It is with radical love that student protesters are calling for the divestment of universities from companies connected to Israel’s war machine and a halt to US support for the Israeli massacre of innocent civilians. The protests have spread to universities in over seventeen countries worldwide and are growing stronger. The idea that love drives solidarity and compassion is scary to a world of domination, violence and supremacy.  

Israel and its supporters tried to smear the image of the protesters by calling them anti-Semites and even going to the extent of passing the Antisemitism Awareness Act in the US Congress to punish voices critical of the actions of the state of Israel. The students know that antisemitism is hostility directed against Jews because of their religious or cultural identity. In contrast, anti-Zionism is an opposition to Zionism as an ideology that is racist because it claims the Israeli state and the land of Israel-Palestine exclusively for the Jewish community. The students recognise this distinction; they most often see themselves as continuing the tradition of civil disobedience – the tradition that peacefully breaks the laws of the land or the rules of an institution in the name of a higher law called justice.

CPTers around the US and Canada have stepped up to support the student protests. Whether this is a historic moment or a passing moment, for those who do the work of justice, it is time for us to show our radical revolutionary love. Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has put out a call: “Channel your rage, channel your grief into action to end complicity. This is what Palestinians need.” 

Love itself is a radical act. It has the power to connect, create and enlarge us. It liberates us from systems of oppression that divide and destroy, providing us with the foundation for transformation. Bell Hooks said, “The practice of love is the most powerful antidote to the politics of domination.”

This year, at CPT, we’re committed to Radical Love. Will you join us? What does your radical love look like?

“The power of our love scares them.”

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