Students Need to Educate Themselves About Palestine

    Over the course of this process, I heard things that I had believed only existed in sensational news articles. According to some of my fellow UCSD students, Palestinians did not exist, Palestine is not in a state of apartheid, and Palestinian refugees do not deserve the right to come back home.

    This blatant dismissal of the struggles faced by the Palestinian people, and the blind, “patriotic” support given to the Israeli government, leads to the collective desensitization of our moral and rational minds.

    This is an issue that transcends social, political, economic and religious boundaries. I am not Palestinian, nor have I ever been to Palestine, but I know that I cannot turn a blind eye to the reality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. As a student of conscience, I am seeking an opportunity to educate myself and eradicate myths and misconceptions.

    During Week 7 of this quarter, the Muslim Student Association will be hosting “Justice in Palestine Week 2013: 21st century Colonialism Sponsored by U(SA).” Notable speakers such as Dr. Nasser Barghouti, Dr. Hatem Bazian and Cynthia McKinney will be coming to UCSD to share their thoughts and experiences. We can no longer live in a self-induced fantasy that leads us to believe that colonialism and apartheid are a thing of the past. I cannot continue to read history books, learn the stories of those who suffered under oppressive regimes without recognizing that the Palestinian people also live under the regime of Israeli colonialism.

    Our tuition, our tax dollars and the decisions of our government have served to perpetuate this injustice. We have the privilege of becoming catalysts for social change. This is a privilege that is often forgotten and seldom taken seriously. To abuse this privilege by remaining blissfully ignorant of the atrocities that occur in the name of “self defense” and “democracy” makes us complicit in perpetuating violence and genocide. Justice in Palestine Week provides the necessary forum to address the reality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

    I invite you to explore, engage and reflect on a phenomenon that has been grossly misrepresented in mainstream media sources. The loss of homes, displacement and disenfranchisement has been a part of Palestinian history and defines current reality. Let us not allow it to become the future.

    — Sarah Feteih
    Freshman, Marshall College

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