Palestinian-Israel Press Release May 3, 2024

For Immediate Release–May 3, 2024

Contact: Robert Kraig, [email protected] (414) 322-5324.

Citizen Action Stands with Students, Free Speech and Ending the Israel’s Collective Punishment of the Palestinian People

Milwaukee: Citizen Action of Wisconsin is calling for Wisconsin universities and colleges to respect and nurture the rights to free speech, free assembly, and academic freedom on their campuses. Students are protesting on campuses across the United States to shine a light on the likely war crimes being committed by the Israeli government against Palestinian civilians,  demand a permanent ceasefire, and achieve a two state solution which respects the sovereignty and self-determination of the Palestinian nation. Citizen Action’s board passed a comprehensive Gaza War resolution in April.

So far, nearly 35,000 Palistianians have been killed in the indiscriminate Israeli military assault on Gaza. In addition, food, water, and medical supplies have been cut off by Israel, in violation of international law, and the U.S. has defunded the critical humanitarian relief agency, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) 

Over the past two weeks a growing number of universities across the country have deployed police to remove students engaged in peaceful protest and free assembly. There have been disturbing videos, testimonials, and news reports of police and counter-protesters disrupting peaceful protests, and assaulting students and faculty members exercising their basic constitutional rights.

On Wednesday morning at the UW-Madison’s Library Mall police forcibly removed peaceful students, dismantled their encampment, and arrested many students and faculty. So far, the UW-Milwaukee has respected their students and faculties’ right to free speech and assembly.

Supporters of Israel’s indiscriminate war have unfairly attacked students as antisemitic for disagreeing with the Israeli government, and demanding that their universities disclose and divest in companies engaged in business with Israel, a demand that was effectively employed to help end the moral outrage of Apartheid in South Africa. They have also unfairly tarred thousands of young people participating in campus protests as violent or antisemitic for the actions of a tiny minority, a tactic similar to that used to smear the overwhelmingly peaceful Black Lives Matter protest movement.

“Citizen Action applauds the courage of college students in Wisconsin and across the country, and the faculty supporting them, for exercising their constitutional right to call global attention to large-scale human rights violations being perpetrated by the Israeli government against Palistianans,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “We demand that the peaceful protests be allowed to continue without interference from campus police and police departments. We further demand Chancellors set a better example for their students, and show up in good faith to negotiate with students and their faculty supporters over disclosure and divestment from the U.S. supported and supplied Israel war on the Palestinian people.” 

Kraig concluded: “We are also morally outraged by Hamas’s brutal October 7th attack which killed over 1200 Israelis, and the taking of 200 hostages, but this crime against humanity does not justify retribution in the form of collective punishment of an entire people. As Mohandas Gandhi said: ‘an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.’”

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is a 40 year old social justice organization with members across the state working on major issues such as health care, climate justice, and defending democracy.  In April, the Citizen Action Board of Directors, which is composed of progressive leaders from across Wisconsin, passed a resolution demanding President Biden cut off military aid unless Israel calls off the planned invasion of Rafah, restores the free flow of food, water, and medical supplies, restore funding to UNRWA, and agrees to an immediate and permanent ceasefire.


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