A response to Linda G. Mills’ statement on Israel (GSOC-UAW Local 2110)

The Union for Graduate Employees at New York University

A response to Linda G. Mills’ statement on Israel:

Yesterday NYU President Linda G. Mills issued a “statement on Israel” to the NYU community, highlighting a “deadly terrorist attack on Israel,” and NYU’s focus on its Tel Aviv program. GSOC condemns NYU’s statement, which erases the long and brutal history of Israeli apartheid, and the death and destruction Israel has unleashed against two million Palestinians in Gaza for nearly two decades, one of the world’s largest open-air prisons, blockaded by land, air, and sea. GSOC stands in solidarity with Palestinians fighting to free themselves from Israeli occupation. GSOC also re-affirms its commitment to the principles of Boycott, Divestment and Sanction, and re-issues its call on NYU to shut down its Tel Aviv program.

This past weekend’s events did not occur in a vacuum, nor were they unprovoked. We hold the Israeli regime and its apartheid laws responsible for the painful death, destruction, and despair of this past weekend, including the deaths of over 560 Palestinians and 800 Israelis, with the numbers still rising. Indeed, in the months before the attacks of the past weekend, Israeli operations had already claimed upwards of 200 Palestinian lives in 2023 alone. We condemn the NYU Office of the President for refusing to acknowledge any Palestinian casualties, or the war crimes and human rights violations Israel has subjected Palestinians to in the last 75 years.

We condemn the fact that NYU uses its Tel Aviv program to legitimize apartheid, and maintains relationships to institutions built on the subjugation and oppression of the Palestinian people. We call on NYU to uphold its own commitments to non-discrimination, as it operates an academic center in Tel Aviv, which Palestinian NYU students are prohibited from using.

We call on NYU to immediately end its relationship with Tel Aviv University and withdraw its investments from Israeli state institutions and international companies complicit in the ongoing violation of Palestinian human and civil rights. We call on NYU to end its complicity in the ongoing occupation and its disregard for the well-being and rights of NYU Palestinian students. GSOC has proudly stood in solidarity with Palestine since our members first voted to support BDS in 2015, in response to a call from trade unions across Palestine. As a graduate student union committed to social justice, we will continue to support the freedom of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

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