Our response to the atrocities in the occupied Palestinian territories to join the voices from around the world in expressing our shock, sadness and anger at the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
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Statement from Bilal Ijaz, President 2020/21; Niel Lewis, GSU Officer 2020/21; and Zoë Campbell, GSU Officer 2020/22
We are writing this statement in response to the atrocities in the occupied Palestinian territories and join the voices from around the world in expressing our shock, sadness and anger at the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
We stand by our Palestinian students and the people of Palestine who are affected by Israeli apartheid and the violence and atrocities that we are currently witnessing in Sheikh Jarrah, the Al Aqsa compound and in Gaza. It is unacceptable to see the increase in violence and subsequent loss of civilian life over the past couple of weeks.
We condemn the ongoing illegal blockade of Gaza and call on the British Government to bring an end to the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people. We know that this has been an ongoing issue since 1948 which has affected the innocent lives of people in the region, but this current escalation was prompted by violent attacks by the Israeli police in the month of Ramadan.
We want an immediate ceasefire and an end to the illegal occupation. You can join this call for peace by writing to your local MP using the following template: https://palestinecampaign.eaction.online/stoparmingIsrael. It will automatically generate a letter you can edit and then send to your MP after you enter your postcode.
The UN declared the occupation of Palestine to be illegal (UNSC resolution 2334), and Human Rights Watch found that Israel commits “deprivations...so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution” of the Palestinian people. We believe in protecting the rights of minority groups and in their liberation. We also believe in Decolonisation; we, therefore, reject the settler-colonial practices of violently and illegally occupying Palestine and establishing discriminatory and oppressive control of the Palestinian people.
In line with our values, Greenwich Students' Union (GSU) will:
- In response to a student petition, call an immediate Student Assembly to pass an urgent Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) policy.
- Work with the University to ensure their Ethical Investment Policy is properly applied to ensure any funding that benefits illegal settlements is divested until Israel complies with international law.
- Work with our student groups to organise charity fundraisers for those affected.
GSU has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy when it comes to discrimination. We are deeply concerned about reports of an increase in hate crime in the UK - there is no excuse for Antisemitism or Islamophobia. The University of Greenwich is a community built on mutual respect and understanding. We are proud of our University community for standing up to hate whenever we find it. Now more than ever it is important that we are all vigilant, support each other and maintain those values of respect, understanding and oppose any form of discrimination. If you have experienced any form of discrimination, please do know that you can reach out to us for support. If you choose to engage in any demonstrations, do so respectfully, legally and most important, safely, displaying the best for the cause.
We know that the harrowing and distressing scenes of this conflict would have felt overwhelming and caused upset to many. We would like to remind all students that we are here to support you, so please get in touch if you have been affected. There are wellbeing services you can access through the University as well.
Services and resources
GSU Advice Service - greenwichsu.co.uk/advice
Together all - gre.ac.uk/study/support/togetherall
If you would like to learn more, you can visit:
National Demonstration for Palestine: https://www.palestinecampaign.org/events/national-demonstration-for-palestine/
How to Protest Safely: https://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/SafeyDuringProtest_F.pdf