The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

Editorial: UC Regents must call for a ceasefire in Gaza

Editorial%3A+UC+Regents+must+call+for+a+ceasefire+in+Gaza

Editor’s Note: This editorial is reflective of the editorial boards of the affiliated newspapers. It does not necessarily speak for the entire staff or the newspapers’ stance on the issue as organizations.

The editorial boards of The UCSD Guardian and The Triton newspapers have come together to call on Chancellor Pradeep Khosla and the UC San Diego administration to demand that the UC Board of Regents take action in response to the genocide the Israeli government is committing against the Palestinian people. 

Since Oct. 7, there have been reportedly over 15,000 Palestinian deaths in the Gaza Strip, with over 6,000 of those deaths being children. Even more have been raped, mutilated, and forcibly displaced. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) relentlessly bombed hospitals, schools, and civilian homes for over a month, justifying consequent Palestinian civilian deaths as “collateral damage” in their pursuit of Hamas. 

What is occurring in Gaza right now cannot be described as anything other than genocide. Hamas’s despicable actions on Oct. 7 warrant action, but the systematic civilian-targeted violence the IDF is carrying out “in response [to Hamas]” is not a “war” against terrorism, it is ethnic cleansing. In war, one side does not have the capability to entirely halt basic functions of the other. The slew of humanitarian violations Israel has committed are those that only an apartheid state could be capable of, such as cutting off access to basic supplies like food, water, shelter, and Internet for the civilian population of Gaza. We do not use the term genocide lightly. 

The UC Regents have considerable influence as holders of the public trust of the largest public university system nationwide. The board’s actions have the power to apply massive pressure on the U.S. and California state government to advocate for Palestine.

Khosla and the UC Regents have, as a whole, failed to adequately respond to and advocate for their students. UC Board of Regents Chair Richard Leib and UC President Drake’s Oct. 9 Israel-Hamas statement has only exacerbated the dangers facing students across UC campuses. Khosla has remained silent since his Oct. 10 message echoing President Drake. Though the UC condemns Hamas’ actions on Oct. 7, they have been notably silent on the Israeli government’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

Most alarmingly, Regent Jonathan Sures’s recent damaging comments made in retaliation to the UC Ethnic Studies Faculty Council statement in support of Palestinian students further demonstrates the UC’s sanitization of the crisis in Gaza. Khosla’s inaction enables the UC system to continue perpetuating selective empathy and contributing to the misinformation underscoring increased Islamophobia and antisemitism on our campus.

Therefore, we urge Chancellor Khosla and the UCSD administration to pressure the Board of UC Regents to stand with us on the side of compassion and humanity by releasing a statement calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and condemning Israel’s genocide of Palestinians. This would have the added benefit of increasing pressure on California’s state and federal representatives to follow suit. 

Additionally, in order to substantiate these symbolic statements, we call on UCSD to lead the UC system in divesting from corporations funding the IDF, such as BlackRock, if there is no pathway to permanent ceasefire. In 1984, student advocacy for the UC to divest from corporations supporting the apartheid government in South Africa was met with major success. The UC has a long history of divesting on the basis of student concerns (2020 divestment from fossil fuels, 2017 divestments from Wells Fargo, 2015 divestments from private prisons), and we echo the calls of the UC students before us calling for the same divestment in 2015. By ending affiliation with companies that support the Israeli government’s actions, the UC would effectively sanction the Israeli government.

Moreover, we encourage UCSD and other UC campuses to weaken relations with academic institutions in Israel until at least a permanent ceasefire is met. Study abroad programs are a form of public diplomacy which the UC must suspend in order to show our unwillingness to cooperate with a government committing ethnic cleansing.

Through partnerships with corporations that fund the IDF and our yearly study-abroad offerings to Israeli universities, the UC public college system has been used as the California government’s puppet of public diplomacy for strengthening Israel-US relations. There has never been safety for Palestinian students in the UC, nor acknowledgment that these programs and investments go to funding the removal and extermination of their people from their homeland. 

On Nov. 16, the UC Regents shifted $7 million dollars for programs like emergency mental health and guidance for educators to respond to the rising hate on our campuses. While this monetary commitment is substantial, it will do little to meaningfully address the root causes of violence and polarization on campus. The UC cannot simultaneously claim to support all students while funding the genocide of their families.

If Khosla directs UCSD to pursue the action items we have outlined, this will pave the way for the UC Board of Regents to implement these changes across the entire UC system. This unilateral support of Palestine and Palestinian students would aid in a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, which is the first step that must occur before any long-term diplomatic solution can be reached in the disputed Middle East.

