Statement Against the Escalation of Violence on Gaza

March 1, 2024

This Statement is signed by individual faculty members acting on their own volition; it does not reflect the position of the Gender Studies Department, nor of CEU.
Monday, October 23, 2023

We, the undersigned, write as our condemnation of the military retaliation by the State of Israel against the Palestinian civilians of Gaza. We condemn the October 7th Hamas attack resulting in the killings of Israeli civilians and the taking of hostages. We acknowledge that the loss of life anywhere is grievable and we mourn with Israeli civilians and their families. The military retaliation for this attack under the protection of western allies, including cutting off water, power, food, fuel, medical supplies, and communication access to Gaza’s population, has created what the UN is calling a “humanitarian catastrophe”. We are alarmed by the potential for genocide that is being fueled by the dangerous and racist rhetoric of top Israeli officials who refer to Palestinians openly as “human animals”. Hence, we call upon the international community to condemn the Israeli state’s dehumanizing and genocidal rhetoric.

What is unfolding in Gaza as the Israeli state bombs wounded refugees sheltering in schools and hospitals is both a moral and a political tragedy that violates several key resolutions of the Geneva Convention. For over seventy-five years, Israel has been engaged in the theft of land, destruction of property and livelihoods, mass incarceration, and ongoing continued daily violations of the rights of Palestinians. The violence is not equal on both sides, and neither can the attacks on Gaza be understood through the framework of war. Furthermore, the rhetoric of false equivalencies is damaging when the context in this case involves a powerful and western-backed militarized state on the one hand, and a colonized people living in what is widely characterized as an open-air prison on the other. We call for an immediate end to the pervasive military violence in the form of retaliation and collective punishment that continues to result in the loss of thousands of Palestinian lives.

As gender studies scholars and feminists studying colonialism and its legacies from an intersectional perspective, we join Palestinian feminist scholars at Birzeit University in the West Bank and the Palestinian Feminist Collective in the U.S. in affirming Palestine as a feminist issue. We acknowledge anti-Zionist Jewish feminists and feminist peace activists as our allies in this fight. We echo our feminist colleagues at Utrecht University in acknowledging the role that European and North American powers have played in establishing and supporting the Israeli settler-colonial occupation of Palestine. Political critiques of Israeli apartheid and settler colonial state violence cannot and should not be conflated with the racist and violent consequences of anti-Semitism.

Silence is not an option.

Nadia Jones-Gailani, Head of Department, Associate Professor, Gender Studies
Adriana Qubaiova, Visiting Professor, Gender Studies
Hannah Loney, Visiting Assistant Professor, Gender Studies
Hyaesin Yoon, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies
Elissa Helms, Associate Professor, Gender Studies
Jasmina Lukic, Professor, Gender Studies
Hadley Z. Renkin, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies
Sam Gilchrist Hall, OSUN-EHCN Postdoctoral Fellow
Julia Sachseder, Visiting Professor, Gender Studies
Andrés Sarabia, Visiting Professor, Gender Studies
Francisca de Haan, Prof. Emerita, Gender Studies and History
Eszter Timár, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies
Erzsébet Barát, Associate Professor, Gender Studies

Claudio Sopranzetti, Associate Professor, Sociology
Prem Kumar Rajaram, Professor, Sociology