Exclusives, Featured, Higher Education, Joshua Sharf, National, Uncategorized

Colorado academics blame Israel as ‘apartheid regime’; claim ‘genocide and ethnic cleansing’ in Gaza

DENVER– As Israel continues its military retaliation for the surprise campaign of rocket attacks, mass-murder, rape and kidnapping of Jews by Hamas terrorists on October 7, academics from at least five Colorado universities and colleges have signed on to a statement accusing Israel, among other things, of “genocide and ethnic cleansing” of Palestinian refugees living in Gaza.

Since the terrorist attacks, much of academia has attempted even-handed treatment, even amidst aggressive pro-Hamas campus demonstrations, with university administrations across the country issuing statements condemning Hamas’s attack, but without taking sides or condemning Hamas itself.

For example, a statement from University of Denver Chancellor Jeremy Haefner acknowledges the “horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel,” but goes on to say that DU as an institution “does not make formal statements in support or dissent of geopolitical issues because they can unintentionally stifle the free expression of our community members.”

But a group calling itself “Sociologists in Solidarity with Gaza and the Palestinian People” makes no such distinction, issuing a full-throated condemnation of “the Israeli regime” and its “internationally supported genocide” through a statement that accuses Israel of targeting the civilian population while at the same time condemning it for trying to get civilians out of harm’s way.

The statement opens with a claim that “Sociology as a discipline is rooted in a recognition of relationships of power and inequality,” and continues that the signatories want to “[contextualize] this past week’s violence in the context of 75 years of settler colonial occupation.” The document goes on to characterize Israel as an “apartheid regime.”

“We cannot sit back and witness the continuation of this genocidal war,” says the statement, going on to urge “all of our colleagues” to stand in solidarity with Palestinians, and against “settler colonialism, imperialism and genocide.”

Nowhere does the statement condemn the Hamas acts of terrororism, but rather takes Israel to task for claiming its retaliation is “a justifiable response to recent Hamas violence against Israeli citizens.”

As of Wednesday morning, it had gathered more than 1,900 signatures worldwide, the overwhelming majority of which list a professional or academic affiliation with a university, including these from Colorado.

Mathieu Desan, Assistant Professor of Sociology at CU Boulder (signatory #195).

David-Cook Martin, Sociology Department Chair, CU Boulder (signatory #13).

Edelina Burciaga, Assistant Professor of Sociology at CU Denver (signatory #243).

Chantal Figueroa, Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Anthropology Department at Colorado College (signatory #756).

Erin O’Callaghan, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Colorado State University (signatory #1917).

Katie Rogers, Assistant Professor in Regis University’s Anthropology Department (signatory #66).

The statement and signatories is available here.


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