We, members of Yale Jews for Ceasefire, mourn the lives lost in Israel and Palestine since Oct. 7. May their memories be a blessing. This ongoing tragedy has reverberated through our own families and communities.
We are devastated by the collapse of the temporary truce on Dec. 1 and the continuation of violence in Gaza. The temporary ceasefire and partial hostage return between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 was a short respite that only underscored the need for a sustained ceasefire and the return of all hostages. We condemn the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza and call for a ceasefire, now.
We mourn the more than 17,000 people killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, including over 6,600 children. We grieve for the 1.9 million Palestinians displaced from their homes, over 85 percent of Gaza’s population. We mourn the approximately 1,200 people killed in the Hamas attacks against Israel on Oct. 7. We hold in our hearts the 138 hostages currently suffering in Gaza and call for their immediate release as part of ceasefire arrangements. We hold in our hearts all the civilians in Gaza who lack access to basic necessities such as food, water, shelter and medical care — and those who are still missing under the rubble.
Peace requires an end to violence in all forms. This must include the structural violence of Israel’s 16-year blockade of Gaza and the longer history of Israeli occupation and apartheid. Calls for peace are hollow and ineffectual unless they reckon with the violent conditions that have disguised themselves as the status quo.
We believe that Jewish and Palestinian liberation are deeply intertwined. Beyond a ceasefire, we envision a future in which all Israelis and Palestinians between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea can live freely and safely.
We are concerned that our university is helping to finance the killing of civilians through its investments in companies associated with the Israeli military. We call on the Yale Investments Office to end its direct and indirect investments in companies that arm the Israeli military, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, on the basis of the “grave social injury” they perpetrate. We call on Yale to divest from all companies involved in military weapons manufacturing.
We call on Representative Rosa DeLauro to sign the Ceasefire Now Resolution. This resolution urges the United States to call for de-escalation, a ceasefire and to facilitate access to humanitarian aid in Gaza. We are disturbed by the recent passage of House Bill 894, which dangerously equates anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel with antisemitism. We stand in solidarity with Jewish groups calling for a ceasefire across campuses nationwide.
As university students, we denounce the rise of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism on Yale’s campus and the administration’s insufficient response. We are witnessing the suppression of pro-Palestinian speech across the United States, and we are troubled by the censorship of chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace on campuses including Brandeis and Columbia. We demand protection for all forms of student organizing and all voices on Yale’s campus and nationwide.
We want to emphasize that these demands arise not in spite of our Judaism but out of it. We are disturbed by the global rise in antisemitism since Oct. 7. But Jews are not made safer by Israel’s current campaign in Gaza, nor by an increasingly undemocratic government committed to a project of perpetual expansion and escalation in the West Bank. Most of our family histories are entwined with state-sanctioned anti-Jewish violence and expulsion. Our history of persecution and the Jewish imperative to pursue justice compel us to stand unequivocally against the displacement and mass killing of Palestinians, and against what we consider to be entrenched Israeli apartheid systems that undermine Palestinian freedom, self-determination and flourishing.
We invite all community members to join us today, Thursday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. in front of Sterling Library. We will light the menorah and join together in song and prayer. We invite you to mark every night of Chanukah with the call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
In Sanhedrin 37a from the Talmud, it is written that to destroy a single soul is to destroy an entire world; to sustain a single soul is to sustain an entire world. We call for the protection of human life as the preservation of entire worlds.
ADAM NUSSBAUM is a junior in Davenport College. Contact them at email@example.com. Nussbaum is a member of student group Yale Jews for Ceasefire, a coalition formed in response to the urgent need for a ceasefire in Gaza. The group is on Instagram @yalejewsforceasefire.
DANYA DUBROW-COMPAINE is a junior in Pauli Murray College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dubrow-Compaine is, like Nussbaum, a member of student group Jews for Ceasefire.