In its first major demonstration in the 2018-2019 academic year, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine held a protest in the Kimmel Center for University Life concourse to protest the demolition of a Bedouin Village in the West Bank.
Monday is the last day that 180 residents of Khan al-Amar were given by the Israeli Civil Administration to evacuate before their homes will be destroyed to make room for Israeli settlements. They were first given the evacuation orders on Sept. 23.
SJP organizer and Gallatin junior Romaissaa Benzizoune said the goal of the protest was to shed light on the larger issue of Palestinians being forced from their homes at the hands of the Israeli government.
“Our main goal here is to educate and remind people that Israel is constantly bulldozing Palestinian villages to make room from Israeli settlements,” Benzizoune said.
It is estimated that nearly 6 million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes since the creation of Israel. The residents who will be displaced by the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar are expected to be moved to either a site near a former municipal garbage dump or a location near a sewage plant.
Another organizer, CAS senior Benjamin Zinevich Rodriguez, highlighted how this potentially jeopardizes future prospects of peace in the region.
“The material conditions of Palestine are being threatened on a daily basis, which is exemplified by the Israeli administration and the Israeli defense force,” Rodriguez said. “The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, it not only threatens the livelihood of thousands of people, but it also threatens the possibility of peace in the region. The destruction of Khan Al-Ahmar the way it is situated in the West Bank means that the West Bank will be effectively split into two different states.”
The highways by the West Bank are already segregated and difficult to traverse without a permit issued by the Israeli government.
Most attendees shared the same sentiment as CAS senior Bayan Abubakr, another protestor at the event.
“I’m here to stand against colonialism and forms of oppression,” Abubakr said. “We live in a world where there’s an active occupation of multiple spaces around the world, so I’m doing what I can to stand against that.”
Email Oishi Goswami at [email protected]