Though the deal for a four-day humanitarian pause has been underway and extended with the release of more hostages and prisoners from both the IDF and Hamas, this has only provided the citizens of Gaza a brief respite from the IDF’s ethnic cleansing. It is clear that the Israeli government does not intend on ending their campaign of violence; during the ceasefire, the IDF has continued to attack the West Bank, Syria, and Lebanon. Touting this offer as a breakthrough for diplomacy fails to acknowledge that this deal does nothing to permanently alleviate the violence committed against Palestinian civilians in the long term, nor bring them justice. 

This pause deal resulted in part from international pressure placed on the Israeli government. Though this deal is not a victory, we can use it as foundation for momentous pressure towards a permanent ceasefire. Our voice and action are vital now more than ever.

In a genocide that has primarily targeted children, civilians, and journalists, we have the utmost responsibility to do everything we can as students, educators, and bureaucrats to call for justice. We are deeply dissatisfied with the inaction of the UC System in response to the ongoing violence against Palestinians.


The violence in Gaza is uniquely characterized and exacerbated by misinformation and ethnonationalist propaganda spread by Israel and U.S. leadership spanning over more than the last 75 years. Journalists across the globe have been censored, fired, and killed for their coverage of this issue. 

As of Nov. 29, there have been 57 reported deaths of journalists — 50 Palestinian, four Israeli, and three Lebanese — in Gaza since Oct. 7. There have been documented cases of Israeli politicians calling for the “elimination” of journalists who have been covering the massacre in Gaza. 

The deaths of journalists and rampant spread of misinformation are fundamentally intertwined. We must acknowledge that much of how we got here is the result of the incorrect conflations of anti-Zionism with antisemitism, of all Palestinians with Hamas, of all Jewish people with being Zionists, and of all Muslims with terrorists. We see and understand how Jewish people in the diaspora are reeling from their own losses and generational trauma from the Holocaust, and how that elevates valid fears of antisemitic violence whenever Jewish issues are brought into public discourse. That being said, “Never again” must mean never again to any group. Peaceful coexistence of Jewish and Muslim peoples in the Middle East existed long before Israel and can continue with the right steps forward. 

Earlier this month, over a dozen LA Times staffers signed an open letter by journalists criticizing the Israeli government and calling on Western media to report with integrity. The LA Times is now retaliating against the staff that signed that letter, barring them from reporting on Gaza for three months as punishment. This is testament to the deep-rooted Zionism entrenched within U.S. news media. The stories of Palestinian people have historically been erased and misrepresented. We stand in solidarity with those LA Times writers. Right now, we must call attention to the protection of the people in Gaza. We must center the experiences of Palestine and their peoples’ fight for freedom from apartheid and genocide. 

The truth of the conditions in Gaza is now being documented almost exclusively by students, young people, and the records left behind of now-dead journalists on social media platforms. Four of the most prominent sources for on-the-ground coverage in Gaza come from civilian youth. Every update posted online by Motaz (24 years old), Plestia (22 years old), Bisan (25 years old), and Abod (18 years old) is another day we can breathe a sigh of relief that they are still alive. 

As student journalists at UCSD, we have witnessed firsthand the toll this genocide has taken on the Palestinian and Muslim communities at our university, who have been cut off from their friends and families in Gaza. We have reported as candidly as we could, though many national news stations continue spewing misinformation. We cannot sit idly by as we see our journalist brothers and sisters in Palestine being targeted and killed for sharing the realities of the unending violence they face in Gaza.

The editorial boards of our newspapers are a diverse body of students. We come from a variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds. Many of us carry generational trauma of colonization and oppression. We have spoken to Palestinian and Jewish students alike and held space for their pain on our pages. We see how Islamophobia and antisemitism have risen to record highs on college campuses and in day-to-day life. We recognize and validate the very legitimate fear that Palestinian, Muslim, Jewish, and Israeli folks are feeling.

We firmly believe that we are able to remain objective and reliable news sources while standing up for human rights. This editorial is reflective of our passion for justice and the desire for change we feel as student journalists. These dialogues and actions can and must be handled with nuance, accuracy, deliberation, and empathy. The UC Regents must take action. We must stand for what is right.

We call upon our fellow student journalists across the nation to join us in taking a stand. 

 

Signed,

The Editorial Boards of The UCSD Guardian & The Triton

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The UCSD Guardian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *