Middle East

MERIP Statement on the Arrest of Steve and Sandra Tamari

The following statement is being issued on behalf of MERIP’s Board of Directors, the co-chairs of the Editorial Committee, the Editorial Staff and the Executive Director.

On April 27, Professor Steve Tamari was brutally beaten by police on the campus of Washington University at St. Louis (WashU) while supporting the Gaza encampment. He and his partner, Sandra Tamari, were arrested and Steve was hospitalized with multiple broken ribs and a broken hand. Footage of his arrest shows the violence of the police assault, including repeated full-body blows and strikes to the head before he is dragged toward a police vehicle. 

Steve and Sandra Tamari are long-time friends of MERIP. Steve has served as a member of the editorial committee, and Sandra sat on our development committee for numerous years. We were horrified and angered to learn of the assault and arrests. Police violence against peaceful protesters on college campuses has become an alarming trend in the last two weeks, but Steve’s ordeal was extreme even by these standards.

MERIP stands with Steve, Sandra and the students and faculty everywhere who are calling on universities to divest from companies linked to Israel by putting their bodies and their futures on the line. We denounce police brutality and the militarization of campuses sanctioned by institutional leaders. This moment of principled unrest, motivated by support for Palestinians and demands for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, is evident throughout the United States and elsewhere across the globe. 

On this May Day, we are reminded of our strength as workers and activists. Today is a day of solidarity with Palestine. Our commitment must remain sharp and deep, just as our anger and horror must never be dulled by the repetition of violent scenes, whether in Gaza, New York, Los Angeles or St. Louis. 

The campus protests began as a means of expressing opposition to the horrific war Israel is waging in Gaza and the exorbitant toll on Palestinian lives. As the protesters and organizers are telling us, our eyes must remain on Gaza.


CORRECTION: The initial statement incorrectly noted the date of the incident as April 30 rather than April 27, when the incident occurred. We regret the error.

How to cite this article:

“MERIP Statement on the Arrest of Steve and Sandra Tamari,”
Middle East Report Online, May 01, 2024.

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