Just over a year ago, the University announced the closing of popular sandwich eatery Ike’s Place, much to the chagrin of students who had enjoyed its being a delicious alternative to dining halls and other food outlets operated by Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE). A small group of students organized a protest in White Plaza, but the effort seemed light and expressive rather than one that actually expected to save Ike’s.
When confronted with racial activism, rather than labeling it as overdramatic and annoying, consider that people of color have been fighting systems of oppression since the day they were born. And understand that their anger, no matter how aggressive, no matter how radical, and no matter repetitive, is justified.
The definition of anti-Semitism is not decided by an individual. It is especially not declared by those that have never been Jewish; it is something that is never fully agreed upon unless there is unanimous agreement within the community regarding a specific case, whether that community be the Jewish community of Stanford or the Jewish community in the United States.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the Stanford Board of Trustees announced that the University would not divest from certain companies operating in Israel. The statement responds to a request from Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a student group that hoped Stanford would divest from a list of companies that it claimed profited from human rights abuses in Palestine.
These allegations are false; they do not reflect what actually transpired in the endorsement process and mischaracterize the aims of a SOCC endorsement. Out of respect for our values, trust in our endorsed candidates’ merits, and desire to engage directly with the Stanford community, we write to empower the public with more information about our endorsement process.
At Stanford, we are removed from the hatred that exists in the stones of that Old World land on the Mediterranean. We have the opportunity to look away from the past, and into the future. Let’s start looking at how to solve problems, instead of arguing about who started them.
Stanford Out Of Occupied Palestine (SOOP) is not the first divestment movement to take Stanford’s campus by storm. Calls for divestment from partners of the Sudanese government, coal companies, and a historical movement to divest from South Africa marks Stanford’s history with attempts at divestment.
When students decide that their mission is so blindly committed to a cause that they do not make an attempt to present Israel’s rationale, they are the creators and propagators of harmful one-sided rhetoric.