Gathered in the midst of White Plaza on Wednesday evening, an interfaith group that included Jewish, Muslim and Catholic students stood together mourning the lives lost to the recent violence in Israel and the West Bank.
This time, I was at a “Vigil for Recently Murdered Israelis,” an event that refused to acknowledge Palestinian lives lost, excluded mainstream Jewish perspectives on the conflict, and branded Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as anti-Semitic. I could not sing about shalom/salaam/peace in good faith at an event that leveraged Jewish identity to legitimize ongoing suffering and violence in Israel-Palestine.
The intolerance perpetuated by individuals and institutions alike against all students, Jews and non-Jews alike, who support divestment is a problem. These institutions need to start rethinking their policies and their purposes if they don’t want to alienate the new generation of thinkers and activists and find themselves on the wrong side of history.
Since February’s ASSU vote to support divestment from corporations profiting from alleged human rights abuses in Israel and Palestine, the heated campus debate over the conflict has died down. But the conversation is just beginning for J Street U Stanford, a pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-two-state solution advocacy group. Julia Daniel ’17, J Street U Stanford co-president,…