CSCL Tenure-line Faculty Statement on Palestine
The following statement represents the views of the tenure-line faculty of CSCL (Timothy Brennan, Tony C. Brown, Cesare Casarino, Michael Gallope, Keya Ganguly, Margaret D. Hennefeld, Charles Kronengold, Alice Lovejoy, Laurie J. Ouellette, Shaden M. Tageldin, Christian Uwe) and as such does not represent the position of the University of Minnesota, or any others who are not included in that group.
We, the tenure-line faculty of the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota, stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine and condemn the violence unleashed upon the people of Gaza by the state of Israel. The loss of Israeli and non-Israeli civilian lives in Hamas’s attacks on October 7, 2023, cannot be justified, and the resultant suffering and loss of life of so many others, both Israeli and Palestinian, are deplorable. But those attacks do not justify the horrific response of the Israeli state and its defense forces, which have used the attacks as an excuse to redouble the brutality already visited upon ordinary Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and the Occupied Territories. The Israeli state’s ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people must end. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s statement (October 9, 2023) that the “complete siege” of Gaza is intended to destroy “human animals” is only one indication of the grotesque rhetoric employed by Israeli authorities to intensify their genocidal campaign in the region—under the cover of retribution and defense of citizens. But there is no end to revenge, nor is there any justification for normalizing the dispossession of Palestine since 1948, the repression of Palestinian citizens, or the absence of an independent Palestinian polity under a two-state solution.
As scholars committed to the critique of settler colonialisms, state-sanctioned violence, displacement of indigenous peoples, and violations of human rights, we refute the one-sided logic that the Hamas attack is solely responsible for the current war on Gaza and that the Israeli state now has the right to wage that war with impunity. We contest the shortsighted demand of U.S. and other Western leaders that we unequivocally “stand with Israel” even as it mobilizes its sophisticated war machine against innocent civilians. Inflicting collective punishment on the people of Gaza is not combating “terrorism”; it is committing state terror and as such is insupportable. We stand on the principle of academic freedom to speak truth to power and to call for the declaration of an immediate ceasefire, a complete halt to illegal settlements, and an end to the siege.
Timothy Brennan, Tony C. Brown, Cesare Casarino, Michael Gallope, Keya Ganguly, Maggie D. Hennefeld, Charles Kronengold, Alice Lovejoy, Laurie J. Ouellette, Shaden M. Tageldin, Christian Uwe