In solidarity with scholars, activists, and Palestinian advocates worldwide, we announce the founding of Wesleyan Faculty for Justice in Palestine [(FJP)]. We define ‘faculty’ broadly, encompassing all who work to make education available at Wesleyan, including tenure-track and tenured faculty, professors of the practice, visiting professors, postdoctoral scholars, program coordinators, and staff. We join over 80 groups on campuses across the country to condemn Israel’s devastating attack on Gaza, continuing incitement of genocide and famine, and unabashed violation of human rights, which began well before October 2023. Wesleyan FJP supports students and colleagues protesting Israel’s ongoing military assault and destruction of Gaza, which has already resulted in the deaths of over 40,000 Palestinians. With them, we struggle for liberation and justice throughout historic Palestine.

With numerous North American colleagues, we condemn scholasticide in Gaza. Israel has systematically attacked educational institutions and libraries in Gaza. All 12 universities in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged. Detailing the impacts of Israeli attacks on university education, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reports that: “[T]hree university presidents have been killed in the Israeli attacks, along with more than 95 university deans and professors […] Meanwhile, 88,000 students have been deprived of receiving their university education […] According to the Palestinian Ministry of Education, 4,327 students have been killed and 7,819 others have been injured during the ongoing attacks, while 231 teachers and administrators have been killed and 756 injured.” The targeting of Palestinian educational institutions is a central tactic of Israel’s occupation.

In addition, Wesleyan FJP stands in solidarity with students, faculty, and staff exercising their rights to free speech. Students and faculty have been arrested, doxxed, and suspended; new rules and procedures have curtailed speech and prevented teach-ins; administrators have surveilled classroom discussion and syllabi; student messaging about Palestine has been banned; and presidents of universities have been forced to resign following relentless targeting by pro-Israeli donors and politicians. In recent weeks, university and police response to student protests have escalated, including the threat of National Guard deployment to target student encampments. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has issued a statement of condemnation against violations of academic freedom on college campuses. Several SJP chapters at universities have been shut down, including at Columbia, Brandeis, and George Washington. There are 12 pending Title VI complaints and investigations against Palestinian activists at universities, despite the Office for Civil Rights not having found a single violation of Title VI due to Palestinian advocacy at a university to date.

Wesleyan FJP takes the charge of education to include collectively working to better understand the world around us. In no uncertain terms, doing so in this historical moment requires study and critique of the ongoing Nakba, Israeli settler colonialism, apartheid, and military occupation. Defenders of Israel and Zionism in the U.S. have mobilized significant resources against government actors, universities, and other institutions to censor and punish those who support education about Palestine toward Palestinian liberation. It is thus vital that universities push back against such censorship and erasure, and serve as spaces for education on Palestinian history and the history and ongoing effects of settler colonialism and Zionism. Since Fall of 2023, the Wesleyan Faculty Ad-Hoc Network on Palestine has organized events to share the work of Palestinian scholars and advocates, run the weekly Palestine Seminar to educate the community with historical scholarship on Palestine, and supported student organizing. Wesleyan FJP will continue this crucial work in collaboration with our colleagues.

Wesleyan FJP is firmly committed to combating any form of racism, including anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy. We assert the non-equivalence of anti-Zionism with antisemitism, as explained by the original author of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, Bard Professor Kenneth Stern.  We are also committed to combating all forms of oppression, including caste hierarchies and those targeting sexuality, trans and non-binary gender identification, and disabilities of any kind.

Finally, we heed the call of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), an American branch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS campaigns call for the divestment of university endowments from corporations that fund or profit from military manufacturing and arms trading. We support the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which calls for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions (not individual scholars) for their complicity in apartheid and denial of Palestinian rights, including study abroad programs at Israeli universities. Divestment campaigns are working; more than 30 student governments at US Universities have passed divestment resolutions (including Wesleyan in 2014).

We assert that working and teaching toward Palestinian liberation is centrally aligned with our roles as educators. To get in touch, ask us questions, or join us in our work, contact us at or on Instagram at WesleyanFJP.

Wesleyan FJP

12 Untenured Faculty Members
Matthew Garrett
J. Kēhaulani Kauanui
Kerwin Kaye
Maaza Mengiste
Victoria Pitts-Taylor
Ulrich Plass
Anu Sharma
Joseph Weiss
Margot Weiss

Correction note: An earlier version of this letter was missing the hyperlinks included by the authors. These links have been added.