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Home Breaking News UW-Milwaukee Calls for ISRAEL to Release Palestinian ‘HOSTAGES,’ Enter Ceasefire

UW-Milwaukee Calls for ISRAEL to Release Palestinian ‘HOSTAGES,’ Enter Ceasefire

Where can taxpayers, faculty and students opt out?

In an “agreement” with pro-Palestinian activists who have occupied a section of campus  for days and who renamed a state-owned building after a man who praised Oct. 7, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee leaders are now calling for Israel to release Palestinian “hostages” and are demanding that Israel enter a ceasefire.

You read that right. UWM is saying that Israel must release ITS “hostages.” UW-Milwaukee, a taxpayer-funded four-year public university is providing no way for faculty, staff or taxpayers to opt out of either call. “We join the countless calls by national and international leaders for a ceasefire in Gaza,” UWM wrote.

In exchange, the activists must take down the encampment by Tuesday morning and not disrupt graduation ceremonies.

In its agreement, UWM drew a complete moral equivalency between the Jewish hostages held by the terrorist group Hamas and prisoners Israel has taken since Oct. 7, labeling them “hostages” as well.

Uw-milwaukee

“Innocent civilians, especially children, must not be the targets of war,” UWM wrote in its agreement. “This is why we also call for the release of the remaining Israeli and international hostages held by Hamas and the release of Palestinian men, women and children held as hostages in military detention in Israel. We condemn all violence and call for it to end.” (Our bold)

The statement does not note that some of the hostages are American.

UWM appears to have sourced its agreement claims mostly on statements from the United Nations and Amnesty International.

The agreement was announced on the evening of May 12 by Chancellor Mark Mone, Provost Andrew Daire, Vice Chancellor for DEI, Chia Vang, and Dean of Students Adam Jussel. The agreement also came VERY CLOSE to accusing Israel of genocide, noting, “A United Nations (UN) expert and the International Criminal Court have now called this war a ‘plausible genocide.”

The encampment earlier in the day on May 12 still contained anti-Israeli graffiti and a set of rules banning people from speaking with police. A major campus building, Mitchell Hall, had been renamed after the Gaza professor who praised Oct. 7 as legitimate and moral. Earlier in the week, pro October 7 propaganda hung inside the encampment. Protester security guards with walkie talkies monitored police movements and shared information on people taking photos or by clothing description.

Jewish leaders and Jussel had previously said some students felt threatened by the encampment, yet for days it remained.

See photos here.

Who is UWM demanding that Israel release, specifically? UWM’s agreement linked to an article by Amnesty International, which accuses Israel of unlawful arrest and torture. The article says that Israel has detained 2,200 Palestinian men and women since Oct. 7; by linking to that article with a general call for release, is UW-Milwaukee, a taxpayer-funded university, calling for the release of all of them, even those with Hamas or Oct. 7 ties, as presuming there are some? How can UWM ensure that none of the prisoners have those ties? How is UWM defining “hostage”?

Furthermore, the statement reveals that UWM is calling for a “ceasefire” and will use taxpayer-funded staff to clean chalk graffiti off historic Mitchell Hall, as well as to clean up pallets and other large materials from the fenced-in encampment, which is on public property in front of Mitchell Hall, a building students use for classes.

Uw-milwaukee on may 12.

UWM also agreed not to cite people for camping on university grounds.

“UWM has repeatedly noted that camping on university grounds is a violation of state law and the student code of conduct. Given that the encampment is a public demonstration in
opposition to what the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia calls the ‘War on Gaza,’ the Chancellor and the Provost have agreed to forgo relevant citations or conduct violations for the Coalition and the student groups copied on this message, if all conditions outlined below are met,” the statement says. “This exemption only applies to camping activity and does not apply to activities such as, but not limited to, vandalism or property damage.”

The agreement says that, in exchange, protesters agree to remove the encampment by Tuesday morning and not disrupt graduation ceremonies. The university wrote:

1. The encampment must begin to come down on Sunday, May 12, and must be completely deconstructed no later than 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 14. If there is no meaningful progress, which should include the removal of tents and personal property, towards deconstructing the encampment by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, May 12, UWM will begin student conduct processes immediately. UWM staff will assist on Monday with the removal of larger items, such as pallets and plywood, and clean graffiti from Mitchell Hall (which is a historic building that facilities staff prefer to clean).
2. There must be no disruptions at either of UWM’s commencement ceremonies.
3. The coalition and all student groups copied on this message must agree to meet
the terms of this agreement

The agreement also says:

  • “We join the countless calls by national and international leaders for a ceasefire in Gaza.”
  • “We also condemn the attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023, resulting in the killing of 1,200 innocent Israeli civilians, military personnel and police.”
  • “We condemn the destruction of universities in Gaza, including the last remaining one during the military assault as reported by the United Nations in April 2024.” UWM said it was denouncing “scholasticide.” UWM wrote that it condemned “the destruction of the education system and the killing of its students, teachers, faculty and staff.”
  • “The UWM Foundation leadership has agreed to meet with up to four students identified by UWM Popular University for Palestine Coalition after the encampment comes down on Tuesday, May 14, to discuss your concerns and requests.”
  • “As we shared during our last meeting, UWM will review its study abroad policies and programs to ensure compliance with our Discriminatory Conduct Policy. Separate from the lack of recent activity in these programs, a current State Department travel advisory for Israel advises against travel for safety reasons. Over the next academic year, a working group will be formed to review all study abroad programs to ensure compliance with our Discriminatory Conduct Policy and develop a process for students to report discrimination experienced in these programs.”
  • “As we confirmed while discussing your concerns in our May 8 meeting, it has been determined that the Water Council had relationships with two Israeli-government-owned water companies, Mekorot and Israel Innovation Authority. These companies are accused by international aid organizations, including Amnesty International, of cutting off access to drinking water for thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, exacerbating water scarcity. These are serious concerns that Chancellor Mone addressed with the Water Council president. At the Chancellor’s urging, the Water Council no longer has relationships with these entities, and they have been removed from the global listing on the Water Council’s website.”
  • “After the encampment is removed, we propose a series of campus conversations and educational opportunities. We also agree to collaboratively schedule and hold meetings to discuss progress on that.”

UWM said it could not do the following:

  • “As noted in our previous conversations, UWM is prohibited by law from cutting ties with private companies and organizations that do business in Israel, which includes all the businesses you cite in your demands and most recent letter (Wis. Stat. sec. 20.931). UWM supports the civic engagement of students and encourages protestors to make their concerns heard with lawmakers, as it does with all student advocacy issues.”
  • “Hillel, which sponsors certain trips to Israel, is separate from UWM. These trips are not advertised on UWM.edu.”

 

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