has built illegal settlements on Palestinian land and forcibly expelled and massacred Palestinians. They seized the homes, trees, and land of Palestinians who have lived in the area for generations with bulldozers, and bombed and shot Palestinians who would not leave. They frequently bomb the people of Gaza and the West Bank. They restrict their access to food, medicine, and essential goods, including vaccines. Now, they seek to drive Palestinian human rights organizations underground and put down any organization or resistance of Palestinian people.
They get billions of dollars from the US government every year to do this. In 2020 alone, while millions of people in the US suffered from mass unemployment, the US government sent the Israeli government more than $3.8 billion in aid. In exchange, the Israeli government protects US foreign policy and interests in the region. We witness this whenever the Israeli government makes war or tries to make war with sovereign nations in the region such as Lebanon, Syria, and Iran on behalf of the United States.
SDS has organized for over a decade against the US-backed Israeli occupation of Palestine. We have lent support to campaigns to get our universities to Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction Israeli companies and organizations, such as G4S and HP, with some campaigns ongoing. We organized Free Palestine protests as recently as this summer. Now, we are saying that we say “NO” to the Israeli apartheid’s “terrorist” designation of the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Al-Haq, Addameer, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Defense for Children International-Palestine. And we will oppose any further attacks on organizations of the Palestinian people.