This past Tuesday, January 31st, a new “national” flag appeared on the back quad. While many students probably didn’t notice it this flag is of the so called “Palestinian State”. For the past several months there has been a growing movement among students to have this flag flown over campus in an effort to promote the cause of Palestine and to help build political pressure for its recognition. Unfortunately the college has made the decision to bend to this movement and to make a political statement on campus without taking into consideration the reality of the situation. This decision, by the college, to endorse a specific political cause defies our position as a politically neutral institution and ignores the true nature of the Palestinian “state”.
One of the founding responsibilities of Roanoke College is to the foster political and academic beliefs and ideas without taking sides or promoting one idea over another. For everyone who has never heard about which flags are flown on the back quad the college flies the American, Virginia, College, and ELCA flags and on the fifth pole rotates between the flags of the various nations from which our international students hail. By flying the Palestinian flag the college is appearing to recognize Palestine as a nation, something which the United States does not currently do. The very idea that the college would take a stand on such a pretentious issue alone violates its policy of supporting all political ideology equally. It flies in the face of Roanoke’s political neutrality and disregards the opinions and feelings of a large part of this campus which looks on Palestine as terrorist threat to both Israel, which Palestine has continually attacked using terrorist strategies, and the United States. Support of the “nation” of Palestine also ignores attempts by its government, led by Hamas which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, and its populace to enter the community of nations with a constitution that installs Sharia law as the basis of its legal code, which promises to oppress the rights of minorities including its Jewish and Christian majority, and whose continual calls for the destruction of and attacks on its neighbor, Israel, threatens to undermine the peace of the region. Therefore not only has the college abandoned its political neutrality to endorse a position contrary to the official US stance it has done so to endorse a rogue “nation” that threatens the safety of a large population.
Therefore we the members of College Republicans Â call upon the administration to remove the flag of Palestine from flag pole on the back quad and to not fly it again unless the United States recognizes Palestine as a country and to reaffirm its political neutrality and to state it has no official position on the recognition of Palestine.
The College Republicans of Roanoke College