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Haverford Faculty for Justice in Palestine Releases Statement Supporting Pro-Palestinian Students

Haverford College Faculty for Justice in Palestine have published a statement following the shooting of three Palestinian students in Burlington, Vermont.

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Haverford College student Kinnan Abdalhamid and Brown University students Tahseen Ahmed and Hisham Awartani, Palestinian college students who were shot in Burlington, Vermont.

We republish below a statement by members of the Haverford College Faculty for Justice in Palestine (FJP) following the shooting of Haverford student Kinnan Abdalhamid and Brown University students Tahseen Ahmed and Hisham Awartani. These three Palestinian students were shot on Sunday, November 27 in Burlington, Vermont. The shooting is a result of rising anti-Palestinian racism and Islamophobia across the United States. The Haverford FJP are urging faculty and staff at higher education institutes around the world, particularly members of Faculty for Justice in Palestine, to sign on to their statement which calls for standing for free speech and academic freedom, against the equation of antisemitism with anti-Zionism.

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We write as members of Haverford Faculty for Justice in Palestine to express our grief and outrage regarding the shooting of Haverford College student Kinnan Abdalhamid and Brown University students Tahseen Ahmed and Hisham Awartani in Burlington, Vermont, on November 25, 2023. These three Palestinian college students were shot simply for speaking Arabic and wearing keffiyehs. We extend our support and solidarity to Kinnan, Tahseen, and Hisham, and their families. As faculty and staff at Haverford College, we also stand with the Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, and anti-Zionist students who have felt silenced and fearful of the current climate of hostility and intimidation towards critics of the Israeli state.

The shooting of these three young people is just another example of the wave of anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian racism, and Islamophobia that is growing across the U.S., particularly on college campuses. The long-standing efforts of Zionists to suppress pro-Palestinian voices on college campuses, including the targeting of groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, have created a hostile climate for Arab, Muslim, and anti-Zionist Jewish students. It is this hostile environment, that equates anti-Zionism with antisemitism, that contributes to the broader surge in Islamophobic violence and anti-Arab racism. 

As scholars, teachers, and university staff, we urge institutions of higher education to support free speech and academic freedom and to combat the spread of false narratives that equate support for Palestine with antisemitism. The material consequence of this hostile climate and spread of false information is the actual physical violence targeting Brown and Black bodies, including the shooting of Kinnan Abdalhamid, Tahseen Ahmed, and Hisham Awartani.

Our goal should be to encourage students to seek out accurate information (especially outside of the biased representation in mainstream media coverage), provide historical context, and facilitate nuanced analysis, not to encourage simplistic thinking that conflates critiques of state violence with antisemitism. We stand with the tens of thousands of anti-Zionist American Jews who are saying, “Not in our name!” to the Israeli state’s genocidal violence against Gaza. We encourage colleges and universities, including Haverford College, to stand with the nonviolent international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement by supporting the academic boycott of Israel. We reiterate our support for pro-Palestinian students, particularly Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, who have come under attack for critiquing the violence of both the U.S. and Israeli state.

We urge faculty and staff at colleges and universities globally, particularly our fellow Faculty for Justice in Palestine chapters, to sign on to our statement here.

In solidarity,

Haverford Faculty for Justice in Palestine:

Dr. Gina Velasco, Associate Professor and Director, Program in Gender and Sexuality

Dr. Tarik Aougab, Associate Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Lindsay Reckson, Associate Professor and Chair of English

Dr. Maud Burnett McInerney, Professor of English and Laurie Ann Levin Chair of Comparative Literature

Dr. Aurelia Gómez Unamuno, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Spanish

Dr. Zainab Saleh, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Dr. Qrescent Mali Mason, Assistant Professor of Philosophy 

Dr. Lina Martinez Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Dr. Danielle Allor, Visiting Assistant Professor of English

Dr. Talia Young, Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies 

Dr. Asali Solomon, Bertrand K. Wilbur Endowed Chair in the Humanities, Professor of English, and Chair of Creative Writing 

NYU FJP: 

Dr. Sonya Posmentier, Associate Professor of English

Dr. Andrew Ross, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis

Dr. Sinan Antoon, Associate Professor, Gallatin School 

Dr. John King, Associate Adjunct Professor, ACT-UAW Local 7902 

San Francisco State University FJP: 

Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, Associate Professor of Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora Studies

Pratt Institute FJP: 

Dr. Jonathan Beller, Professor of Humanities and Media Studies

Mount Holyoke FJP: 

Dr. Iyko Day, Elizabeth C. Small Professor and Chair of English

Dr. Ren-yo Hwang, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Critical Race and Political Economy

Dr. Andrea Lawlor, Associate Professor of English 

Stanford University FJP: 

Dr. Jonathan Rosa, Associate Professor of Education and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity

Dr. Seema Yasmin, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Primary Care and Population Health

University of Chicago FJP: 

Dr. Eman Abdelhadi, Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Human Development 

UMass – Boston, Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine: 

Dr. Heike Schotten, Professor of Political Science 

New School FJP: 

Dr. Cinzia Arruzza, Associate Professor of Philosophy 

In solidarity: 

Dr. Alicia Christoff, Associate Professor of English, Amherst College 

Dr. John Schultz, Temple University 

Dr. Brandis Whitfield, Temple University 

Dr. Santana Afton, Georgia Institute of Technology 

Dr. Seppo Niemi-Colvin, Indiana University 

Dr. Ila Varma, University of Toronto 

Dr. Jayadev Athreya, University of Washington 

Dr. Denis Hirschfeldt, University of Chicago 

Dr. Nikhil Sahoo, Cornell University

Dr. Allyson Nadia Field, University of Chicago 

Dr. Britt Munro, CUNY Graduate Center, John Jay College 

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