In Solidarity With Palestinian Resistance
Komaba Times writes a letter to our readers today, standing in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance and calling for an immediate ceasefire as we continue to mourn for all lives lost due to war. We are an English-language magazine run by international students at the University of Tokyo, and today we stand true to our commitment in using our critical platform to voice out and act on life-changing struggles of exclusion and belonging. We condemn any acts, statements and hypocritical silences which invalidate the Palestinian resistance, promote anti-Semitism or Islamophobia, or undermine social justice.
The Palestinian resistance continues to be misread, misrepresented, and misremembered by many as an isolated “terrorist act” sparked on October 7th, 2023. In November of 1947, the United Nations General Assembly responded to the escalating tensions in the 1930s sparked by the increased displacement to Palestine of Jews from Europe after WWII. The UN passed a resolution that arbitrarily divided Palestine into two states: one Jewish and one Arab.¹ This resulted in the Nakba, which was a catastrophic war that displaced half of Palestine’s population. Today, a growing number of 1.4 million Palestinians are dispossessed and displaced because of Israeli settlements, evictions, land confiscation and home demolitions.²
Seeing as most of our members and contributors are international students in Japan, we have strong ties to our respective countries’ histories and to our daily experiences which propel us to speak out on the highly racialized, Islamophobic and colonialist implications of ahistorical understandings surrounding the Palestinian resistance. At this time, it is against the rapid onset of genocide within the long and expanding occupation by settler-colonial oppressor Israel. We denounce the forgetfulness perpetuated by voices in academia and mainstream media, especially led by the Anglophone world, about the apartheid regime of Israel which has led to the destruction of land, exploitation of resources, mass separation and displacement of families, and the devastating losses of lives. At the same time, we condemn Hamas’ killing and kidnapping of Israeli civilians as it undermines efforts towards peace and justice for the Palestinian people and for the region, and perpetuates anti-Semitic sentiment globally.
As students in the University of Tokyo who are taught to critically examine and deeply consider imperialist practices that have been the enabling backbone of our very own institution, we cannot stand quietly to support any claims of “self-defense” which displace and invalidate the histories of any and all colonized peoples under legacies of physical, political, economic, and social oppressions. Moving forward, Komaba Times will continue to resist through our writing, research, and extracurriculars to make space for decolonized, anti-racist, mindful, and loving ways of understanding one another’s lived experiences and histories. We urge the wider University of Tokyo community, those in Tokyo, in Japan, and beyond, to continue to share knowledge in an informed manner, to reflect on exclusions and belongings, and to actively create dialogue, works or spaces which serve to tackle injustices ongoing around the world and in our own communities.
References ¹ United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine. “About the Nakba” United Nations. Accessed on 2nd November 2023. https://www.un.org/unispal/about-the-nakba/ ² United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #21” United Nations. Accessed on 2nd November 2023. https://www.ochaopt.org/content/hostilities-gaza-strip-and-israel-flash-update-21 Disclaimer: This note was written on October 31st 2023 by the acting Editor-in-Chief, after edits from members of the KT Team. It was voted for publication by 12 out of 12 voting members of the KT Team.