Students Demand Action from IE Administration Regarding Palestine


In a campaign called IE4Justice, led by a group of IE students, students are demanding that IE take a stance on the conflict in Palestine. On February 29, a letter, cosigned by hundreds of IE students, detailing students' opinions and requests on the matter was sent to university administration. Below are the contents of this letter. 

Hope this email finds you well, 

We are writing to you today in the name of IE students and alumni to express distress for the Palestinian people in Gaza and accentuate the massacres and genocide they are currently experiencing.  

Last semester, IE University was quick to “condemn the attack carried out by Hamas terrorists”  after the October 7 attacks, yet 129 days, 28,064 Palestinians, and 12,300 children later, IE has yet to condemn the genocidal and terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Israeli occupation. IE has yet to condemn the blockade against humanitarian aid which millions of people are relying on  to survive. IE has yet to condemn the deliberate targeting and massacres of Palestinian families and innocent children. IE has yet to condemn the use of illegal chemical weapons such as white  phosphorous bombs which burn the internal organs of its victims. IE has yet to condemn any sort of injustice being carried out against the Palestinian people. 

Instead, after their repulsive and one-sided statement, in an attempt to salvage their reputation and repair relations, IE attempted to backpedal by launching an ignorant “IE for Middle East” campaign. A campaign which would divide donations between an occupying force which receives billions in backing from the most powerful nations in the world, and a people who are living in extreme poverty and deprived of their most basic needs. Equality is not equity.  

The genocide against the Palestinian people continues today, and the many who were forced to move to the south and live under precarious conditions will now be subjected to mass genocide and ethnic cleansing in Rafah. The stability and lack of activism on campus does not mean that  our students are unaware of what is currently happening. Last semester our students were  subjected to various forms of physical, verbal, and online harassment by several individuals at IE, and no action was taken. In spite of the lack of action, our students refused to reciprocate the violence and have instead upheld the code of conduct at IE. Do not mistake this restraint for a lack of conviction or fear. Our adherence to the rules of IE and the respect that we have shown is only representative of our values and traditions, not of our content with IE’s actions. We have not forgotten the plight of the Palestinian people, we have not forgotten the violations against our own students at IE, and we will never forget IE’s actions and decisions that followed. 

If IE truly wants to repair the relationship it destroyed with so many of its students, then we ask the institution to meet our following requests: 

1. IE institution will work with our community, student clubs, student government, alumni  associations, and other affiliated groups to create a fundraising campaign for UNRWA.

“The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)  is a UN agency that supports the relief and human development of Palestinian refugees.”  Millions of innocent men, women, and children rely on UNRWA for help and with the current displacement of millions of people, they are now more important than ever. Funding has been  cut off to them by many nations who are complicit in this genocide. However, despite these  deplorable acts by some nations, the Spanish government has pledged to TRIPLE its funding to  the UNRWA and expressed their full support for this crucial institution. As IE is part of the United Nations System Staff College and maintains extremely close ties with the UN, we now ask IE to follow in the footsteps of the Spanish government, and help us raise money for UNRWA.  

2. IE will publish a statement condemning the acts of genocide, the blockade, the deliberate targeting of innocent men, women, and children, and call for an immediate ceasefire. We will not accept a neutral statement or any other form of inadequate solution. 

“Too often, we idolize a ‘middle’ stance as more rational, more fair, more loving. We wear it as its own kind of moral superiority. But virtue is not synonymous with neutrality. Sometimes integrity demands a choice.” IE is faced with a similar choice now. In our modern world, condemning the attacks perpetrated against one of the most well-funded and powerful entities in the world is easy, maintaining a neutral stance in order to persevere your reputation and image is easy, but standing against the genocide and oppression of a forgotten people is not, yet, this is the honorable choice that demands integrity. It may not be comfortable, but it is the moral and humane course of action, which represents our community at IE. 

As you can see, this letter has signatories from hundreds of students and alumni from all over the world. Individuals from different communities who maintain close relationships with many organizations in their nations and represent IE through their word-of-mouth and communications. We do not want the future of IE to be vacant of these communities of people who love studying here and being a part of this institution. So please, do not misinterpret our letter as a threat. We do not want IE to meet our requests because of any “threats” or pressure from students and alumni communities. We hope that our demands will be met because it is the right thing to do. We believe that future world leaders and policy makers are currently studying at IE, therefore, if IE truly wants to change the world for the better, lead by example and teach our students how to stand in the face of injustice and inequity even when it is the hard thing to do. 

“El verdadero valor consiste en hacer lo correcto, aunque nadie nos esté mirando.”

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