Guest Column: Former student government president responds to El Camino statement

Editor’s Note: Students, employees and other members of the El Camino College community outside the journalism staff are also invited to submit guest columns for consideration as per The Union’s policy. All columns are subject to editing for length, grammar and style. They must be free of libel and in good taste. Publication or rejection of any column is at the sole discretion of the editorial board. All opinions are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of The Union.

Per The Union’s standards guest columns typically run 300-450 words, the author was offered the opportunity to increase their column but declined.


My name is Jana Abulaban, I’m a Palestinian refugee, and I just graduated from El Camino Community College. 


During my commencement speech last Friday, I decided to use my platform to speak out against a system of oppression that has affected me, my loved ones, and millions of other Palestinians – Israeli apartheid.


Despite the fact that every major human rights organization, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, have come to the same conclusion, my speech came under attack by right-wing media. 


Just this week, my own college, El Camino, sent a dangerous school-wide email implying that my comments against oppression were somehow oppressive. 


Let me be clear – every person should live in freedom, every person deserves human rights, and every person should be able to speak out when they’re being oppressed. That must include Palestinians too.


I know that I am on the right side of history, and I am proud to stay true to my principles calling for an end to Israeli apartheid so that Palestinians can be free. I hope that many more people will join me too.