DASG overwhelmingly passes Palestinian solidarity resolution


Palestinian solidarity protest outside of British Parliament on June 2018. Source: Alisdare Hickson (Wikimedia Commons)

The De Anza Student Government Senate overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution on June 11 to stand in solidarity with Palestinian students at De Anza College and loved ones who may have been affected by the recent violence in the Israel-Palestine region.

The DASG Senate, which voted for the resolution 19-1 with one abstention, called on the school to provide support for Palestinian students struggling to cope with recent events. It also officially condemned the Israeli government for military attacks against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

At the special meeting on June 11, DASG senators presented the resolution time along with some updated items before opening up the floor to public comment, which lasted nearly an hour.

“It’s really sad to me that there is a very powerful, organized Jewish contingent who thinks its main job is to support the state of Israel at all costs and label anyone who criticizes it as antisemitic,” said Cynthia Kaufman, a sociology and philosophy professor at De Anza who supported the resolution.

Kaufman also supported DASG’s April 2021 resolution that defined and condemned antisemitism.

“This (Palestinian solidarity) resolution is fact-based and fair,” Kaufman said. “The Palestinian people are up against an incredibly brutal militarized state which is mostly funded by the U.S. government with our tax money and it’s a terrible situation.”

A public commenter identified only as “Jonah,” said that it was important for more Jewish students like him to speak up in support of the resolution. He opposed the organization Hillel of Silicon Valley, which had released a statement against the resolution.

“There are organizations like Hillel of Silicon Valley that portray themselves as the only legitimate voices for the Jewish community,” the commenter said. “But they are obscuring a community that is actually made up of many different opinions and voices. Israel does not represent all of us, and I just want to speak out as a Jew in support of Palestinians and humanity.”

Joseph Osterneck, a Cupertino resident who identified as Jewish American and whose wife attends De Anza, agreed.

“Lumping all Jewish Americans with a foreign government (Israel) would be like associating all Catholics with Italy,” Osterneck said. “The human rights abuses directed towards the Palestinians have been corroborated and acknowledged by numerous human rights organizations.”

While most people commented in favor of the resolution, one commenter dissented. The person, identified only as “Bar K,” said that endorsing the Palestinian resolution would conflict with the previous resolution against antisemitism.

“You do not have to vote yes if you are not ready or knowledgeable enough on this topic,” the commenter said. “Instead of creating more hate, we must bring together students of Israeli and Palestinian descent to talk or vent in a healthier environment and achieve peace within the campus community.”

Minutes from the meeting and results of the vote can be found here.