web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘SJP’

California’s Ugly Anti-Semitism Spreads East to Vassar

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

California is the lifestyle incubator of the nation. And now the trendy anti-Semitic thuggery that debuted at California’s public universities has metastasized across America, all the way to the elite halls of Vassar.

Before we discuss the fashionable pogrom that just took place on the Vassar campus where Jackie Kennedy once strolled in pearls, let’s look back at May 7, 2002. On that day, Professor Laurie Zoloth, Director of the Jewish Studies program at San Francisco State University, attended a “Peace in the Middle East” campus rally, organized by Hillel students, where they sang songs and prayed for peace in Israel. Wrote Professor Zoloth:

“As soon as the community supporters left, the 50 students who remained praying in a minyan for the traditional afternoon prayers, or chatting, or cleaning up after the rally, talking — were surrounded by a large, angry crowd of Palestinians and their supporters. But they were not calling for peace. They screamed at us to ‘go back to Russia’ and they screamed that they would kill us all, and other terrible things.

“As the counter demonstrators poured into the plaza, screaming at the Jews to ‘Get out or we will kill you’ and ‘Hitler did not finish the job,’ I turned to the police and to every administrator I could find and asked them to remove the counter demonstrators from the Plaza, to maintain the separation of 100 feet that we had been promised. The police told me that they had been told not to arrest anyone, and that if they did, “it would start a riot.” I told them that it already was a riot.”

Eventually, the terrified Jewish students gathered under the flag of Israel and were led by armed police guard back to the Hillel House. “This was neither free speech nor discourse, but raw, physical assault,” wrote Professor Zoloth, who noted with sadness, “Not one administrator came to stand with us.”

May 7, 2002 turned out to be a grand day for Jew-haters, because things only got better from there. Threatening, harassing, intimidating and assaulting Jews is now a venerable tradition on California’s public campuses, protected by taxpayer-funded administrators and enshrined by public indifference.

SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY

Let’s flash forward to San Francisco State University today. Mohammad Hammad, president of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS), has recently enjoyed organizing campus art projects that read “My heroes have always killed colonizers,” posing on social media sites with a knife that he claims “makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier,” and vowing to use his GUPS presidency “to radicalize half of our population and bring them back with me as fighters.”

Upon being informed of these threats by a Jewish group called AMCHA Initiative, SFSU President Leslie Wong took decisive action by yawning, shrugging and sticking his fingers in his ears. Mohammad Hammad is no longer at SFSU, but presumably he still has his weapons collection intact. But the radical student group that elected him president still has free reign.

AMCHA Initiative, led by the politely relentless Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, documents the anti-Semitic tsunami on University of California’s campuses. At UC Berkeley, a Jewish girl holding an “Israel Wants Peace” sign was ramrodded with a shopping cart by the head of Students for Justice in Palestine. At UC Irvine, eleven Muslim students disrupted the speech of the Israeli Ambassador with such ferocity they were convicted of disturbing the peace. And on and on and on.

The regal disinterest of UC’s Board of Regents has allowed the cancer to spread. If these characters can get away with it in California, they can pull it off in Michigan, Boston, and Brooklyn, too. As Caroline Glick explains, anti-Israel student activists at the University of Michigan recently hurled death threats at Jewish student council members and called them “dirty Jew” and “kike.” Michigan university administrators aggressively intervened — on behalf of the anti-Semites.

‘Cockroach’ as anti-Arab Slur and other Narrative Creations

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

A recent article in The Jewish Press laid out the framework of a March 4 clash between a student who had been involved in a street theater demonstration – a “mock Israeli checkpoint” – and a Jewish professor.  What could have been merely a tense situation became toxic largely because the professor is Israeli and the student is an Arab Palestinian.

The sensationalized news hook was that the professor called the student “a f[expletive deleted] cockroach.” As some also reported, the professor said his inappropriate language was provoked by the student saying to him, “I will hunt you down.”

Facts that are only now coming to light suggest that there is more – and maybe less – to the story. Working carefully through the details reveals important facts about the way anti-Israel groups act and are treated on American college campuses today.

The goal of the anti-Israel student demonstration, led by the Students for Justice in Palestine, was to show how abusive and intimidating the Israeli Defense Force is for Arabs who have to go through checkpoints.  The SJP students played the role of the “bad guys,” the IDF soldiers, and the Claremont colleges students trying to enter the dining hall were forced into the role of Arabs passing through the SJP’s idea of Israeli checkpoints.  Those students were subjected to a gauntlet of students dressed in combat fatigues, standing shoulder to shoulder, demanding that identification before being allowed in to Claremont McKenna’s Collins Dining Hall.

This “street theater” demonstration was only one of several Claremont SJP’s Israeli Apartheid Week events for the day.  An earlier one allegedly involved blocking the entrance to a Pitzer classroom building.  One person who refused to be named or to participate in this article claimed that the SJP students yelled “F[expletive deleted] off Jews!” to Hillel students who tried to enter the building.

The Jewish students who encountered the SJP “checkpoint” outside of CMC’s dining hall were overwhelmed.  Several began to cry, and one of them sought out the help of an Israeli CMC economics professor.

The professor went to the site of the demonstration.  He did not attempt to shut it down, but instead sought to have the demonstrators move from in front of the doorway, so that the students could enter the dining hall without having to participate in the SJP enforced role-playing. The SJP students initially moved from the doorway and removed the ropes they had put up, but soon after they moved back into position.

The blow-up occurred when Yaron Raviv, the Jewish Israeli economics professor, and one of the lead SJP students, Najib Hamideh, had a nasty verbal exchange.  Exactly what was said, in which order, remains in dispute.

