About 20 Stanford students are three weeks into an anti-Israel sit-in, having sent a list of demands to the administration.
On Oct. 20, an estimated 1,000 students attended an anti-Israel sit-in protest at the campus’ White Plaza. The event was organized by the organization Students for Justice in Palestine, according to Campus Reform.
Recent news reports say some 20 students are keeping the sit-in going in shifts.
During the sit-in, a petition circulated demanding Stanford “takes action in seeking justice for Palestinians and rectifies their institutional shortcomings that have existed to the detriment of Palestinians.”
“As undergraduate and graduate students at Stanford WE DEMAND: Stanford issues an explicit condemnation of Israel’s war crimes and calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” the demands state.
The students are demanding Stanford issue a statement condemning Israel’s siege of Gaza as an international war crime and calling for a ceasefire, as well as asking other academic institutions to speak out against for Israel.
Stanford had released a statement condemning all terrorism and mass atrocities.
“This includes the deliberate attack on civilians this weekend by Hamas,” Stanford stated. “One of the advances in international law in the 20th century following the horrors of the Holocaust was the development of international humanitarian law prohibiting war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Such crimes are never justified.”
The students also demand Stanford provide “dedicated resources for Palestinian and Palestinian Diaspora students on campus.”
Some of the resources insisted on for Palestinian students are 24/7 counseling provided by trauma-related mental health specialists; free attorneys for students facing harassment; academic accommodations; and roundtrip visits to see family and friends when a ceasefire is declared.
In October, Stanford issued this statement: “We have spent the past few days and continue now to collaborate with colleagues campuswide on supporting students.
“We have spent the past few days and continue now to collaborate with colleagues campuswide on supporting students. Our Dean of Students Office is reaching out individually to students with home addresses of record in the region. We know that many students who are directly impacted may have other home addresses of record, so we are working with community centers and other campus organizations to reach as many students as possible.”
The statement offered phone numbers and email addresses for those needing further help. In addition, Stanford offers free counseling and psychological services for all students.
Another student demand asks the university to establish an investigative committee to “correct” any directives, faculty, or research initiatives contributing to the “subjugation” of Palestinian people.
In addition, the students say, Stanford should invite Palestinian scholars to the university to teach, research and create work and evaluate why Stanford provided a one-sided response to the Israel-Hamas war.
“Stanford commits to the Palestinian movement to Boycott, Divest from and sanction Israeli entities and companies complicit in Israeli war crimes,” the last demand states.
The students are also asking for faculty members to boycott universities with ties to Israel.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Jewish students have expressed feeling unsafe on Stanford’s campus.
“It was horrid,” Junior Odelia Lorch said on Fox KTVU. “It’s vicious what’s going on here on campus. People are carrying around pepper spray; they’re making sure they’re equipped. People are scared to leave. I was in my room until I came to this interview. So, I’m afraid.”