A series of posters created and disseminated by the David Horowitz Freedom Center in April identified by name a number of prominent student and faculty Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists on the San Diego State University campus. DHFC, which says it “combats the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values and disarm this country as it attempts to defend itself in a time of terror,” described its targeted individuals as having “allied themselves with Palestinian terrorists to perpetrate BDS and Jew Hatred on this campus.”
The posters contained the hashtag #StopTheJewHatredonCampus, which is the slogan of the DHFC campaign seeking to confront campus anti-Semitism agents and to refute the lies spread by pro-Palestinian individuals and groups, including claims that Israel is an apartheid state.
According to Jamie Ballard of the Daily Aztec, after a protest last week regarding President Elliot Hirshman’s failure to condemn the anti-BDS fliers on campus, students met with him Monday morning to discuss what will happen next.
Osama Alkhawaja and Rachel Beck, two of the students who met with Hirshman, said they were able to share their concerns with the administration, but were not “entirely satisfied, and feel the issue is far from over.”
“I feel absolutely betrayed by my university,” Beck told the Aztec. “I pay $30,000 to go here, and they haven’t defended me from these accusations that I am a terrorist.”
“The thing that I don’t understand is, why is it so hard for you to come out and make a statement saying that your students aren’t terrorists?” Alkhawaja said. “The university continues to defend free speech, but this is hate speech.”
According to Alkhawaja, the university said it is not willing to condemn the posters by saying that they are a form of hate speech or intimidation.
Here is what the fliers say:
“There is an epidemic of Jew hatred on American campuses and at San Diego State University. This Jew hatred is incited by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Association and assorted leftist groups, all of whom support the terrorist organizations Hamas and Fatah.”
The fliers then explain that both SJP and MSA are products of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that they “disseminate genocidal lies about Israel whose purpose is to weaken and destroy the world’s only Jewish state.”
The posters were delivered on five California campuses, including at UCLA and UC-Berkeley, where anti-Israel activists were able to push university administrators into calling them “hate speech.”
In an email sent to San Diego State’s entire student body on Tuesday, Hirshman criticized the posters but defended their creators’ right to free speech: “First, we recognize and fully support the rights of all parties to voice their positions on political issues, whether supportive or critical. We also understand that when parties adopt a specific political position they become responsible for their actions and these actions may produce criticism.”
Alkhawaja told the San Diego Union-Tribune: “I’m shocked, I just don’t get why it’s so difficult for him to condemn the posters, to call them what they were. What we got instead was a promise to continue our conversations.”
Horowitz has been invited by the SDSU College Republicans to speak on campus Thursday. It isn’t clear whether there are any protest planned against that appearance.
“One thing that’s sometimes leveled against us is that we stifle speech,” Alkhawaja said. “We’re just not going to go. Our issue wasn’t with someone holding an opinion. The issue here was that he singled out individuals in a very threatening manner.”
Come to think of it, it’s about time somebody did.David Israel