GSOC-UAW 2110 (NYU) Membership BDS Letter


To our fellow members and our Union,

We, the undersigned graduate workers from schools and departments across New York University heed the call of Palestinian trade unions and other members of Palestinian society to boycott, divest from, and sanction the state of Israel. We ask GSOC-UAW Local 2110 to stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers by calling on NYU and UAW to do the same.

We urge the elected representatives of our union to stand alongside oppressed workers in Palestine, as other student and teacher unions from around the world have done in voting to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. We believe that as a union it is our duty to support Palestinians in their struggle for justice against the Israeli occupation that violates their human and civil rights, and systematically exploits their labor. And as teaching assistants, researchers, and student-workers, we must learn and teach others about the pressing global struggles of our time.

Since its creation, the State of Israel has brutally suppressed Palestinian demands for self-determination, and to this day it enforces an apartheid system, illegally privileging one ethnic group over another. In 1948, Zionist militias established a Jewish-only state and made 750,000 indigenous Palestinians refugees in the process.[1] Today, there are some five million Palestinian refugees recognized by UNWRA, many living in refugee camps for over 60 years.[2] Though the rights of Palestinian refugees, including the right of return, have been recognized by international law and stated in UN resolution 194, Israel’s policies consistently violate these rights and refuse to acknowledge them.[3]

The Palestinians who remained in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after this expulsion came under Israeli military occupation in 1967. Since then, Israel has implanted hundreds of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and unilaterally annexed East Jerusalem, in complete violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.[4] This occupation and settlement project has created a racial stratification of Jews and Palestinians living in these territories. Whereas Israeli Jews are governed by civil law, Palestinians are ruled by Israeli military law and are not granted the same civil rights. Furthermore, Israel has constructed a separation wall, built on Palestinian confiscated lands, restricting Palestinian freedom of movement. The International Court of Justice has ruled that this wall is in violation of international law, but the state of Israel has paid no attention.[5]

At the same time, Israel has turned the impoverished and densely-populated Gaza strip into the world’s largest open-air prison and launched repeated military assaults against it.[6] The latest Israeli offensive against Gaza in the summer of 2014 killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, the great majority of them civilians and a quarter of them children.[7]

The Palestinians that remained inside the territory that became Israel in 1948 became Israeli citizens, and today make up 20% of the total Israeli population.[8] Despite their citizenship, Palestinians are subject to over 50 discriminatory laws that restrict their political participation, access to land, education, state budget resources, and criminal procedures.[9]

The Palestinian Civil Society, as well as all major Palestinian trade unions, have issued a call for the citizens of the world to boycott, divest from, and sanction the State of Israel, until it respects the rights of Palestinian refugees, ends the military occupation and dismantles the wall, and recognizes the rights of Palestinian citizens to full equality.

Across the country, and right here at NYU, there are voices speaking out against these injustices and calling for support of the BDS movement.[10] We echo NYU Out of Occupied Palestine’s call for NYU to divest from companies that profit from the violence and oppression of Palestinians and urge our representatives in GSOC-UAW 2110 to amplify this call and stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers by officially endorsing BDS.

We urge GSOC-UAW 2110 to support BDS in the following ways:

  1. Calling on NYU and UAW International to divest their investments, including pension funds, from Israeli state institutions and international companies complicit in severe and ongoing human rights violations as part of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.
  1. Calling on NYU and the UAW International to decline to conduct business with said companies.

The undersigned,

Maya Wind, Social and Cultural Analysis
Emma Shaw Crane, Social & Cultural Analysis
Jackson Smith, Social and Cultural Analysis
A.J. Bauer, Social & Cultural Analysis
Samuel Markwell, Social and Cultural Analysis
Brian Ray, Social and Cultural Analysis
Kaitlin Noss, Social and Cultural Analysis
Sean Larson, German
Lila Suboh, International Relations
Nantina Vgontzas, Sociology
Faris Giacaman, History and MEIS
Eman Abdelhadi, Sociology
Cassandra Coste, Public Health
Nathan Pensler, Philosophy
Ella Wind, Sociology
Eoghan Quinn, English
David Klassen, History
Ayasha Guerin, SCA
Brian Lewis, GSAS
Lana Povitz, History
Aimin Mitwally, Bioethics
Shafeka Hashash, Politics
Michelle O’Brien, Sociology GSAS
Daniel Aldana Cohen, Sociology
Nada Matta, Sociology
Max Cohen, Social & Cultural Analysis
Moné Makkawi, Near Eastern Studies
Khobaib Osailan, Politics
Ziad Dallal, Comparative Literature
Anem Nimra Shariff, Silver School of Social Work/College of Global Public Health
Isaac Hand, History / MEIS
Beatrice Wayne, History
Christopher Nickell, GSAS Music
Claudia Carrera, Music
Schneur Zalman Newfield, Sociology
Sara Dima Abi Saab, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
Anne Pasek, MCC
Rene Rojas, Sociology
Ayesha Omer, Media, Culture & Communication
Erik Van Deventer, Sociology
Sulafeh Munzir Al Shami, International Relations
Aqsa Khalid, GSAS
Hossein Dehqani, Physics
Tasneem Tweel, Communicative Sciences and Disorders
Ryvka Barnard, Middle East Studies
Hazem Jamjoum, History / MEIS
Jonah Birch, Sociology
Layla Quran, Near Eastern Studies/Journalism
Kasper van Laarhoven, GloJo
Kelley O’Dell, Near Eastern Studies
Nadeen Shaker, GloJO
Clare Busch, Near East Studies
Jeremy Thomas Wheatley, Near Eastern Studies
Saghar Bozorgi, Near Eastern Studies
Federico Hewson, Steinhardt Art Education
Gordon Beeferman, GSAS Music
Sara Kozameh, History ​