Statement on Gaza – ASA Executive Committee
We at the ASA express deep concern at the escalation of violence in Palestine and Israel and grieve the loss of civilian life. ASA continues to stand with the Palestinian people and their ongoing struggle for liberation. We continue to support those who speak out against the intensifying onslaught on Gaza, whose destruction has killed nearly four thousand Gazan residents and displaced hundreds of thousands more. We mourn the continuing loss of human lives and recognize the need to situate today’s events in a historical, political and regional understanding.
The violence marked by and since October 7 has shaken us. Images of war are inescapable. Students and colleagues have lost family members or fear for their lives. The purposeful withholding of humanitarian resources like food, water, and electricity continues the ongoing project of settler colonialism and links this struggle to so many others across the globe. ASA joins the chorus of global demand for an immediate ceasefire and release of humanitarian aid to Gaza, and calls on the US to end support of Israeli apartheid and work toward negotiations.
In light of the rampant circulation of unverified news and Islamophobic propaganda, and in light of the doxxing and harassment of students and faculty who express solidarity with Palestine and protest Israeli militarism and occupation, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression without threat of censure or retaliation. The right to teach and learn about apartheid and the 16-year siege of Gaza should be upheld in our universities. So too should the complicated histories of people’s resistance in Palestine and everywhere.
As we move into the weeks before our annual conference in Montreal, we remember solidarity and love as both a practice and an ethic. We protect us. Our struggles as Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples are real, and they connect us. The first female Palestinian imprisoned by the Israeli army was an Afro-Palestinian of Nigerian descent named Fatima Bernawi. She served 10 years in Israeli prisons. The Palestinian struggle is also the struggle for global Black solidarity in our collective liberation.
Gaza is in our hearts and minds this week and always.
EDIT (10/24/2023): The sentence which originally read "The violence of the last twelve days has shaken us" as posted on 10/21/23 was changed to "The violence marked by and since October 7 has shaken us."
Community announcements and events are services that are offered by the ASA to support the organizing efforts of critical constituency groups. They do not reflect the decisions or actions of the association’s governance bodies, the National Council or Executive Committee. Questions should be directed to the committee, caucus, or chapter that has authored and posted this notice.