We, Jewish students at Sciences Po, refuse to be used to justify the repression of pro-Palestinian mobilizations. 

On the morning of Tuesday March 12, a mobilization of students committed to opposing the mass systematic massacres in the Gaza Strip and Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land took place. On the basis of approximate accounts, a media and political frenzy ensued, accusing these mobilizations of antisemitism. Sciences Po itself referred the matter to the public prosecutor for “acts of an antisemitic nature”, while the school was visited by the Prime Minister  and the Higher Education Minister. As Jewish students,  we denounce this political manipulation and repression of free speech which erases our experience of Jewish students who are deeply horrified by the horrors committed against the Gazan population. The Sciences Po administration and politics are taking these actions in our name as guarantors to enable the repression of free speech and mobilizations for justice in Palestine. We firmly refuse to be instrumentalized in this way. Involved in the pro-Palestinian student mobilizations, we refute the accusations of anti-Semitism levelled against them and unite alongside them. 

Jewish students have been an integral part in the mobilization for the Palestinian people—both on-campus and off campus alike- and have been for months. On 12 March 2024, several Jewish students entered the Emile Boutmy amphitheater in the morning and were present throughout the entire duration of the demonstration. Contrary to the allegations, we were able to freely enter the amphitheater without any obstruction. One of us did so freely, while wearing the very Star of David around her neck that she has worn since her Bat Mitzvah. She was purposeful in wearing the necklace on the outside of her sweater with the intent for it to be visible, so that her presence as a Jewish woman in the amphitheater would be known. Another one of us gave a presentation on Judaism and anti-Zionism as part of the mobilization. Ironically, the core of her presentation was to show the ways in which Zionism instrumentalizes antisemitism to further its own material ambitions. The altercation in question at the door of the amphitheater which became so heavily disfigured in the press occurred at the same time that she was giving her presentation. At no point throughout the entire event  did we feel intimidated or unsafe due to any action from either the organizers or fellow attendees in any such capacity. Rather, we were touched by how welcomed and included we felt as Jewish people throughout its duration. 

Accusations of anti-Semitism against the pro-Palestinian protests at Sciences Po have largely been made by the Union des Etudiants Juifs de France (UEJF), since last October. The UEJF claims to represent Jewish students, we affirm that this organization does not represent us, politically or religiously in any such capacity . Under the guise of fighting antisemitism, the UEJF develops a discourse which is openly hostile to any pro-Palestinian demand, and shines by its refusal to criticise Israel’s criminal policy. Jewish students at Sciences Po are diverse, let’s not uniformise their voices. By trying to make all Jewish people  supporters of Israel,  the UEJF is promoting a reductive discourse which actively denies Jewish people the ability to fight for justice and puts all students fighting for Palestine in danger. Emptying the word antisemitism of its true meaning, significantly threatens Jewish people and is detrimental to the real fight against antisemitism.

Despite all the threats and pressure, we will continue to speak out for solidarity between Jewish and Palestinian people. The fight against antisemitism will never be waged at the expense of Palestinian lives. Long live free Palestine! Tahia Falasteen! Tri falastin hahouvit ! Lang lebn di freye falestine!

Signatories : 

  • N. F.
  • R. G.
  • S. O.
  • M. L. A.  
  • L. S. D.
  • M. M.
  • A. C. M.
  • L. F.
  • L. V. L. L. 
  • L. G.
  • S. P.
  • D. P.
  • B. D.
  • M. W.
  • S. S.
  • B. Y. K. I.
  • R. L.
  • G. J.
  • L. C.
  • S. E.
  • J. A.
  • A. S.
  • B.E. 
  • A.H.
  • D. S.
  • E. D.
  • C. F.
  • P. M.
  • L. C.
  • M. Z.
  • L. D.
  • M. S.
  • J. R.
  • J. L. B.

Alumni : 

  • J. H.
  • J. S.
  • E. D.