Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and the Trinity College Dublin Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (TCD BDS) movement have issued a joint statement condemning the “violence” and “tragic loss of life caused by this war” in reference to the ongoing conflict in Israel-Palestine.
TCD BDS is the Trinity branch of the Boycott, Divestment and Solidarity Implementation Group. This is a campaign to end the occupation of Palestinian territories through boycotting Israeli products, ending investments and ties with Israeli business’ and institutions as well and issuing sanctions against the Israeli state.
In recent years, “TCDSU has committed itself to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people” the statement reiterated. Last year TCDSU and Trinity BDS held a “Anti-Apartheid Week” during which they co-hosted a number of events to raise awareness around the ongoing injustices and resistance efforts of the Palestinian people. TCDSU and Trinity BDS helped to organise last week’s “Emergency Support Rally” in support of Palestinian liberation which was held outside the Dáil.
In light of the terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel, like the attack on The NOVA music festival which left at least 260 festival goers dead, and retaliations by the Israeli forces, the statement clarified that, “standing with Palestine does not mean that we stand for violence”.
The statement blamed the ongoing, “cycle of violence” in the region on the, “systematic oppression, apartheid and occupation of Palestinian territories” by the Israeli state.
Some Israeli publications, such as Haaretz, which is the third biggest newspaper in Israel, have said that the Israeli government’s policy on Palestinians “bears responsibility” for Hamas' recent deadly attacks.
Amnesty International, among other organisations, have previously condemned the Israeli government’s policy on Palestinians under its jurisdiction as “apartheid”.
The statement from the TCDSU and Trinity BDS did not specifically mention Hamas, who were behind the initial attacks. Hamas is a militant group which was formed in 1987. Hamas won elections in the Gaza strip in 2006, thereafter ensued a power struggle between Hamas and Fatah (the biggest secular Palestinian political party). Hamas fighters’ ousted all Fatah politicians from Gaza by force and since then no election has been held. To this day Hamas maintains political control of Gaza.
TCDSU and Trinity BDS expressed support for what they see the current Isreali-Palestinian conflict to be - a war, “national liberation” for Palestinians. They stated that such a war is, “in accordance with international humanitarian law” through, “the adaptation of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention in 1949 as a protected and essential right of occupied people everywhere”.
The statement ended by affirming that, “TCDSU is here for all students, for anyone who has been affected by these tragic events”. The instagram post which contained the statement ended with a series of mental health services and organisations that students can avail themselves of if they have been impacted by the ongoing events in Israel-Palestine.