On March 7, University of California Davis students, alumni, and members of the broader community came together in response to the presence of George Deek – the so-called “Arab-Israeli” diplomat- on their campus. Following is part of the statement issued by the students.
Our response was not organized by any single organization or group but rather, emerged from shared principles of anti-colonialism in general, and anti-zionism in particular. The protest took the form of a walk-out accompanied by the following chants:
Free, free Palestine
Long live the Intifada
Israel is an apartheid state
Israel is anti-Black
When Palestine is occupied, resistance is justified
Palestine will be free, fight white supremacy
While we recognize our actions to be minimal in relation to the history of Palestinian resistance we invoke, we felt a responsibility to reject the zionist agenda that George Deek furthers – a settler-colonial agenda that is xenophobic, Islamophobic, and anti-Black. We refuse all efforts to normalize the Israeli occupation and recognize that the state of Israel was born and remains possible through the genocide and displacement of Palestinians. We did not participate within the established framework of the event because we are aware of how discourses about ‘dialogue’ and ‘democracy’ function to silence anti-zionist voices. We recognize that Israel’s voice is already over-represented in the media, our classrooms, and history books and refuse to provide the State another platform through which to normalize colonial violence. We have no more ‘tolerance’ for Israeli propaganda.
George Deek, a self-identified Israeli born to a Palestinian family, perfectly embodies the project of zionist liberal-democracy, which seeks to assimilate Palestinians into non-existence, after the exhaustion of genocidal State strategies. Deek’s public references to Israeli willingness to ‘dialogue’ and denunciations of Palestinians’ so-called self-victimization not only disregards the disparity of power between colonizer and colonized, but also erases the history of Palestinian resistance against occupation. We reject the kind of identity politics that values Deek’s Palestinian identity at the expense of asserting his function as a colonial collaborator.
In light of recent events on the UC Davis campus we also feel obligated to note the Israeli state’s foundational anti-Blackness. Israel’s investments in prison systems and direct involvement with American policing should preclude any bonds of solidarity between supporters of Israel and dispossessed communities, particularly the Black community. We note the continuity between the foundational racism of Israel and that of the United States, and see the continuity between Israeli anxiety over the reproduction of non-white, non-Ashkenazi bodies and the history of sterilization of indigenous and Black women in the United States.
We, therefore, are opposed to entities that impose or directly enable these injustices to persist, and we will not tolerate or allow for such people to have a platform to speak on our campus, nor will we engage in pseudo ‘dialogue’ with them.
Pro-Palestine Supporters and Community