Content Warning: The following statement addresses genocide and ongoing violence in Palestine.
The OCAD Student Union stands in solidarity with Palestine and strongly condemns the settler colonial apartheid perpetrated by the Israeli state. The displacement of Palestinian families by the government, military, and those who support the Zionist project is in direct contradiction with the principles of social justice, equity, and human rights. The ethnic cleansing of Palestine is an ongoing project that was catalyzed by the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and reached a critical point upon the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 when more than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homeland. This project was backed by Western countries and the United Nations who passed Resolution 181 that mandated Palestinian land be divided into Jewish and Arab states. The occupation persists and the struggle for Palestinian liberation continues against escalations of state-sanctioned violence.
We recognize and condemn the Canadian government‚Äôs complacency in this genocide. Canada is built on the intentional design, implementation, and ongoing strategies of colonial violence against Indigenous peoples. Throughout the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the government of Canada fails to denounce this violence, refusing to speak out against the forced displacement of Palestinians and the theft of their lands and resources because doing so would force them to confront the past and present colonial violence through which Canada exists today. (Source: https://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/architect-of-apartheid)
It is through our commitment to continuously fight for Indigenous sovereignty, rights and land stewardship at home that we also extend support for the liberation of Palestine. We call on our government and our university to do better; we call on our membership to uplift marginalized voices, to educate themselves, to enter important conversations with care, and to be accomplices in the movement for decolonization.
We recognize these events have been triggering for many of our members from all identities, specifically our Palestinian, Jewish, and Muslim members. We want to be clear that we strongly condemn anti-semitism, and do not condone violence in any forms.
We have compiled a document of resources for anyone who is in need of support or looking to learn more about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. It can be accessed here.