Columbia Students, Faculty, Alumni Release Statement Condemning Campus BDS Group’s Reference to Palestinian Terrorism as ‘Civil Disobedience’
A declaration condemning an anti-Israel group’s reference to terrorism as “civil disobedience,” signed by more than 600 Columbia University students, faculty and alumni, was released Wednesday night, Bwog-Columbia Student News reported.
The statement reads:
We the undersigned students, alumni and faculty write today to condemn Columbia University Apartheid Divest’s dismissal of terrorism as “civil disobedience.” The first and second intifadas mark tragic low points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thousands of innocent civilians on both sides were murdered during these violent periods. The mischaracterization of suicide bombings, stabbings, and shootings as “civil disobedience” is an egregious ethical breach. We proudly uphold the value of free speech, but malicious incitement and fictitious characterizations do not lie within that value and should find no welcome within our campus discourse.
The statement refers back to a Facebook post last week by “Columbia University Apartheid Divest” (CUAD), the group that launched a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel in February, as reported by The Algemeiner. In the post, CUAD links to, and quotes from, an article posted at socialistworker.org, describing the First and Second Intifadas, the violent Palestinian uprisings against Israel between 1987-1993 and 2000-2005, as “civil disobedience.” The quote CUAD highlights asserts that the uprisings were not “acts of terrorism,” but instead “rebellions against terrorism.”
“Israeli Apartheid Week” — an annual event sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, among other groups, highlighting criticism of Israel and its policies — is currently underway at Columbia. Another controversy arose during the event, when a pro-Israel group’s installation, featuring a 12-foot inflatable Pinocchio, was forced down by pro-BDS members of Columbia’s Student Governing Board, as reported by The Algemeiner.