Stanford University administrators and faculty should be proud that among your student body is a group of social justice-minded students who are committed to taking a stand against apartheid by calling for divestment in Israel, despite our government’s continued funding of Israel’s violations of international law and human rights.
Just this week, Israel announced that inside the illegally occupied West Bank they will begin to run segregated bus lines for Palestinians. Such depraved indifference to equality is even more extreme than anything the American South practiced under Jim Crow, as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker has said about the myriad segregation laws Israel imposes on the 20 percent of its population who are Arabs and millions more living under military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
As a Jew who stands full-square with the Palestinians in their quest for human rights, I truly hope Stanford does not cave to the chorus that claims to speak for me and millions of other Jews around the world when they defend Israel’s indefensible violations of international law. After all, there is nothing inherently Jewish about racism and colonial occupation. Quite the contrary, I hope.
Any cursory look at even the mainstream US media shows that the global movement for Palestinian human rights is on the rise. As a university that stands in the vanguard of research, Stanford should be proud to be in the forefront of institutions adhering to international law and human rights. Don’t look back years from now and think that your institution missed the boat on standing up for human rights when the opportunity presented itself. Hold on to your dignity and claims to the social good and divest from apartheid Israel now.
Sherry Wolf, author, Sexuality and Socialism; associate editor, International Socialist Review
March 4, 2013
Sherry Wolf is a public speaker, writer and activist who is the Associate Editor of the International Socialist Review where she has written on U.S. imperialism, gender, sexuality and the history of the left.