Authors’ note: This is a response to the posting from Cornell SJP on the situation in Yarmouk camp in Syria. This is not meant as a comprehensive statement on the conflict in Syria. It is also not our intention to cast aspersions on or vilify Cornell SJP but to respond to the content of their statement. If you would like to add your name to this statement, either as an individual, or as an SJP chapter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name as it should appear.
All of us have seen the horrifying pictures coming out of Yarmouk refugee camp. Each of us holds our sisters, our brothers, our nieces and nephews, our seedos a little tighter as we struggle to see what can be done for Palestinians who are literally starving to death. Many of those killed by the Assad regime in the past three years were Palestinians, some carrying cameras to document the regime’s brutality, some delivering aid to besieged Syrians, some carrying a weapon while fighting for freedom and dignity, and some sitting quietly in their homes when a TNT barrel fell through their roof. Yarmouk was home to over 100,000 Palestinians. Suffice it to say that there are those in Yarmouk who support the armed resistance, those who don’t, and those who simply want to live, all of them wish to return to their homes in Palestine.
Yet we also know that ultimately Palestinian liberation is incomplete without the liberation of all oppressed people, whether their oppression comes from occupation and settler-colonialism or a repressive regime from within.
We therefore stand in solidarity not only with the Palestinians of Yarmouk, but also with the people of Syria, fighting for freedom and a better future for their children. We totally reject holding the armed resistance responsible for the crimes the Assad regime has committed against the people of Yarmouk and the people of Syria. The government of Syria has the responsibility to protect innocent civilians and allow vital aid to reach those in need. We condemn the Assad regime’s siege on Yarmouk in the strongest terms. To abrogate any of the regime’s responsibility for their own actions is outrageous.
We will not attempt to speak for the people of Yarmouk or Syria, or continue the cynical use of these people as pawns, either in war or in debate. As solidarity activists, and more importantly, as human beings, we stand with the downtrodden, the abject, and the oppressed.
Individual Students and Alumni
Neda Kit, Rutgers SJP
Mohannad Rachid, Loyola University of Chicago SJP
Tarek M. Khalil, University of Illinois at Chicago SJP Alum
Bekah Wolf, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Dina Sayed-Ahmad, Rutgers SJP
Ahmad Aburas, Rutgers SJP
Noran Elzarka, Drew SJP
Ephraim Hussain, Montclaire State University
Shiyam Galyon, University of Texas at Austin PSC Alum
Baha Abusharara, University of Illinois at Chicago SJP
Loyola University of Chicago SJP
Drew University SJP
University of Illinois at Chicago SJP