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Dallas Groups Condemn Texas Governor Targeting of Palestinian Students

By staff

Palestine solidarity rally in Texas.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Fight Back! is circulating the following statement by two Dallas activist groups that stand with Palestine and are organizing to stop the U.S./Israeli campaign of genocide in Gaza.

The DFW Anti-War Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace DFW strongly condemn Texas Governor Abbott’s Racist and Islamophobic executive order GA-44 targeting Palestinian student organizations.

On March 27th, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed executive order GA-44, which directly calls for universities in Texas to “establish appropriate punishments, including expulsion from the institution” for students who engage in alleged “antisemitic speech and acts”. However, the order simultaneously demands that universities adopt the Zionist IHRA definition of antisemitism (via Texas Code Section 448.001), which inherently penalizes any speech supportive of Palestinians. The order also demands “that groups such as the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Students for Justice in Palestine are disciplined”.

This Anti-Palestinian executive order directly attacks Palestinian students and organizations by falsely labeling them as intrinsically antisemitic. This definition of antisemitism criminalizes any attempts by Palestinians to call for liberation or in calling out racist policies enacted by the Israeli Government. Further, it is in and of itself racist by declaring all Jewish Americans must have dual loyalties to the apartheid state of Israel. We condemn these attacks on Palestinian students, on First Amendment rights to free speech, and on concerned community members speaking out against the current U.S.-backed genocide in Gaza and the ongoing occupation of Palestine.

The DFW Anti-War Committee continues to stand strongly in support of Palestinian and allied organizations in Texas who are fighting for a Free Palestine. We will continue to support the Students for Justice in Palestine and Palestine Solidarity Committee chapters and members in their just struggle against Zionism, Anti-Arab Racism, and Islamophobia. We additionally will continue to stand strongly in support of Anti-Zionist Jewish and allied organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace as they continue to fight against the genuine scourge of antisemitic violence in this state. It must be made clear that antisemitism should not be redefined to include any criticisms of the racist policies of Israel.

The struggle of the Palestinian people is one marked by decades of steadfast resistance to occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. However, it is also marked by the resounding strength of commitment the Palestinian people have to preserving their culture, history, art forms, and communities in the face of such violent repression under Zionist occupation. We also recognize the long and ongoing role of our own government, both at the federal United States level and here locally in Texas. Whether it is the millions of dollars of Israeli war bonds Abbott has purchased, the bloody footprints of weapon manufacturer corporations littered across DFW, or the political cover the Biden regime is providing for the Israeli genocide on Gaza, we condemn these racist systems for their complicity in genocide and occupation and we reject their reframing of Palestinian organizing as antisemitic. We refuse to accept the moral high ground from an Abbott administration that has done nothing to support and protect Arab and Muslim communities amidst a rise in racist and Islamophobic violence, including the stabbing of a young Palestinian community member in Austin just miles from the governor’s mansion.

We stand steadfast in support of the liberation of all peoples from under the boot of imperialism and we recognize that imperialism will not fall until Palestine is free from the river to the sea. We will continue to struggle towards a just and lasting peace for all peoples and a world free of imperialist violence, genocide, apartheid, and occupation. From Palestine to the Philippines, stop the US war machine!

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