Somerville MCR’s Statement in solidarity with the Palestianian people

On 15 January, following an online referendum, the Somerville College MCR passed (78% votes in favour) the following statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The referendum was called upon receipt of a petition signed by MCR members on 27 December 2023. Numbers referred to in the statement may have thus since then become outdated, but the ongoing violence in Gaza as well as the case recently brought to the ICJ by the Republic of South Africa only mean that the call for a ceasefire is still very much relevant.
Somerville MCR’s Statement in solidarity with the Palestianian people
Since 7 October 2023, the world has witnessed a spectacle of violence in the occupied state of Palestine. We mourn the loss of lives on both fronts, Israel and Palestine, and share the pain of those affected.
Our MCR stands in solidarity with Palestinians facing attacks and bombardment in the occupied Palestinian territories, Gaza and the West Bank. As students of a College of Sanctuary, we stand in solidarity with refugee students past, present and future and we acknowledge our responsibility to speak up for those currently undergoing displacement.
We condemn the actions of the Israeli government who have targeted and killed, at the time of writing, over 15,500 people, including civilians, health workers, journalists and UN employees, over 6,600 children and 4,000 women, and displaced approximately 75% of civilians in Gaza. According to UN experts, scholars of international law, conflict studies, and genocide studies, these actions are in violation of international law and pose a severe threat of genocide. We equally condemn the targeting and killing of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, killing 254 people and injuring over 3,300 people.
We acknowledge that the events that have taken place since 7 October have not taken place in a vacuum, but rather need to be understood as part of a history 75 years of occupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli government.
The Somerville College MCR calls for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the targeting of Palestinians in the West Bank. We call for the restoration of humanitarian aid in Gaza to prevent further loss of life and for the restoration of power, water, food and telecommunications.
We urge the university, all colleges—including our own—and other MCRs and JCRs to join this call.
We urge Somerville College to release a new statement calling for a permanent ceasefire and condemning the disproportionate killing Palestinian civilians by Israel, just as they have condemned Hamas’ actions in a previous statement.
Finally, we would like to emphasise that there is no place for Islamophobia, antisemitism, or any form of racism in our college or in our university.