Messages of support
I am very pleased to learn about your courageous and honorable actions, particularly significant because of the crucial British contribution to the savage onslaught on Gaza, second only to the decisive role of the United States — a disgrace for all of us. I hope you have the greatest success in arousing public opinion and bringing these monstrous crimes to an end.
Professor Avi Shlaim
I am aware of the wave of student occupations, especially the one in Oxford which I have actively supported and which has now ended with a large measure of success. I have also sent messages of solidarity to the students of Sussex, Warwick, KCL and others. You might like to know that I was myself a graduate student at the LSE in 1969-1970; I did the M.Sc. In International Relations. Below is my message to the students of the LSE.
To the Students of the LSE
These are very dark days for the long-suffering Palestinians. Israel’s savage assault on the defenceless people of Gaza pushed them to the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. The one-sided carnage has temporarily stopped but the economic blockade, the oppression, and the occupation continue. Only sustained international pressure, including trade sanctions and an arms embargo, can put an end to Israel’s criminal conduct.
But there is no leadership worthy of the name. Our government is morally bankrupt. It is pusillanimous and feeble and completely out of touch with public opinion. If there was ever a time for direct action, this is the time. And if there was ever an issue that called for a firm moral stand, Gaza is that issue.
I salute you on the brave and altruistic stand that you have taken on behalf of the people of Gaza. I admire your courage and your commitment. You have my unqualified sympathy and support in your struggle for justice for the Palestinian people.
Avi Shlaim, Oxford
Professor Uri Davis
As former political prisoner, an academic and a human rights defender of Jewish origins and of dual citizenship of the apartheid State of Israel and the alleged democratic monarchy of the UK I write to salute the LSE and occupying universities in the UK for their splendid contribution to Palestine solidarity and to the defence of the rights of the Palestinian people.
As the successes of the LSE “Occupation Group” and the School suggest, the Israeli war criminal massacres in Gaza in December 2008/January 2009 may represent a turning point for our anti-apartheid international BDS campaign against apartheid Israel similar to the turning point that materialized world-wide in the wake of the the South African war criminal massacre in Sharpeville in March 1960 with reference to the anti-apartheid international BDS campaign against apartheid South Africa. We shall overcome apartheid!
Uri Davis (PhD)
Institute of Area Studies (IAS)
AL-QUDS University, Abu Dis, Jerusalem
Hon Research Fellow
Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies (IAIS)
University of Exeter
From the Campaign Against Arms Trade
Dear student occupiers,
Just wanted to send a message of solidarity from Campaign Against Arms Trade to those of you who have occupied your universities in solidarity with Gaza and to those of you who are continuing to do so.
It is really exciting to see such a resurgence of direct action against the war and militarism on campus taking place, and to see the occupations spreading across the country. Your demands are important and it is impressive how many have been won!
I guess you are already in touch with each other, but wanted to offer our CAAT riseup list as a way students involved in actions around the country can stay in touch with each other during and following the occupations – send a blank email to CAATunisfirstname.lastname@example.org to join it.
When student activists met in November, Wed 11 Feb was chosen as a Day of Action around the arms trade at universities. It would be fantastic if you were interested in taking action on this day so that together we can emphasise the strength of opposition to universities’ involvement with the arms trade and to the invasion of Gaza. We will work hard here to get national press coverage of actions around the country so let us know what you are up to!
Well done for taking direct action against the war!
Local Campaigns Co-ordinator
Campaign Against Arms Trade
11 Goodwin Street
London N4 3HQ
Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner and Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East
I support the student protesters and their admirable stand against the slaughter of civilians in Gaza. The key to peace with justice, and to security for all sides in the conflict, is Israel’s withdrawal to its pre-1967 borders and the creation of a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian state. In reciprocation, armed Palestinian groups should cease their attacks on Israelis.
Oxford University should disinvest from BAE and other companies that supply arms to Israel’s war machine, and should fund scholarships for Palestinian students, as a contribution to the educational empowerment of those adversely affected by the conflict.