Statement in solidarity with the students‘ Palestine Solidarity Camp at the University of Vienna and on the numerous attacks received.

We, at BDS, stand in complete solidarity with all those involved in the student-led Palestine Solidarity Camp at the University of Vienna which was unjustifiable dismantled by the police on May 8th. Our solidarity goes especially to the five people who were arrested and are suffering from state repression.

 

For three days the students at the Austrian universities have taught us a lesson of courage in fighting for justice that we must not forget. Their brave actions have been confronted by the conflated efforts of Zionist organisations, political parties, official institutions, and the media, whose only interest is to silence any criticism of Israel and its apartheid regime and the genocide being committed in Gaza. This includes institutions, like public universities, which, instead of representing spaces to promote critical thinking and basic rights like freedom of speech or freedom of protest, have turned into spaces of repression where all dissent is censured or repressed. 

 

The strategy is always the same, and it has been at work for years to promote a narrative that they see is increasingly crumbling down. This strategy is very familiar to us: false news, broad generalisations of individual facts, and malicious interpretations are used to build a false narrative that suits their ideological interests. For years it has been implemented against the BDS campaign in Austria to pass an extremely simplified and false image that fulfills the worst fears of Western societies. These constructed narratives often prey on plain racism and Islamophobia and go unchecked (even reinforced) by different media of all political tendencies. It is anti-Palestinian racism that is only capable of uniting the antisemitic far right and the liberal “left”. An example of this coarse strategy is the claim by the Jewish-ÖH that it wasn’t the students but organisations like BDS Austria that were behind the camp. This falsification of reality, which borders on conspiracy theory, is always rapidly appropriated by the usual suspects (ORF, Der Standard, ÖVP, etc.) that blindly swallow anything fed to them by certain actors with clear ideological intentions. Just like Zionists in Israel, Austrian Zionists don’t hesitate to spread lies, trying to de-legitimize and criminalise those whose ideas don’t fit their views. Those who have been trying to characterise the Palestinian Solidarity Camp as the conceived plan of radicalized, Islamic, anti-democratic, and anti-Semitic fanatics, by attributing it to the plan of BDS Austria, a movement they have been for years carefully building this narrative around; know well this is not true. They purposely ignore the involvement of Jewish, queer, feminist, antiracist, and other groups and individuals who as millions of people around the world, see the settler colonialism, apartheid and genocide to which the Palestinian people are subjected to, as a humanitarian cause worth fighting for. 

 

We are also aware of the enormous number of students, teachers, journalists, officials, and people in general who are aware of the crimes being committed by Israel and who don’t buy into the depicted reality mentioned above but decide to remain silent or even align with the repression of those fighting for the rights and freedom of the Palestinian people. Those willing to sacrifice their ethical principles and the basic foundations of our democracy to further their careers or simply avoid any “uncomfortable” situation that might hinder their privileged positions. 

 

 

To them, we say it is time to speak up and join the majority of people across the world who won’t be silent in the face of genocide. Doing otherwise simply paves the way for fascism. 

 

The assault on the Palestine Solidarity Camp took place on the 8th of May, a day when we, in Austria, celebrate the fall of Nazi fascism. Let it also be remembered as the day when Austria proved once again that democracy and fundamental rights can be set aside to justify another crime against humanity.

Post Author: Autor:in