On May 11, 2022, Israeli occupation forces deliberately shot Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the head while she was on assignment in the West Bank. In response, the South West Asian North African (SWANA) faculty wrote a letter for the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) website mourning her murder and calling for support of the political Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS aims to apply non-violent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law and recognizes that Palestinians are entitled to basic human rights.
Although SWANA followed the school’s process for submitting content and the school initially published the letter, NOCCCD proceeded to remove it from the site after individuals attacked the pro-Palestinian faculty and students for “being antisemitic.” NOCCCD cited school policy against “soliciting or proselytizing” for a “political cause” as their reason for removing the letter; however, that same site is full of articles and links supporting a political cause or viewpoint, making it apparent to SWANA faculty that NOCCCD is selectively applying its policies to silence pro-Palestinian activism.
CAIR-LA is calling on NOCCCD to:
- Address the concerns of the SWANA community
- Uphold the demands of students and faculty and
- Protect their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.
Act now to tell NOCCCD that pro-Palestinian activism is not anti-Semitism and to join us in protecting the rights of SWANA students and faculty.