Monday, December 9

Submission: UCLA solidarity can help Palestinians attain equal rights

By Lila Suboh and Dana Saifan

“Remember, there was no Palestine as a state – (it was) part of the Ottoman Empire. I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs and who were historically part of the Arab community,” stated Newt Gingrich, a U.S. Republican presidential candidate in 2012.

That’s right, Palestinians are “invented” people. The 4.3 million people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the 5 million Palestinian refugees are “invented” people.

Maybe it is because Palestinians are “invented” that they don’t deserve basic human rights, such as access to water, roads, electricity, food and medical supplies? Or maybe they don’t deserve a homeland of their own because they are “invented” people? Or maybe, just maybe, it is because Palestinians are “invented” that they are subjugated to live under Israel’s occupation, which has been deemed illegal under international law?

The truth is, we are all “invented” people, living in “invented” nations that were birthed at the expense of indigenous peoples, disregarding those human beings’ real identities, histories and experiences prior to the invention of nations.

Despite the superficial invention of labels for strips of land spread across vast oceans, the people on these lands are very real. UCLA students and Los Angeles residents are very real. The Palestinian people are very real.

Likewise, the struggles of students on campus and Palestinians are real and concern us all. Last week, UCLA students rallied against a proposed 20 percent hike to University of California Student Health Insurance Plan fees and caps on student benefits.

In a more severe struggle for access to health care, the Palestinian people face worsening health conditions as the Israeli military’s checkpoints impede pregnant women, the sick, and the elderly from reaching hospitals in the West Bank.

The Israeli blockade prohibits vital medical supplies, such as needles and medicine, from reaching Palestinians in Gaza whose lives depend on them.

While the Palestinian struggle for basic health needs, as a matter of life or death, is more critical and overt than UC struggles to maintain health care, the understanding of access to health care as a basic human right is universal.

As UCLA students, we face budget cuts and fight for access to higher education. Palestinian students persist through roadblocks (both physical and financial) each day to attain their education, despite the chilling reality that only $192 is spent on each non-Jewish Palestinian child per year by the Israeli government, compared to $1,100 on each Jewish Israeli child, according to the Washington Report.

And just as our minority communities around Los Angeles are racially targeted and incarcerated, Palestinians are deemed “security threats” because of their race.

According to Palestinian human rights organization Addameer, 700 Palestinian children under the age of 18 are prosecuted each year through Israeli military courts and more than 4,700 Palestinians are in prison as of Jan. 1, 2013.

We are all “uninvented” human beings that are equally deserving of our human rights, from UCLA students to Palestinians.

This week, Students for Justice in Palestine is hosting its annual Palestine Awareness Week, a program dedicated to educating the UCLA community about Palestine and its people who resist Israel’s oppression within the Palestinian territories, within Israel and around the world. This is an opportunity for UCLA students and faculty to learn why this conflict is not as complicated and controversial as many have portrayed it to be.

As human beings, Palestinians deserve equal rights – it’s as simple as that. With the solidarity of UCLA students and faculty, these rights are possible to attain, just as it was possible for students and faculty to help deconstruct South African apartheid in the 1980s.

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu emphasized, by standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, “You are doing the right thing. You are doing the moral thing. You are doing that which is incumbent on you as humans who believe that all people have dignity and rights, and that all those being denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings.”

Lila Suboh is a fourth-year international development studies student and a member of Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA. Dana Saifan is a third-year psychology student and a member of Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA.

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  • Bruins for Israel

    But Palestinians *are* invented. There’s no one there, and they’re trying to kill us!!! Oh, jeez, help us please, save us from coexistence with another ethnicity! (Even if the security measures that save us create the conflict we need saving from in the first place).

    • Jonathan Gilbert

      My name is Jonathan Gilbert and I am President of Bruins for Israel. I know that this was not written by anyone who is a member of BFI. We don’t talk like this and we are all about peace and coexistence. I don’t appreciate mock racism involving our group.

      • deleteyourself

        You only appreciate racism that mocks members of SJP and other similar groups, I take it, then, as members of BFI repeatedly called people flyering by the wall “terrorists”. But I guess nothing better can be expected of a group that supports the concretely racist policies of a highly militarized regime.

  • Historical Perspective

    It is important remember that there are always two sides to a story. Unfortunately, only one side is being portrayed here.

