Below is the message that she and Christopher Warnes sent to the Vice-Chancellor:
Dear Professor Richard
We are writing to express our support for the initiative recently taken by Cambridge University students in support of the people of Gaza. We understand that right now negotiations are taking place between representatives of the university and the students concerning proposals for how this university can respond to the catastrophe in Gaza.
We do not believe there is a substantial conflict of interest between the university, its staff and the students on these matters. These students are showing motivation, drive, commitment, perseverance, and principle in abundance - exactly the qualities we as teachers value most in our students. We would thus urge you and your negotiating team to respond sympathetically to the student proposals.
Faculty of English and St John's College
Faculty of English and Churchill College
Dr Richard Drayton
Faculty of History University of Cambridge
Rhodes Professor of Imperial History- electKings College London:
I am in the United States for the term and will only be very briefly in Cambridge here and there. But I do want, for what it is worth, to send you a message of support. What has taken place in Gaza over the last two months is an act of collective punishment of a civilian population which is precisely equivalent to what Nazi Germany did to towns and cities like Lidice and Oradour in the Second World War in response to an armed resistance to its occupations, respectively, of Czechoslovakia and France. Such acts of collective punishment are themselves war crimes of the first order. The attack on Gaza's people also involved many other abuses of the norms of civilized warfare (if we accept the possibility of such a thing) including the destruction of hospitals, schools, farms, water and electricity plants, and involved the use of radioactive weapons ('depleted uranium', standardly used in modern heavy projectiles, is a euphemism for uranium which can have up to 50% of the radioactivity of 'normal uranium) and weapons such as white phosphorous. British corporations have provided weapons and technology which supported this assault, the British government has permitted their export, and cooperates extensively with the Israeli defence establishment, and British consumers are among the most important supporters of Israeli settler commercial agriculture. In this context, it is right and proper that British civil society take a stand that there cannot be business as usual, that we must take stock of these crimes against humanity, and do what we can to show that we stand on the side of human rights and justice. The student occupations in Cambridge, London, and Oxford represent exactly the kind of act of democratic public witness which universities should seek to protect.
I had no idea that you had instigated this show of solidarity with the
people of Gaza, & I'm so heartened to learn of it. Israel has created the
biggest concentration camp on earth. Its wholesale butchering of innocent
civilians in response to the undeniably idiotic & murderous provocations by
Hamas edges into genocide; the complicity of the West is thus a shame & an
Every bomb that fell on Gaza will have been branded by a US arms
manufacturer. It falls upon each of us to ensure that our personal actions
do not sustain this vast & mystificatory totalitarian network. And this
includes applying pressure within the University, in order to ensure
openness and accountability over its investments. For who otherwise will
help the maimed & the suffering inhabitants of this land? Certainly not the
louche billionaire racketeers who run the Arab League.
I am so grateful to you for making a stand - at no little personal risk. But
this is what is means to be fully alive.
In solidarity & with warmest wishes,
Fellow, Tutor & Director of Studies in English, Wolfson College, University