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28th November 2023

SU Exec team release updated statement on Israel-Gaza conflict

The Exec team at the Students’ Union offer “condolescences” to all members of the student body who have been affected by past and recent events as part of the Israel-Palestine conflict
SU Exec team release updated statement on Israel-Gaza conflict
Photo: Manchester Palestine Action

The Students’ Union Executive Officers have reaffirmed their position on the Israel-Gaza conflict.

In a statement released at 3pm on November 27, the SU Exec team stated that they are “saddened by any and all loss of life.”

Recognising that “a large proportion of [the] student body has close ties with the situation,” the statement condemned the actions of Hamas on October 7, as well as “the long-running occupation of Palestine, and the actions of the Israel Defence Forces.”

“Our primary aim,” the letter states, “is to support all students who have been affected by violence in the region, both historically, and recently.”

The team went on to state their position on the actions of the UK government: “Finally, we condemn the complicity of the UK government in not speaking out against injustice.”

This comes after the government voted against a ceasefire on November 15, with MPs voting 293 to 125, a majority of 168 rejecting the motion.

The statement emphasised that the Exec team will “continue to proactively fight hate and intolerance on campus” in all forms.

The statement also reaffirmed support for students campaigning for their own political views: “Advocating for a free Palestine and combating antisemitism are not mutually exclusive. We must do both.”

The statement went on to discuss democracy at the SU, noting the student vote on February 3, 2022, reaffirming student recognition of the state of Palestine.

This included: recognising the state of Palestine, giving exposure to pro-Palestinian campaigning, calling on the University to divest funding to companies complicit in Israeli occupations and human rights abuses, and working with students to organise peaceful action.

In recent months, numerous pro-Palestine protests have occurred across the University campus and Greater Manchester.

On November 9, students from several action groups occupied the Samuel Alexander building in protest of claims of the University’s involvement in the Israeli defence sector.

The University has denied this link.

The statement included a list of student groups that the SU “will be platforming,” in line with past policy, such as: Arab Soc, Friends of Palestine, Jewish Students’ Kehillah, and Butterfly Effect.

The statement concluded with a commitment to ensuring “an environment that feels safe and supportive to being politically active on campus,” and links to support for dealing with incidents, mitigating circumstances, campaigning, and the reporting process.

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