    • Lubna

      No there are no sides, unless if you’re talking about the side of humanitarian rights. If you don’t believe in basic human rights, then you’re definitely right, you’re on the “other” side of this. Do your research.

    • mohammad

      yes, I agree, lets here the other side.. How many hours do israeli citizens have to wait in line to get to work?. how many days do they spend at the Palestinians jail houses?. how often do they get water that is okay for human consumption?. how many permits do they have to pull from the Palestinian government to visit a family member that lives less than a mile away from their homes?. how many kids from israel has Arab machine guns in their faces a day?. ANSWER is zero , none, none and zero. you know why…. because we are in the freeekin 21st century and we should be ashamed as humans that there is a country under siege, under occupation under fire, , wake up..

  • Arafat

    While Muslims in Syria kill women, children, elderly indiscriminately – up to 40,000 people and counting – we devote our anger on Israel for we are anti-Semites in sheep’s clothing.

    While Muslims have killed up to one million in Sudan, and counting, we devote our anger on Israel for we are really just anti-Semites pretending we are humanitarians.

    While Muslims in Mali have forced 500,000 (and counting) people into refugee status – as they have done in the past year – we devote our anger on Israel for we are anti-Semites pretending to be for social justice.

    While Muslims kill off what remains of the ancient Hindu population in-and-around Pakistan we devote our anger on Israel for we are like the Germans during the 1930s – people who needed a convenient scapegoat to
    escape their own feelings of frustration.

    While Muslims have wiped out all the Buddhists from their ancient homeland in Afghanistan we devote our anger on Israel for it’s easy to pick on Jews and we are shameless hypocrites engaging in man’s oldest
    prejudice, anti-Semitism, while pretending to be holier-than-thou.

    • sandy brown

      Who do you lump in your homogenized identity of Muslims? Didn’t you know we are not all the same? Try picking up a book. The only ethnic cleansing ever spoken about in our history books is about the Jews and although everything that happened was wrong on so many levels, why are Armenians or the poor people of color in the US, or the Palestinians, why are they never mentioned? Cos we only care about WHITE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN KILLED. The reason why the holocaust is talked about so much is cos Jews are white folks. Radicialize your mind, Instead of regurgitating everything you’ve been taught.

      • Silly bruins

        To say only white people have been killed is inherently racist, my friend.first of all, not only Jews were killed in the holocaust. The reason why the holocaust is so widely known is because Jews have made an effort to keep remembrance, year after year. Armenians in recent years have followed in their footsteps and began publicizing/drawing attention to their genocide in the 1910s and now we are hearing more about it. You can’t blame them either for wanting everyone to know about their horrific pasts. No one wants history to repeat itself.

        • Silly bruins

          Also, I wouldn’t consider myself educated or well read if the only ethnic cleansing I have ever heard of was the holocaust. That is sad.

    • mohammad

      exactly. now its called the ARABIAN spring. its cleaning time.

  • Arafat

    You left out the part where Israel removed all settlements from Gaza in exchange for peace, but let’s not worry ourselves with minor details, for we all know this is not about seeking truth and justice so much as
    it is about besmirching Israel.

    But the noble Hamas-led Palestinians – as is typical of their good neighbor policy-
    tore up that treaty with Israel, and no sooner had the Israeli settlers left
    than the Palestinians started lobbing rocket, after rocket, after rocket into
    Israel. But this is a mere detail, and as noble college students and editorialists we should not be bothered with such trivia.

    Instead welcome to our fantasy-world where we pretend that it is the poor-poor Hamas who are the victims:
    the good guys in our fictional depiction of this conflict. For we all know Hamas is an ethical and
    loving organization for whom respect for core values such as women’s rights, gay rights, Jew’s rights, freedom of conscience, the sanctity of life – are all paramount.

    In short, Orwell could not make this crap up it is that far detached from reality.

    • mohammad

      wow, yeah, we feel with the ones that got moved from an apartment in Gaza and was given a HOUSE in another Palestine land, for each unite they moved from Gaza, they built 20 on another part of Palestine.

  • Arafat

    I don’t accuse the Palestinians of Jew-hatred because of criticism of settlements. I accuse them of Jew hatred because their media contains the most obscene and fanatical Jew-hatred, as documented by such
    organizations as MEMRI, and because the Palestinians repeatedly make clear their desire to wipe Israel off the face of the earth — which they wish to do in order to live out the Islamic religious mythos, for example the following hadiths:

    Muhammad says that one day the very trees and stones will
    help Muslims to kill Jews.

