Northwestern University takes a step in the right direction; ASG Senate passes divestment resolution
The following letter was written by Northwestern University Palestinian students, after the school’s Associated Student Government Senate passed the divestment resolution with 24 votes in favor 22 votes against and 3 abstained on Feb. 18th.
We are Palestinian undergraduate students at Northwestern University. We may be few in number, but solidarity from our sisters and brothers in other communities has given us strength and, ultimately, a victory, in the form of the passage of a divestment resolution on on Feb. 18th. As our counterparts in Palestine have always received grassroots support from all parts of the world, we received grassroots support from all parts of our campus. We are humbled by this support and aware that we build on the foundations created by the marginalized who came before us.
As products of Diaspora, we are from Chicago, Washington D.C., Amman, Doha, and Dubai, but our roots lie in Palestine. We aim to support our less privileged brethren in the greater struggle for liberation and uplift the suppressed Palestinian narrative wherever we may go. Our status as Northwestern students positions us strangely: we are complicit in our own oppression.
Anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism as well as Islamophobia are interconnected, and the debate before the vote further displayed that they are rampant. There appears to be a surge in these sentiments since the resolution passed. We witnessed firsthand the appropriation of the struggles of Middle Eastern women and queers. Though we are pleased with the success of the NU Divest campaign, we are alarmed by the discursive violence we heard from our peers and will continue to stand against racism in all its forms.
The oppression of Palestinians in Palestine is linked with the oppression of Palestinians everywhere, and even more, with the oppression of all peoples everywhere. While we know too well that this resolution will not end our complicity or the oppression of Palestinians, it is a small step in the right direction.
Yazan Abughaidah, Media Industry & Technology, SoC ’16
Ruba Assaf, Cognitive Science, WCAS ‘17
Dania Atallah, Anthropology, WCAS ‘16
Serene Darwish, Economics, WCAS ‘15
Dalia Fuleihan, History and International Studies, WCAS ‘15
Mayar Hamdan, Media Industry & Technology, SoC ’16
Marcel Hanna, Mathematics and Philosophy, WCAS ‘17
Aneesa Abdul-Fattaah Johnson, Radio/Television/Film and International Studies, SoC ‘18
Omar Shanti, Computer Science & Economics, McCormick ‘17
Kareem Youssef, Materials Science & Engineering, McCormick ‘16