September 11, 2014
Filipino and Filipino American Academics Stand in Solidarity with Palestinian People
As Filipino and Filipino American academics, activists, organizers and allies, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people – in Gaza, the West Bank, and throughout the Palestinian diaspora. We denounce the state of Israel for its massacre of over 2100 Palestinians in its most recent military offensive into Gaza. This is only the most recent of over half a century of attacks by the Israeli state on the Palestinian people, dating back from the 1948 genocide and forced dispersal of Palestinians to the last decade of Israeli attacks on Gaza: Operation Cast Lead in the winter of 2008/2009, the 2012 offensive known as Operation Pillar of Defense, and the most recent 2014 attack, Operation Protective Edge. The most recent bombing of Gaza only exacerbates the ongoing conditions of dispossession and occupation by the Israeli military of the Palestinian people. Despite the recent ceasefire between Israel and Palestine, the widespread destruction of human lives and infrastructure has exacerbated an ongoing environmental and public health crisis in Gaza. We call for an end to the crippling blockade of Gaza, the violent military occupation of the West Bank by the Israeli military, and the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. We demand the destruction of the Israeli apartheid wall, the right of return for all Palestinian refugees, and equal rights for all Palestinians, whether in ‘48 Palestine, the West Bank, Gaza, or throughout the Palestinian diaspora. As U.S.-based scholars, we are critical of the U.S. state and its role in funding the Israeli military for such barbaric ends. U.S. taxes, to the amount of $9.9 million per day, help fund the Israeli military. That is money allocated away from our schools, healthcare, and necessary social services. We also stand in solidarity with the over 36,000 Filipino overseas workers in Israel, who encounter the exploitation and dehumanization faced by all non-Jewish racialized immigrants in Israeli society.
The CFFSC stands with all people resisting colonial domination, violent occupation, and dehumanizing racism. Like the state of Israel, the government of the Philippines is a client state of the U.S., with both governments receiving billions of dollars of military aid since their creation in the late 1940s. Like the Palestinian people, many people in the Philippines have been forced from their homes, including hundreds of thousands of Muslims and indigenous peoples from the Southern Philippines, as a result of wars and human rights violations encouraged by the continuing military aid of the U.S. to an oppressive state. However, as Filipinas and Filipinos in the U.S., we find inspiration and hope in the continuing struggles for self-determination, democracy, and an economy that serves the people of the Philippine archipelago, including Muslims, indigenous peoples, and Christians. We also find inspiration, hope, and points of commonality with other oppressed peoples’ resistance to injustice and oppression, in particular, the resilient imagination and everyday practices of Palestinian people to insist on their freedom.
As scholars-activists and educators, the CFFSC supports academic freedom and the right to an education. As such, we denounce the Israeli military’s bombing of ten Palestinian educational institutions in Gaza, including the Islamic University of Gaza and a technical college. The restriction of movement of Palestinian scholars and students, from the Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank to the denial of exit to study at institutions abroad, make the basic human right of education impossible for many Palestinians. We denounce Israeli academic institutions for their collusion in the genocide and displacement of Palestinian communities. For example, Tel Aviv University, which is built on the former Palestinian village of Shayk Muwannis, conducts research for the advancement of Israeli military technology and tactics. As primarily U.S.-based scholars, we also call for an end to the tactics of intimidation meant to stifle academic freedom at U.S. institutions. The recent firing of Dr. Steven Salaita from his position at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, due to his social media statements in support of Palestine, demonstrates how scholars have been silenced by the threat of Zionist reprisal.
The CFFSC supports the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli institutions. As scholars within the broader field of Asian American studies, we have issued a statement of solidarity with the Association for Asian American Studies for its resolution in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. We also applaud the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the Critical Ethnic Studies Association, and the African Literature Association for their recent endorsements of the academic boycott of Israel. The CFFSC calls on our colleagues within other academic disciplines to heed Palestinian civil society’s call for an international BDS movement.
We stand in solidarity with Palestine and the international BDS movement in calling for freedom and justice for the Palestinian people. Please join us! The AAAS resolution can be found here:http://www.usacbi.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/AAAS-resolution.FINAL_.pdf. To learn more about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, please visit:http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro.
In Peace, Justice, and International Solidarity,
The Critical Filipino and Filipina Studies Collective
Independent scholar and writer
Department of Literature
UC San Diego
Jeff A. Cabusao
Department of English and Cultural Studies, Bryant University
University of Colorado
De Anza College, CA
San Jose State University
Vicente M. Diaz
Associate Professor of American Indian Studies and Anthropology
Affiliate Faculty, Asian American Studies and History
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Josen Masangkay Diaz, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Ethnic Studies
University of San Diego
Sarita Echavez See
University of California Riverside
Luis H. Francia
New York University
Assistant Professor, Sociology and Social Work, University of Portland
Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez
American Studies Department
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
San Jose State University
Undergraduate Student in Comparative Ethnic Studies and Political Science
University of California, Berkeley
Faith R. Kares
Dr. Vina A. Lanzona
Associate Professor, Department of History
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Undergraduate student, San Francisco State University
Victor Román Mendoza
Assistant Professor, Women’s Studies and English
Faculty Associate, Center for Southeast Asian Studies and Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Adjunct Faculty, Intercultural Studies and Language Arts
De Anza College
Darlene Marie E. Mortel
Ph.D. Candidate, American Studies
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Theresa Christine Navarro, M.A.
American Studies, University of Hawaii
University of California, Santa Cruz
Robyn Magalit Rodriguez
Associate Professor, Asian American Studies, UC Davis
New York University
Amanda Solomon Amorao
PhD, Literature, University of California, San Diego
Executive Director, Kuya Ate Mentorship Program
DeNNiS M. SOmeRa
Graduate student, Performance Studies, UC Davis
Harrod J Suarez
Assistant Professor of English and Comparative American Studies
Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Thea Quiray Tagle
PhD Candidate, Dept. of Ethnic Studies, University of California, San Diego
Visiting Faculty, Dept. of Interdisciplinary Studies, San Francisco Art Institute
De Anza College, CA
Rolando B. Tolentino, Dean
University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication
Gina Velasco, Ph.D.
Women’s and Gender Studies Department
Affiliate Faculty, American Studies Program
Keene State College
PhD. candidate, Culture and Theory
University of California, Irvine
Michael Viola, Ph.D.
Core Faculty, Liberal Studies Program - Graduate Programs in Leadership and Change
Note: Institutional affiliations are provided for identification purposes only.