Our 2018 Conference Theme & Goals
We are excited to announce that Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA will be hosting the 8th annual National Students for Justice in Palestine Conference on November 16-18, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA. Our conference theme will be "Radical Hope: Resistance in the Face of Adversity."
There is a massive power disparity between Zionism and its victims. Zionism is perverse in all aspects of Palestinian life and aims to destroy Palestinian existence and culture. With the Nakba and the Naksa, relentless attacks on Gaza, cementing apartheid into law, and the everyday oppression of Palestinians at all levels of life, it may seem at times like all hope of seeing a free Palestine has been diminished. And yet, Palestinians have persevered through the generations by means of their resistance and resilience. Despite the enormous power disparity, Palestinians have exemplified radical hope. Radical hope is hope “directed toward a future goodness that transcends the current ability to understand what it is.” Palestinians have continued to resist towards the goal of a free Palestine, a future that can sometimes be difficult to imagine. Palestinians have displayed this radical hope and upfront defiance of Zionism throughout the past century, from early revolts through the Intifadas to the Great Return March. In all instances, Palestinians stared Zionist violence and death in the face and pushed forward––even when the outcome of such defiance was uncertain, or even when an unfortunate, grim outcome was almost certain.
Outside of Palestine, organizers face their own challenges from Zionism and its institutions. With direct financial and military aid ever increasing, the Palestinian exception to free speech, constant intimidation tactics against campus organizers, and unconditional support for Israel serving as a litmus test for elected officials, we too may feel in our organizing spaces that an end to apartheid and a free Palestine are beyond our reach, or even impossible. Yet we too have successfully challenged Zionism and successfully survived its challenges time and time again. Most notable is the global BDS movement, which has led to growing awareness of the Palestinian struggle, an increase in public support, and successful instances of divestment by major companies and institutions. The Israeli government has also deemed BDS a major threat, which should be a source of pride for us. Other instances of our perseverance include disruptions of pro-war, Zionist, and racist guest speakers; pro-Palestine legislation passed through student government; our relentless attempts to counter Zionist McCarthyist blacklists and campaigns; our rallying of legal support behind targeted groups and individuals; and the energy we continue to channel towards creative action, education, and cross-movement solidarity. Despite constant attacks, we are still organizing, hosting, and attending national conferences to push forward our movement, a movement that is under more surveillance and repression than most. In each step our movement is gaining ground and gathering varying degrees of support and different strategic advantages by the day. If that’s not a cause for pride and hope, what is?
The 2018 National SJP Conference will achieve the following goals:
We look forward to meeting you in Los Angeles!
Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA
National Students for Justice in Palestine