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Palestinians are Deserving of Human Dignity

The aftermath of the June 28th U.S. Presidential debate continues to dominate the news cycles. However, a critical issue largely missed in the debate recap was the blatant xenophobia against Palestinians (and immigrants) and the deafening silence that followed. On a stage for the U.S. Presidency, referring to Palestinians as a slur should never go unnoticed.

We shouldn’t have to say this, but let’s be clear: Palestinians are deserving of human dignity. Full stop.

Stereotypes about Palestinians, especially in the U.S. context, often arise from media portrayals that focus solely on violence and terrorism. The long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict means Palestinians are frequently seen only through a lens of conflict, reinforcing a narrative that is far from the full truth. Broader prejudices and racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiments, further exacerbate these negative stereotypes.

In reality, the complexity and diversity of Palestinian life and experiences are rarely represented. Both Christian and Muslim Palestinians are a richly unique, resilient, and generous people. Like you and me, they seek love, peace, and the freedom to build strong, happy lives for their families.

Bethlehem University Foundation’s mission is to ensure that Bethlehem University students, faculty, alumni, and staff have the tools necessary to find peace and thrive in their community. As a Catholic organization, we are committed to upholding their human dignity, promoting justice, seeking the common good, and always advocating for peace and reconciliation.

We must acknowledge that Palestinians – and all marginalized groups – are worthy of dignity. Please use your voice to call out those who seek to diminish their humanity and continue to pray for peace and stability for all those too often torn apart by violence, trauma, and destructive rhetoric.

In Peace,

James Howell
Executive Director, Bethlehem University Foundation