Meet the California students and profs who say Hamas are 'freedom fighters,' not 'terrorists'

'We join a growing international chorus of voices holding the Zionist Israeli government accountable for the violence that we have witnessed over the last several days.'

Students, academic workers, alumni, and staff affiliated with Ethnic and Gender Studies programs from several campuses within the University of California system (including UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and UC Irvine) recently signed a letter condemning the university system for not standing with Palestine and blaming Israel for the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks on Israel

“As we witness the atrocities taking place in occupied Palestine, many of which have been ongoing for the last 75 years, we have watched as our campus leadership continues to ignore and/or disparage the struggle of Palestinian people for liberation and against their annihilation,” the letter reads. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the UC’s failure to create a safe environment for Palestinian students and their supporters.” 

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The letter then pivots to discuss the state of Israel directly—blaming it and holding it entirely responsible for the unfolding of violence that began with the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel itself. 

“More specifically, we join a growing international chorus of voices holding the Zionist Israeli government accountable for the violence that we have witnessed over the last several days,” it states. 

The joint letter, signed by over 50 students, faculty members, student organizations, and alumni, takes aim at slaughtered Israeli civilians.

[RELATED: MARSCHALL: Nazis forbade my Jewish grandfather from journalism. Now this prof wants to kill me for being a Jewish journalist]

“We strongly condemn the University of California’s attempt to reproduce Western media’s narrative of ongoing violence in Palestine,” it says. It continues to state that this “includes the victimization of Israeli women and children to manufacture consent for intervention and further violence against Palestinians.”

”We urge the community to practice critical media literacy when consuming mainstream media stories of violence against women and children committed by Palestinian resistors which serve to frame Palestinian freedom fighters as evil, monstrous ‘terrorists,’” it continues. 

”These justifications are ahistorical and erase the violence that racialized women and children face daily under occupation. Similarly, to globally label Palestinian rebels as rapists marginalizes a real, ongoing pattern of gendered violence against Palestinian women by Israeli Defense Forces as part of its ongoing occupation for the past 75 years. Are Palestinian women and girls not worthy of empathy, too?”

Campus Reform identified 30 professors, graduate students, PhD candidates, and student researchers who have signed their names to the letter. They are as follows:

University of California, Santa Barbara

William I. Robinson: UCSB Distinguished Professor of Sociology
(805) 893-5607 

Bri Reddick: UCSB Graduate Student

Kimberly Soriano: UCSB Graduate Student 

Kristian E. Vasquez: UCSB Graduate Student 

Alex Mireles: UCSB Doctoral Student 

Milla Wu: UCSB Undergraduate Advisor
(805) 893-7624 

Cristina Awadalla: UCSB Graduate Student 

Maile Young: UCSB Graduate Student 

Paul Kim: UCSB Graduate Student 

Zach McLane: UCSB Graduate Student 

Emma Schuster: UCSB Graduate Student 

University of California, Los Angeles 

Maga Miranda: UCLA PhD Candidate 

Jorge Cruz: UCLA Graduate Student 

Sophia Sambrano: UCLA Graduate Student 

Dylan Kupsh: UCLA Graduate Student
(925) 788-1865 

Maritza Geronimo: UCLA Graduate Student 

University of California, San Diego 

Radhika Marwaha: UCSD Graduate Student 

Muhammad Yousuf: UCSD Graduate Student 

Liliana Sampedro: UCSD Graduate Student 

Josh Bender: UCSD Graduate Student 

University of California, Riverside 

Sneha George: UCR PhD Student 

University of California, Berkeley 

Isabella Garcia: UCB Graduate Student 

Larissa Nez: UCB Graduate Student 

AJ Kurdi: UCB Graduate Student 

University of California, Irvine 

Rosie Sanchez: UCI Graduate Student 

Annie McClanahan: Associate Professor, English School of Humanities at UCI 

University of California, Santa Cruz 

Rosa Navarro: UCSC PhD Student 

Anjie Sijun Lou: UCSC PhD Student
(425) 286-5269 

University of California, Davis 

Willa Smart: UCD Graduate Student 

Sam Fuller: UCD Graduate Student Researcher