    He says it both in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim,
    Islam’s two most canonical hadith collections.

    • john doe

      Don’t conflate Muslims with Palestinians although there are Palestinians who practice Islam, there are more than billions of nonsecular Palestinians, as well as Jewish Palestinians, druid Palestinians, pagan Palestinians, etc. and don’t Homogenize Palestinians we are not all the same with the same ideas, as you have lied in your fucked up racist post. Pick up a book sometime, ignorant antisemitic person.

    • mohammad

      if you took my home, killed my brother and jailed my father, kicked me out of my country,, DO YOU WANT ME TO LOVE YOU?????????

  • Reason3

    Regardless of how you feel about the fate of Palestine, the self-importance here is as laughable as the USAC resolutions that are so often passed. Attention, students: The international community isn’t going to embrace peace because USAC passed a resolution or some students sang kumbaya on a lawn. Go into politics if you want to make a difference.

  • danae cummings

    Thank you for being so truthful and honest. Much love to all your work, both of you are appreciated so much.

  • Mohammad

    Lila, It tickles my brain and sends a breeze in my heart when I read these words. I’m very proud and holding chin high up. it is a known fact to all, and specialy to the people of Israel state that it is a temporary stage in the Arab world and they are not there to stay. they know who has the right to that land, just to clear something up here, Israel leadership do their best on a daily base to help jew immigrants move in. They can tell all stories they want about that land, but they know who belongs where and what belongs to who. Despite all what the Palestinians giving up just to live in peace and enjoy life, still Israel leaders wand to implant wrong history in the mind and heart of nations, they would do anything and all for that cause. The ironic thing here is that they know its a state that has a short life and soon all these people gathering from Africa, Russia and Europe are going back. To most of us there is nothing called israel, yes there are Jews just like any other religion believers but on the map the land is called PALISTINE and will always be the mother land of all. From the read sea in the south up to Syria in the north and from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea it has one name; it is Palestine. And if you think one day that Israel will have mercy on Palestinians, you are mistaking. Anyway, in Algeria, France sat there for a 100 years and the end they had to go. So we are good. Just keep up the good work

    • Arafat

      Mohammad – Is this what you are really saying:

      Why is it Muslims are free to violently conquer lands anywhere and everywhere
      without a word of protest from American Muslims, or any Muslims for that matter, but if Jews have a legally established homeland Muslims will never stop protesting against it? Why is this do you suppose? What explanation can be given other than as the Qur’an states repeatedly that
      Islam’s goal is to establish a worldwide caliphate in which all non-Muslims are

      For instance, Mohammed was born around 571 AD thousands and
      thousands of years after Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism existed. But within a
      few centuries of Mohammed’s birth Islam had violently conquered vast sections
      of Asia, all of North Africa and smaller sections of Southern Europe.

      Now Muslims tell us that all this land belongs to them even
      though, for instance, in Afghanistan they killed every last Buddhist who
      once lived there.

      According to Muslim logic per Israel shouldn’t this land
      belong to the Buddhists?

      Or in North Africa all the Berbers have been forcibly
      converted to Islam or have been killed and now we’re told all this vast landmass
      belongs to Islam. That’s interesting, if not completely hypocritical.
      And what about Southern Thailand. Did anyone know that in the last several years
      something like 5,000 Buddhists have been killed by Muslims because, or so we’re
      told, the land the Buddhists are on belongs to Islam.
      And Southern Russia? Muslims are relentlessly waging a slow reign of terror in Russia
      because, you guessed it, Russians are treating Muslims poorly and they should give up
      the Southern section of that country to Muslims.

      Or, let’s take Sudan as another example. How many millions
      have been killed in Sudan? How many babies and children have starved in Sudan
      while Islamists steal the food from aid compounds? How many women have Muslims
      gang-raped in Sudan all because that land belongs to Muslims and only Muslims.
      All other people can go somewhere else to live, I guess.

      And Kashmir? The same. Despite Hindus having lived there for
      3,000 years – something like 2,000+ years before Mohammed was born –
      Muslims tell us Kashmir belongs to them. Amazing logic isn’t it?

      And that brings us to Israel. Israel also belongs to Islam. Did you know that?
      It’s true. Even though it’s no bigger than a small pimple on
      the caliphate’s ass it is still their land and they will fight to the death
      to prove their point.

