In the days following Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip, students at the University of Chicago took to their school newspaper to voice their concerns or, in at least one case, their support for the eight-day military assault. Here’s a timeline of the activity the Chicago Maroon has seen in the last two weeks.
November 21, 2012
Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Chicago published a statement condemning Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip and urging students, faculty, and community members to actively work to hold Israel accountable for its actions. The statement, signed and supported by various campus groups and published just after the ceasefire was announced, was sent to the Chicago Maroon and dozens of other university divisions, departments, and administrators.
November 27, 2012
SJP submitted and published an op-ed explaining the importance of working for justice in Palestine. The article gives a brief rundown of the latest invasion and places it within a greater historical context that points to the blockade, the siege, and the overall occupation as clear obstacles to peace. The op-ed was published online and in print.
November 30, 2012
In response to SJP’s op-ed, a student who characterizes himself as pro-Israel and who doesn’t explicitly condemn Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of the Gaza Strip submitted an op-ed blaming SJP for stagnating the campus discourse on Palestine. The author takes the high moral road, calling on SJP to do away with its radical agenda and to actually work toward peace by engaging in dialogue with the group’s pro-Israel counterparts.
December 4, 2012
Two related pieces were published by the Chicago Maroon. The first op-ed was submitted by four pro-Israel students, most if not all of them affiliated with campus group Chicago Friends of Israel. The article cites Hamas as the reason for Israel’s aggression to Gaza. The authors also make the abject mistake of denying the existence of the occupation in a line that is still being mocked today within activist and even non-activist circles: “What Israeli occupation?”
The second op-ed was submitted by members of SJP who explain and justify SJP’s anti-dialogue stance. The article establishes the inherent problems with dialogue and instead calls on students to take action based on what they know to be right and what they know to be wrong. The piece has been the Chicago Maroon’s most viewed article for the week.