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Latino student group ‘disaffiliates’ from UW-Madison after suspension for antisemitism

‘Only when the zionist entity is entirely dismantled can Palestine be free’

The Latino — or “Latine” — University of Wisconsin-Madison student group MEChA has “disaffiliated” from the school after being suspended for its alleged involvement in antisemitic chalk messages.

In a statement issued on Independence Day, MEChA, now known as “Mecha de Teejop” after the Native American Ho-Chunk tribe, said its members “would never write nor condone the explicitly anti-Jewish sentiments” of which the group was accused.

The offensive chalkings included the phrases “Al-Qassam you make us proud, kill another soldier now,” “Power to Al-Qassam” (Al-Qassam being Hamas’ military wing), “Power to Hezbollah,” and “God is great, death to the U.S., death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam.”

After asserting no culpability for the chalkings, the statement said the group would not “engage in […] manufactured controversies” that are “created and weaponized by zionists [sic] as a shield for their complicity in settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide of the Palestinian people.”

The group also accused the university of being more concerned with the “implication of the zionist-led [sic] mass genocide” than the “actual zionist-led [sic] genocide” (emphasis in the original), and said UW’s investigation was “a pattern of harassment and intentional intimidation of our already vulnerable Latine, Chicane and Indigenous members,” according to a Daily Cardinal report.

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From the MEChA statement:

While the rest of the “international community” debates whether a genocide is even taking place, Mecha de Teejop stands firmly behind the Palestinian and pro-Palestinian Resistance resistance, all of which defend Palestinians by any means necessary – with the understanding that our calls to dismantle the oppressive power structures that allow these horrific acts against Palestinians to be perpetrated with impunity will always be intentionally distorted and weaponized by zionists. …

We join our comrades around the world in the righteous fight against imperialist, colonialist, capitalist, oppressive systems, and we will always unequivocally participate in and uphold the fight for full Palestinian liberation. Only when the zionist entity is entirely dismantled can Palestine be free, from the river to the sea [emphasis in the original].

At the time of the chalking controversy, the UW-Madison MEChA Instagram account referred to Israel as “the israeli entity” (intentional lowercase) and rejected a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli crisis as such would be a “relationship with the colonizers and the colonized.”

MEChA is an acronym for the “Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlán” (the “Chicano/a Student Movement of Aztlán”), with Aztlán an “important symbol of spiritual and national unity.” It also signifies New Mexico and Arizona, which were “ceded to the United States by Mexico with the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848.”

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IMAGE: MEChA de UW-Madison/X

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