      Doesn’t the logic here make a lot of sense. Isn’t it as
      clear as day? Of course it is. The world belongs to Islam and we’re mere players on
      their stage.

      • Mohammad

        Arafat, you have your info all twisted up, it is not Islam that is killing and steeling in all the Arab world or any other place, they might be coming out of countries that are or was a part of Islamic territories, but for sure they are not true Muslims, take what happened in 9/11 as example, is that Islam what did it?!. For sure not. Real Muslims and Islam teaches to be the most fair to women, most giving to the needy, the best father for you kids and the best kind to all others. As example; when mohammad (sw) was living he had a jew neighbor that used to put trash Infront of mohammad house and one day he just stopped, so mohammad found out the the jew man was sick, so he went and visited him. That is what Islam tells us to do. Now you need to look closer at who is doing the killing in Sudan and Somalia etc.. Again they might be Muslims, but only by birth.
        Regardless all that, our point here is this.. When a whole family lives in a house and then someone else with thug friends take over the house and allow you to live in one small room and under their conditions and mercy, how would that work?. If you want peace; you should not put a gun on the table facing me and tell me what to accept. If you ever stand along with your wife that is about to give birth or with your very sick father or with your 70year old mother at a israely check point for 12 hours and see how a 20 year old boy that does not really know what part of the world his father came from or he does not really know who his father is in some cases treating you and your sick father like if you was an animal; then you will see what point is being told here. Human rights, that is what gave you power to write here and say what you want. But please look close at how the Palestinians are treated. DO not keep pushing Islam in this. It’s about people that are oppressed. And trust what I say. No one was bigger than faroh in Egypt or hitler in Germany, but what happened to them?!! Learn this, history repeats itself and we will be history one day. Don’t push Islam into what is going on. Islam is way higher in levels than these contractors and war princes if you may. Open your brains more than your eyes

        • Arafat

          Mohammad – You have been so brain-washed that you cannot distinguish reality anymore.


          Here is an example of a pure Sharia state. One that you, no doubt, think is grand.


          “To clarify: Wahhabism is the only officially
          recognized and allowed religion in Saudi Arabia. Other forms of Islam and other
          religions are banned and persecuted by the state. Saudi Arabia is the only
          Islamic state in which there is no church, no synagogue and no other place of
          worship of any other religion. Shiite Muslims have been systematically
          discriminated against for decades. Jews are even forbidden to enter the
          Kingdom. Saudi Arabia practices a form of Sharia law that is one of the most
          brutal systems in the world. Saudi Arabia has at all times rejected the
          Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Women may not drive a car and
          can be punished by flogging. Corporal punishment, including amputations and
          executions, are part of everyday life in the country. Just two weeks ago a
          Sudanese immigrant in Saudi Arabia was publicly beheaded for ‘sorcery.’ Saudi
          Arabia is one of the few countries in the world in which the death penalty is
          enforced even on teenagers,” the paper said.

          • mohammad

            Arafat,, the problem here is not Saudi Arabia,and I will not get into that with you, even though all your info is wrong and women has rights there more than the ones in the western world but they choose to live under ALLAH (SW) rules.
            if you have noticed……….
            we are talking about a nation that is under occupation and oppression.. its called Palestine. by the way,, it has people that live there and they have kids that go to school and sick people that go to hospitals and so forth, the only problem is that they do not have the rights to move and conduct life issues like normal people do.. reason so is the state of israel… is that hard to understand,,, better yet, you want to tell the world that the Palestinians that live with families under guns and with no infrastructure in the areas they live in, they need permits to travel few hundred feet, and need to start moving at 5am to make it to a doctors office that is 500 feet away by 3pm are bad people. then the ones that come and put on the green outfit hold a gun and use it against these people are the good ones….. wake up….
            again, every time you reply, you show clearly that you have a hard on for Islam and Muslims, … we are talking about people NOT religion…
            put a 5 year old kid in front a TV screen, show him a man with a gun pointing it at a school kid. and ask him what does he see. its simple and clear. how could you not see it?
            I know that you will come back talking about Islam now,,,
            I’m done with you.. because you might have eye vision but you are blind in the heart.
            Peace is good. peace is a goal. Peace will not happen unless both parties need want it. Palestine needs it more than anyone else. and it will happen… when humans care about humans,, now humans care more about their dogs more than other humans and their kids…. you can go back to the first thing you said now and think who is brain washed… ohh, don’t forget to come back attacking Islam..

