NewsWorld & Nation

Stanford students rally in solidarity with Palestine

May 23, 2021, 10:12 p.m.

Stanford students marched to the Oval in solidarity with Palestinians on Sunday. The rally comes days after Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire — ending 11 days of rocket attacks that killed 12 Israelis and over 240 Palestinians. Gaza and the West Bank both remain under Israeli occupation.

Mahmoud Hamdi ’24, a Palestinian-American member of the Muslim Student Union, reminded attendees of the ways the University contributes to Israeli occupation, such as “continuing to invest in companies that aid in the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.”

In 2015, Stanford’s Board of Trustees elected not to divest from companies that do business in Israel because “the University’s mission and its responsibility to support and encourage diverse opinions would be compromised” in doing so. At that time, the Board said it would not revisit the issue. Three years after the decision, the Board adopted a new investment framework, indicating it would exclude “abhorrent and ethically unjustifiable” companies from Stanford’s endowment. A Stanford spokesperson did not immediately answer whether the Board would revisit the issue of divestment from companies that do business in Israel. 

Another speaker at the rally, who wished to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, also criticized the University for not taking action in support of Palestine. 

“Stanford preaches for us to be ethical, moral citizens of the U.S. and of the world, and yet they fail to take action at what they preach,” the speaker said.

Jacob Kuppermann ’20 M.S. ’21, a former Arts & Life editor at The Daily, spoke about the need for Jewish people, such as themself, to condemn the occupation.

“I have heard Jews who fight for the Palestinian cause called fake Jews. I’ve heard them called traitors to our people,” they said. “But we must continue to fight, for it is the only morally righteous thing to do.” 

As of Sunday, 130 members of the Stanford community have signed a letter “condemning Israel for its brutality and violence” and standing in solidarity with Palestine. Last week, the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) executives sent an email to students about the recent violence, which students criticized for not acknowledging the asymmetry of force used against Palestinians.

“Let us seek justice by educating ourselves, by spreading awareness through social media and telling our friends and family members,” Hamdi said. “By donating and protesting, even after today, and in the future, attending rallies and mobilizing: By doing all these things we will stay strong, both physically and spiritually.”

Michael Espinosa '22 is majoring in international relations. He's the head of The Daily's social media team, and editor for the University beat and also occasionally writes for sports, arts, and The Grind. He's the biggest Taylor Swift fan at Stanford and the proudest New Yorker you will ever meet. Contact him at mespinosa 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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