“STATEMENT AGAINST THE PRESENCE OF NIKKI HALEY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON”

“On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, the University of Houston is hosting a student session with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at the Cullen Performance Hall from 4:00pm to 5:30pm.  Nikki Haley’s spiteful actions before and during her time as ambassador to the United Nations demonstrate her blatant discrimination against Palestinians and blind eye to injustices around the world.  Nikki Haley has worked relentlessly to block the UN Human Rights investigation into Israel’s murderous crimes in Gaza, which resulted in 109 dead and thousands more injured, including children, women and the disabled. [1]  Continuing to falsely justify the massacres, Haley claimed that Israel showed ‘restraint’ on the bloodiest day for Palestinians since the 2014 assault on Gaza. [2]  On Tuesday, May 15th, Haley walked out of the UN Security Council meeting when a Palestinian envoy arrived to speak on the murders Israel has committed against peaceful protesters taking part in the Great March of Return, a protest signifying the right of return for all Palestinians exiled from their homes in 1948. [3]

“Nikki Haley’s longtime commitment to silencing the voices of those who have spoken out against Israel’s atrocious acts against Palestinians traces back to her tenure as state governor of South Carolina.  Haley spearheaded the unconstitutional anti-BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions), movement making South Carolina the second state in the nation to sign into law a bill that prevents businesses from engaging in their first amendment right to boycott. [4]  These anti-boycott laws have been enacted in 24 states,[5] all sharing the common goal of prohibiting people from participating in boycotts protesting Israeli government policies. [6] 

“As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe, which dispossessed 750,000 Palestinians with the creation of Israel and set off decades of ongoing displacement, ethnic cleansing, and settler colonialism, Israel continues to perpetrate acts of genocide in Gaza.  The two million Palestinians living in Gaza, most of whom are displaced from other parts of Palestine, exist in the world’s largest open-air prison.  Through its military occupation and decade-long blockade, Israel has left Gaza with over 95% of its water undrinkable and only 4 hours of electricity a day. [7]  The United Nations has deemed Gaza unlivable by the year 2020 due to these worsening conditions. [8]  We recognize the need for Palestinian resistance in a situation that is no less than a question of life or death.

“Nikki Haley embodies the racism inherent in the US’s anti-Palestinian position.  Her decisions, actions, and dehumanization of Palestinian lives show her complicity in the genocide of a native people fighting for liberation.  In inviting Nikki Haley to its campus, the University of Houston demonstrates how little it cares about the safety and concerns of its students, including the large community of Palestinians that attend and contribute to UH’s diversity.

“We, the undersigned student organizations and faculty, declare unequivocally that hatred in all its forms is not welcome at our University and that no matter when injustice rears its ugly head, those of us on the correct side of history will confront it.  We call on the University to signal to its students and the broader community that it is committed to its principles of diversity and inclusion by condemning the presence of Nikki Haley on our campus in light of her recent actions.  No matter how blurred the values of our country become, the University must stay true to its values and speak out against all forms of injustice, hatred, and bigotry.”

 

[1]

[2]

http://thehill.com/policy/international/387736-haley-lauds-israel-for-its-restraint-after-killings-in-gaza

[3]

[4]

https://www.jpost.com/Us-Elections/Donald-Trump/South-Carolina-governor-who-opposed-anti-Israel-BDS-to-be-Trumps-UN-envoy-473448

[5]

https://palestinelegal.org/righttoboycott/

[6]

https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/right-boycott-under-threat

[7]

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20160615-eu-95-of-water-in-gaza-unfit-for-human-use/

[8]

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/living-conditions-worsen-10-year-gaza-siege-170712045047448.html

 

Students for Justice in Palestine

Students for a Democratic Society

CoogSlam, Poetry Community and Slam Team

Muslim Student Association

Youth Empowerment Alliance

Refugee Advancement through Humanitarian Aid

Palestinian Youth Movement Houston

Palestine Solidarity Committee, Austin, TX

Dallas Palestine Coalition

Students of East Africa

Ahlul Bayt Student Organization

National Lawyers Guild Student Chapter of UHLC

Students for Justice in Palestine at UT San Antonio

 

https://www.change.org/p/president-trump-remove-the-dishonorable-nikki-r-haley-from-your-cabinet-immediately-so-you-can-immediately-restore-some-honor-to-your-cabinet

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