          • Arafat

            Moahmmad – I don’t have to attack Islam for Muslims are better at attacking it than I ever could do.
            * Muslims killed one million Muslims during the Iraq/Iran war.
            * Saddam Hussein killed countless political enemies during his rule and countless others when he invaded Kuwait.
            * Syrian Muslims have killed 90,000 and counting in the last year.
            * Turkish Muslims have killed countless Kurdish Muslims.
            * Sunni Muslims kill Shi’ite Muslims every day and vice-a-versa.
            * Egyptian Muslims kill Egytpian Muslims if they are not conservative enough.
            * Bahraini Sunnis kille Bahraini Shi’ites if they question the Sunni’s authority.
            * Pakistani Sunnis kill Pakistani Shi’ites because they hate them.
            * Malian Islamists kille Mali “moderate” Muslims for being moderate.
            You can talk until you’re blue in the face about how Islam means peace but anyone with an IQ above 61 knows you’re full of it.

          • Arafat

            I’ve listed above instances of Muslims killing Muslims, but as most people know instance of Muslims killing non-Muslims is even worse.
            * Muslims killed some 0ne million Animists, black Africans and Christians in Sudan.
            * Muslims have killed millions of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
            * Muslims committed genocie in Afghanistan killing off ALL the Buddhists who once lived there.
            * Muslims have killed off all the Jews who once lived in the Arabian peninsula including Mohammed and his followers beheading over 600 Jews in the village of Qurayza in the 7th century.
            * Muslims have all but wiped out the Assyrian Christians in Iraq as well as the Chaldean Christians there.
            * Muslims have killed off all the Armenians in Turkey including the Armenian genocide in 1915-17.
            * Muslims are working on eliminating the last of the Coptic Christians in Egypt.
            * Muslims have forcibly converted or killed off the Berbers once found throughout NW Africa.
            * Muslims have murdered many Chinese in NW China.
            *Muslims have murdered many Russians, Serbs, the Caucus regions and southern Russia.
            * In recent years Muslims have killed almost 5,000 Buddhists in southern Thailand.
            * In recent years Muslims have killed off hundreds of Catholics in Indonesia, Turkey, Nigeria and elsewhere.
            Mohammad can tell us Islam means peace but what he is really saying is Islam means submission. Submission to Allah, Sharia law and the example Mohammed set. This means following the Jihadist path, the path of supremacist caliphate building and forcing all non-Muslims into subservience, etc…

          • mohammad

            there you go again with this Islam thing. Here is where I can tell you, through out this, I have been respecting you and thinking that there was a issue to talk about. you keep coming back and talking about Islam. and last of it you tell me I’m full of it. I WILL NOT GO TO YOUR LEVEL, I do not discuss things with people that want to erect a problem. not behind a pc screen anyway.
            knowledge and politeness is a treasure that not all people have.Have Nice life for now. and I hope that one day you will start understanding life. i will close this whole thing with this sentence, Vision is in peoples heart not eyes, and diamonds is in people not in precious stones.

          • Arafat

            There you go again Mohammed, refusing to discuss an issue factually.

            Let me close with a quote from a hadith.

            (1:33) – the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight
            against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad
            is the messenger of Allah

          • mohammad

            since you have so much knowledge about Islam, the you should know that Allah = God in this hadeeth. and it does not include fighting Christians or Jews otherwise Islam would have never allowed us to marry from them or to refuge to them as he done when he left Mecca, and you should also mention that to be a Muslim you should be a believer in all prophets that are mentioned in the Holly Koran and in the hadeeth.



  • class of ’13

    Some questions: why do you not include Egypt when talking about the Blockade? Gaza shares a border with it too. In fact, a few weeks ago Egypt filled the smuggling tunnels with cement. why are you not outraged at that? why the double standard? are you aware that Israel currently provides Gaza with electricity and thousanda of tons of food and aid? why are you not outraged at Hamas for enforcing strict sharia law in Gaza? ucla students are all about lgbt and women’s rights. do the readers of the Daily Bruin know that there is no place for either in Gaza? women have no rights and being openly gay is pretty much a ticket to death. the PA gets hundreds of millions of dollars in aid every from the US, Europe, Arab countries and Israel. the economy in the west bank is flurishing and tons of palestinians work in Israel proper. this conflict isnt black and white. please do some research on your own before making decisions.

    • mohammad

      new world order. with me or against me.
      the price for power and food is loosing west bank.