Justice for Palestine Week Should Receive More Funds

Dear Editor,

It disgusts and saddens me that a Palestinian student at UCSD has to defend herself against the wordplay of Horowitz and is being blamed for supporting genocide, while her own people are suffering from acts of racial violence on the scale of genocide on a daily basis. Only at UCSD could such a backward discussion be made into headline news. The entire situation was instigated by Tritons For Israel, who purposely invited a hateful, anti-Palestinian figure to speak at UCSD during Justice in Palestine Week. What’s next, KKK speakers during Black History Month? One of the first lessons in critical race theory is that counterattack — blaming the victim — is a common strategy for avoiding blame, and it’s used by people committing acts of racism just as it is used by perpetrators of domestic violence.

As an alumnus of UCSD who is now a lecturer here, I want to make my support for Palestine clear. When students ask how much money is spent on Justice in Palestine Week, even though they may not understand its importance, I have to ask how much money is spent on support for Israel on this campus. How much money goes to developing nuclear weapons, and how much money goes to animal testing? There are a whole host of things on this campus that I don’t agree with, but the purpose of a university is to provide a space for intellectual inquiry, and to open students’ minds to the injustice of their own society. Spending a few thousand dollars bringing to light the crimes of the No. 1 recipient of military aid from the U.S. is an excellent way to spend money, in my view.

That the article “Students Clash Anew Over Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” called into question the quality of the speakers is a further insult. Angela Davis, a world-renowned scholar, activist and alumna of UCSD, was only one of the brilliantly chosen speakers who the Muslim Student Association — in all its hard work — brought to our campus.

To quote the Mexican-American-studies department of the Tucson Unified School District, our goal here should be to “work toward the invoking of a critical consciousness within each and every student” and “promote and advocate for social and educational transformation.” Justice in Palestine Week is one of the most important events our campus holds annually, and it should get more funding instead of less, in light of the growing racial intolerance this campus is supporting.

—Micha Cárdenas

Lecturer, visual-arts and critical-gender studies departments