Students for Palestine call on universities to disclose, divest and boycott Israel

May 9, 2024
University of Sydney encampment for Palestine. Photo: Zebedee Parkes

Palestine solidarity encampments at several universities (University of Sydney, University of Adelaide, University of Queensland, Curtin University, Monash University, RMIT University, Deakin University, Latrobe University, the Australian National University and University of Wollongong) issued the following statement on May 9.

* * *

We have established peaceful protest encampments on unceded Aboriginal land to stand with the people of Gaza against the bombings, invasion and occupation by Israeli forces. Our struggle is for them, and our encampments are for them.

We are horrified at the brutality that is being brought down upon Palestinians. We cannot sit by while it unfolds. To do so would be a moral travesty. We believe in the possibility of a world without war, but that belief demands action.

Our demands are simple. We call on our universities to disclose all of their ties with Israel, divest from those ties, boycott Israeli academic institutions and sign on to the international Boycott Divestment & Sanctions statement. 

We condemn the physical attacks against numerous encampments by supporters of Israel. This has included fireworks being shot at tents at the University of Adelaide and repeated violent attacks on the Monash encampment in the night.

We are aware that people in Gaza know about our encampments. Internationally, governments and institutions have attempted to isolate the Palestinians. Our encampments strive to show those in Gaza that they do not walk alone.

Our encampments are acts of nonviolent protest. We make decisions democratically through camp meetings made up of any and all participants who wish to attend. We reject all forms of racism and discrimination including Islamophobia, antisemitism, sexism, transphobia and homophobia.

Opposition to the state of Israel and to Zionism as an ideology is not antisemitism. Many of the student leaders of our protests are Jewish, and we see ourselves as standing on the shoulders of a long line of Jewish pro-Palestine and anti-war activists.


Photo: Zebedee Parkes

We call for university management teams to meet with us and answer our demands, but we refuse to meet with them behind closed doors or carry out secret negotiations.

We insist that any process of dialogue with the university be open to all those participating in the encampments, as well as any staff or students who wish to attend.

We end this statement with the words of the late Howard Zinn:

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic.

“It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.”

Our protests form one small link in the historical chain of activism against war and racism.


Photo: Zebedee Parkes

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