The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Leader of Palestinian Youth Movement Speaks on History of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict at DVC


On Feb. 12, Diablo Valley College hosted the Palestinian Youth Movement’s (PYM) general coordinator, Nadya Tannous, to kick off the 2024 Social Justice Speaker Series.

Co-coordinators of the Social Justice Program, professors Albert Ponce and Sangha Niyogi, affirmed their support for a free Palestine and an end to Israel’s war in Gaza during their welcoming speeches for Tannous.

“We join calls demanding the U.S., the E.U. and the world community to take immediate action, urgent action, to stop this collective punishment, this horror and violence and genocide,” said Niyogi.

In his speech introducing Tannous, Ponce said, “There have been over 28,000 Palestinians killed, and there have been 1,139 Israelis killed. So we see the disproportionality and the use of force and violence, and the decimation of humans who have been disposed of.”  

Tannous’s parents were born in the Palestinian town of Jaffa during the British mandate. Tannous said her parents escaped the 1948 Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”), when Palestinians were driven from their homes following the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel. Tannous’s parents later moved to the Bay Area in the 1960s. Jaffa is now a part of Tel Aviv, which is in western Israel. 

Tannous brought her perspective as a first-generation Palestinian-American and discussed a variety of topics relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including European colonization of the Middle East, the history of Zionism, the Nakba, the first and second Intifada, and the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Tannous affirmed her beliefs that Israel is a “settler-colonial, fascist state,” and that anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism.In an interview with The Inquirer after her speech, Tannous said support for Palestine was rising among all people, “because Israel is built on lies.”

Cam Lippincott

“They’ve never been built to be scrutinized to this degree. The Palestinian people and our movements have been engaged in lots of social change and action all throughout the world,” Tannous said. “Not because we wanted anything back from it. But because we’ve had a rich history of fighting alongside other people who are up against oppression. I think that counts for something.”

One member of the audience, Leila Umrah, a former DVC student who is a member of the PYM, said social media is changing how the movement for a free Palestine is mobilizing.

“With social media, we have our own platforms,” Umrah said. “All these people are able to share what’s happening on the ground live, no editing, no nothing. And I think because of that, younger generations on social media are able to see that.”

DVC student Eduardo Aliva said he enjoyed the speech.

“I thought it was incredibly powerful. It brought over so much new information about the occupation, and it helped me gain a lot of clarity on the crimes that Israelis have committed on the Palestinian peoples throughout the ages, and how it’s a pattern,” Aliva said.

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About the Contributor
Cam Lippincott, Managing Editor

Comments (3)

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  • Y

    YonniFeb 15, 2024 at 10:18 am

    free the hostages! hamas is isis! rape is never freedom fighting!

    • J

      JacquiFeb 15, 2024 at 6:45 pm

      I’m so happy to see someone expressing comments from the Israeli perspective. I would love to see DVC invite an Israeli to campus to share how it feels to be barraged by rockets every day from Hamas, how they feel after the rape, torture and murder of Israelis on Oct 7. Israel didn’t start this war. Hamas, elected by Palestinians, did. DVC’s support of DEI objectives should follow by inviting both sides to share.

      • C

        Christopher RobertsFeb 21, 2024 at 3:01 pm

        70 years of murder and brutality what do you expect you lied to the world I ashamed that my country supports such a criminal people and that regime.It will come to a end soon.