The Palestinian Cause and the Duty of Academic Institutions – Pivot

Amid the daily atrocities in Gaza, millions of people around the world have mobilized to show their support for the Palestinian people.

Among them is a particularly loud group: students. Several student associations and committees have brought the Palestinian cause to the forefront of their concerns and demands. In Canada in particular, they have organized numerous demonstrations condemning the silence of their respective academic institutions and the government.

Despite calls for action from an undeniable number of students, academic institutions and the Canadian government appear determined to ignore them.

As a young student myself in an institution that is virtually silent on the issue, I turn my attention to the academic question. If we can agree that institutions should serve people and not the other way around, what role do they play in the current situation? In other words, what is the duty of academic institutions?

The duty to change the world

Even in elementary school, I heard my teachers talking about the importance of education and the responsibilities of the student. Although these words seemed like a simple moral, they have become increasingly important lately.

I quickly realized that the student’s true duty is to continue their education appropriately and to put their education to good use.

I quickly realized that the student’s true duty is not just to interpret the world, but rather to participate in creating a better world.

It is obvious that I am not the only student who understood this assignment. The lack of understanding does not lie at the level of the student body, but rather at the level of the academic institution, which is not aware of its responsibility towards its students.

The true duty of the student is to create a better world.

If the student’s duty is to become an educated citizen who transforms his education into a real tool for positive social change, then is it not the school’s duty to develop an “Are you like the student?”

A humanitarian cause

I recently took part in an exchange entitled “Reflections on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” led by a political science professor at Collège Maisonneuve, accompanied by Dr. Mildou Chennoufi, professor, researcher and author. Five key lessons emerged from this exchange, but they were fairly obvious to the majority of students and the few staff present:

  1. The Palestinian cause is a humanitarian cause;
  2. Western media reporting on the events does not provide an accurate picture of the current situation;
  3. The contradictions between politicians’ message of peace and their unconditional support for Israel are becoming more acute;
  4. Israel has been given carte blanche by the international political community;
  5. With a growing campaign of Zionist propaganda, it is important to be properly informed about the issue.

The above summary points are based on the words of an expert in the political history of the Middle East, who insisted on an objective approach to the subject. So if history and facts indicate that the Palestinian cause is a just and humanitarian cause, what duty do we have?

It’s time

We students have understood our duty: it is time for academic institutions to understand their duty and break their silence in the face of a real humanitarian crisis that continues to increase the number of victims.

Students need to pay attention to the world around them. Students need to make noise about crimes against humanity. It is time for colleges and universities to answer their student body’s overwhelming call to action.

Any attempt to silence the students’ screams should be reprimanded. We students have understood our duty.

It is time for colleges and universities to answer their student body’s overwhelming call to action.

I call on all academic institutions to stop censoring student voices.

I call on all academic institutions to respond to the concerns and demands of their respective student bodies on this issue.

I appeal to all academic institutions to offer educational resources, for example in the form of promoting various books on this topic.

I call on all academic institutions to issue a truthful statement on the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The author is a student and wishes to remain anonymous.

Andrea Hunt

Twitter enthusiast. Organizer. Explorer. Reader. Zombie aficionado. Tv specialist. Thinker. Incurable internet maven.

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