LAWRENCE (KSNT) – Members of a Lawrence labor union attached to the University of Kansas are making their voices heard in the ongoing discussion on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Last week, the Graduate Teaching Assistants Coalition (GTAC) released a statement in solidarity with Palestine. Part of that statement can be read below:

“As a labor union concerned with the dignity of life for workers everywhere, GTAC’s leadership unequivocally supports a free Palestine and demands an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. We condemn the ongoing settler colonial project, known as the nation-state of Israel, which does not represent all Jewish people and is not synonymous with biblical Israel. We condemn the ethnic genocide and sexual violence against and the expulsion and maiming of the Palestinian people which began with the 1948 Nakba and has continued since. We refuse to stay silent in the face of deadly and inhuman injustices. Violence will necessarily continue as long as apartheid and settler colonialism exist. Palestinians must be free if we ever hope to see peace. 

Palestine Solidarity Letter – Graduate Teaching Assistants Coalition

The release of this statement was not well received by every graduate teaching assistant at KU, with some believing it is harmful to those of the Jewish faith. Grace Lauer, a GTA in business statistics at KU, shared her opinion on the statement with KSNT 27 News.

“We serve students from so many different, diverse backgrounds ethnically, economically, religiously,” said Grace Lauer. “And so these Jewish students could not feel safe going into the classroom or on campus and we want to promote a safe environment for them. Our job is to serve them. And so to have these undertones of anti-Semitism is just heartbreaking.”

Hostilities between Israel and Palestinians erupted in the early morning hours of Oct. 7 when militants belonging to the terrorist organization Hamas launched an attack on Israel. The attack was condemned by world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, with both Israel and Hamas under close scrutiny for alleged war crimes committed during the conflict. Several U.S. citizens have been reported dead or missing since the initial attack on Israel.

College campuses across the U.S. are weighing in on the conflict with students picking sides as the conflict continues. Protests regarding the conflict are not unique to the U.S. with thousands of people making their voices heard around the world on where they stand on the issue.

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