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All I want for the holidays is a ceasefire

Scholars Against the War on Palestine statement

In a statement dated December 21, a group of notable international scholars called for a permanent ceasefire in Israel's war on Gaza. Here we reproduce the statement and a partial list of signatories. If you are a scholar and would like to sign on, you may do so here.

Permanent Ceasefire Now

Christmas and holiday festivities in Palestine have been canceled this year in solidarity with Gaza. The Church of Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus, will hold prayers in complete silence. Heads of Churches in Jerusalem have canceled all festive celebrations as Palestinians collectively mourn the loss of thousands of lives– the result of an Israeli war that has been identified by leading experts as genocidal intent.

In the first ten weeks of war, Israel dropped in excess of 25,000 bombs – the equivalent of two nuclear bombs – on 2.2 million besieged Palestinians in Gaza. It has done so with unwavering support from the United States and other western nations. The bombardment has killed more than 20, 000 Palestinians, including 8,000 children, and millions are facing starvation and dehydration as food, electricity, and water has been cut off. More than 1.1million people have been forcefully displaced internally, and much of Gaza’s infrastructure has been carpet-bombed, destroying hospitals, schools, universities, residential units,bakeries, religious sites, archives, and government buildings and facilities.

Israel has waged a full scale war on Palestinian educational institutions . In Gaza, 11 of 14 universities are completely destroyed including the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), Al-Azhar University, and the North Gaza branch of Al-Quds Open University. Israeli airstrikes targeted and killed renowned Palestinianintellectuals including, Sufyan Tayeh, world-leading scientist and President of IUG, and the prominent poet and English literature professor Refaat Alareer of IUG. Israeli bombs have destroyed over 239 government schools and 50 United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) schools. Thousands of students, staff, and educators have been killed and more than 88,000 students in Gaza have been deprived of their right to education. Crucially,these actions have been supported and facilitated by the United States and other leading western powers.

This holiday season, we stand with Palestinians everywhere in calling for (1) an immediate and permanent ceasefire; (2) unrestricted and immediate entry of humanitarian aid intoGaza; (3) ending Israel’s siege on Gaza; (4) ending attacks on educational and health institutions in Palestine.

This call is issued by Scholars Against the War on Palestine (SAWP), a transnational cross-disciplinary coalition of scholars, working to advance the Palestinian call “to take urgent action to stop Israel’s current war and genocide in Gaza.” Co-sponsored by Scientists for Palestine and Scholars for Palestine (UK).

Institutional affiliations are for identification purposes only


Signed by:

  1. Ghassan Abu-Sittah, Honorary Lecturer, Center for Blast Injury Studies, Imperial College London; Director, Conflict Medicine Program, Global Health Institute, American University of Beirut
  2. Karma Nabulsi, Senior Research Fellow in Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford
  3. Cornel R. West, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy & Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary
  4. David Mumford, Fields Medalist; Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Brown University and Harvard University
  5. Robin D. G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History, University of California, Los Angeles
  6. Judith Butler, Distinguished Professor, Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory, University of California, Berkeley
  7. Rashid Khalidi, Professor of History and Edward Said Chair of Modern Arab Studies, Columbia University
  8. Ilan Pappe, Professor of History; Director of the European Center for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter
  9. Nancy Fraser, Henry and Louise A. Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics, New School for Social Research
  10. Robert Warrior, Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Kansas (Osage Nation)
  11. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
  12. Carlo Rovelli, Distinguished Visiting Chair Research Chair in Quantum Gravity, Perimeter Institute; and Core Member of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, Western University
  13. Salim Vally, Director for the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation and Chair in Community, Adult & Worker Education, University of Johannesburg
  14. Ivar Ekeland, Professor of Mathematics and former President, Université Paris-Dauphine
  15. Wendy Brown, UPS Foundation Professor, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University
  16. Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford
  17. Frederic Jameson, Knut Schmidt Nielsen Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, Duke University
  18. Leanne Simpson, Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, and artist
  19. Ussama Makdisi, Professor of History and Chancellor’s Chair, University of California, Berkeley
  20. David McNally, Distinguished Professor and NEH-Cullen Chair in History and Business, University of Houston
  21. Rinaldo Walcott, Carl V. Granger Chair of Africana and American Studies, SUNY Buffalo
  22. Jacqueline Rose, Professor of Humanities; Co-Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck University of London


And 2600 more to date

Opinions expressed in signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Tempest Collective. For more information, see “About Tempest Collective.”

Featured image credit: Mark McGuire; modified by Tempest.

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