FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
On February 21st, members of Students for Justice in Palestine worked together to setup a mock wall in the Alumni Memorial Union on campus in preparation of our Israeli Apartheid Week and weeklong series of events. It was finally put up at around 11pm that night. When students came in the following morning to put up the rest of our table and information, they found the wall was gone. A few days later, we were told by a representative of the Office of Student Development that after consulting with unnamed “colleagues” on campus, OSD had decided the Wall exhibit would never be allowed to be displayed on campus because it ““alludes to eliminating the state of Israel.” SJP strongly disputes this. Our wall has no mention of Israel, Jews, or in any way spoke of an elimination of a state. It carried the phrase, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” To SJP, to all Palestinians globally, and to many people around the world, this phrase is a call for free and equal rights for all, including Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians within a future Palestinian state (which is the stated goal of U.S. foreign policy). According to Dr. Jodi Melamed, a Jewish faculty member, the slogan speaks to “the hope for an end to ethnographic rule and for a future when Palestinians will no longer be seen as a ‘demographic threat’ by the Israeli government.”
The dismantling of the Apartheid Wall is another clear example of censorship at Marquette University. It is an act of discrimination against Muslim, Arab and Palestinian students. We ask Marquette University to stop discriminating against students who are seeking to educate the campus about very real acts of oppression, including the fact that Israeli law enforces two different sets of laws for two peoples under one government. Our exhibit seeks to educate people about the more than 50 well-documented state laws and bills that discriminate against Palestinian minorities. It seeks to educate students about the reality of the 431-mile wall being built in the West Bank and how it effects people’s lives. Despite all this, OSD has implied that the Apartheid Wall was not “educational.”
Marquette’s responses to the Wall exhibit and other incidents is quite surprising and not in line with the guiding values of a Jesuit institution. The Pope himself has prayed at the Wall to bring awareness to it. Recently, in speaking about the proposal to build a wall on the Mexican border, Pope Francis said, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.” We ask Marquette University to follow in the footsteps of Pope Francis and promote education and discussion, not censor it.
MU Divest is a diverse coalition of students calling on Marquette University to divest its funds from companies complicit in human rights violations. After our campaign launch last semester, we were successful in passing a Socially Responsible Investing bill through our student government (MUSG).
Sjp Marquette is proud to not only host events, but co-sponsor & advertise others' events as well!
STUDENTS FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE