The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be a convoluted and confusing subject for those who haven’t studied the nuanced history of the two sides, so a group of pro-Palestine NYU students founded the club NYU Students for Justice in Palestine. The group helps people understand the Palestinian issues through analysis and facilitates discussion to formulate resolutions to
The club, which meets weekly, organizes on the democratic principles to promote justice, human rights, liberation and self-determination for Palestinian people.
Steinhardt senior Leen Kardsheh serves as the secretary of the club, and he said that the club lets people know more about the situation in Palestine by presenting materials in different forms so that people with various knowledge sets can promote volunteer work to help Palestine.
“Our meetings are different from week to week,” Kardsheh said. “Sometimes we have an article, movie or current event that we have a discussion on. At times, we bring in some more educational material to teach new people about the Palestinian cause.”
The club uses their meetings to plan these events, find people to volunteer and organize the event logistics.
Last week, the group screened a documentary about the illegal network of tunnels Gazans used to smuggle in goods after Israeli and Egyptian attacks. The event was open to the public and garnered an audience with people from a wide range of ethnic and
CAS junior Yasmena Almulla, the club’s president, said that because of how the club is structured, it attracts a diverse group of people.
“We have people from NYU, NYU alumni, sometimes even professors — even people living in the community — who are just interested in our events,” Almulla said. “There is one Israeli girl who is part of NYU Students for Justice in Palestine. During the protest in May this year a lot of Jews came in support of us.”
She said that people from different backgrounds, demographics, religions and ideologies all engage at their events in solidarity with the struggle for the rights of Palestinians.
While educational meetings are the main activities of this club, the group has also coordinated events such as selling paintings to fundraise for children in Haifa, Israel. They also collaborate with other social justice groups such as NYU Divest and Incarceration to Education Coalition to further their respective causes.
CAS sophomore Aya Charafeddine, the treasurer of SJP, said that the club’s public action makes it popular among NYU students, but its main goal is to support Palestine, rather than sway the country’s future.
“Actions are important — actions are raising awareness,” Charafeddine said. “But we don’t want to decide what’s better for Palestinians. Who are we to impose our will on the people?”
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