Raviv claims that as he walked away from the SJP demonstration towards an arriving public safety officer whom he had summoned because the demonstrators were blocking the entrance, Hamideh came after him, demanding that the professor produce his ID. When the professor finally took out his CMC identification to show it to the public safety officer, the student exclaimed,

“You are faculty! I will hunt you down!”

The professor, feeling provoked, foolishly responded, “You are a f[expletive deleted] little cockroach.”

To which the student said, according to Raviv, “Now I’ve got you.”

Hearing the student say this, the professor says he realized he had a problem, and left the area after telling the Jewish student who had originally sought his assistance that the public safety officer would handle the problem going  forward.

The student’s version is that the professor tried repeatedly to shut down the demonstration, that the demonstration was orderly and that he had been very polite towards the professor.  Hamideh claims he came up to Raviv as the professor approached the public safety officer whom Raviv had called.  He also claims that he was only concerned that there was someone he didn’t know on the campus, and so he asked the professor for his identification, and then, with no provocation, Raviv called him a f[expletive deleted] cockroach and referred to all the Pitzer students as cockroaches.

THE COLLEGE INVESTIGATIONS AND REPORTS

The entire incident, from the beginning of the “street theater” demonstration until the crowd cleared, occurred in the general area of Claremont McKenna’s Collins Dining Hall.  Accordingly, CMC has jurisdiction to decide what happened, and in particular whether the demonstration violated any of the Claremont Colleges’ rules.

The BDS State of Mind

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Visit http://israelcampusbeat.org for the latest Israel trends and events on campus.

Pronouncements attempting to appeal to the conscience of academics supportive of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement often depict Israel as a Nazi-like state. These views — once labeled extreme — have become increasingly mainstream as academics call for Israel’s destruction, not by might or power but by bad analogies and misguided ideas.

A careful look at the BDS movement and its methodology shows not legitimate criticism but a movement that is racist and anti-Semitic. Why? BDS clearly targets Israel. Its stated goals vary but all include the “right of return” for Palestinian “refugees.” The effort is cloaked to give the impression that ending specific Israeli policies, such as the “occupation” or “apartheid,” would also end efforts to ostracize Israel. Yet their maximalist demand — the flood of Palestinian refugees, which would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state — is carefully hidden.

In February 2012, the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) student government defeated, for the third year running, a resolution calling on the University system to divest from US companies that supply Israel’s defense forces. The Associated Students of UCSD heard public debate on a resolution brought forth by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) calling for the school to divest from General Electric and Northrop Grumman because they supply components of Apache helicopters sold to Israel, which then uses them to “violate” Palestinian human rights and expand the “occupation.”

UCSD Professor Shlomo Dubnov, who heads the campus chapter of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, spoke out against the divestment. Consequently, on March 2, SJP leaders sent a letter of complaint to faculty, administration and members of the UCSD Campus Climate Council “to address the hostile campus climate being created for students of color and students from underserved and underrepresented communities.” Five student organizations also made claims against UCSD professors and staff who spoke against the resolution, stating that “while we understand that it is a public meeting, for them to refer to themselves in their position as ‘UCSD staff’ or ‘UCSD professor’ is uncalled for. They used their positions as University employees to verbally attack students and to even erase the existence of many individuals in the room.”

This tactic to silence pro-Israel professors through claims of intimidation and legal threats is of great concern, not only to the individuals who might be forced to think twice before speaking out but to the universities themselves.

All of this makes combating BDS complicated and confusing, especially for those who want to believe that there is room for debating the “facts” presented by BDS supporters. What makes this battle so arduous for the pro-Israel community — and so attractive for Israel detractors — is the umbrella of academic freedom, which makes it “legitimate” to debate all aspects of Israel, from specific policies to its elimination altogether.

Institutions of higher education should be bastions of critical thinking, and academic freedom should not be selectively used as a bludgeon against pro-Israel speech and a “get-out-of-jail-free card” for anti-Israel speech. Academic freedom has already been manipulated to mean that anti-Israel ideologues have nearly complete license to propagandize in the classroom. Now efforts to exercise free speech and push back are being criminalized as “intimidation.”

If there is an upside, it is that the pro-Israel community has redrawn the lines of acceptable discourse. While not everyone agrees with the policies of the Israeli government, a consensus has emerged over the basic belief of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Ultimately, BDS does not employ legitimate criticism but, in essence, questions Israel’s very existence.

An Open Letter to University of California President Mark Yudof

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Dear University of California President Yudof,

Last week, two shameful events occurred on University of California campuses that made Jewish students feel targeted, intimidated, harassed, and unsafe. We charge the UC administration with failing in their basic responsibilities – to protect Jewish students from a hostile environment and to ensure their rights to freedom of speech.

On February 27 at UC Davis, Jewish student groups sponsored the presentation of talks by two Israelis, one Jewish the other Druze. The speakers were repeatedly interrupted by hecklers, whose intent was clearly to disrupt the proceedings. Not only did a heckler hurl outrageous accusations against one of the speakers, calling him a “rapist” and “child molester,” but the heckler brazenly stated: “I will stand here and heckle you until you leave…My only purpose is that this event is shut down.” The heckler also told audience members that he was paid $50 by “Muslim students” to disrupt the event.

Twenty-four hours before the Jewish students’ event, members of the UCD Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) sent a communication to SJP supporters outlining a two-pronged strategy for shutting down the event: they would pack the room with pro-Palestinian students who would leave en masse in the middle of the event, and some students would remain to continuously heckle the Israeli speakers. Both parts of the strategy were carried out at the event, and the event ultimately had to be curtailed because of the disruption.

Besides illegally conspiring to disrupt a lawful meeting and thereby suppress the freedom of speech of the Jewish students and their speakers, members of the SJP and their supporters created a physically and emotionally hostile environment for the Jewish students. According to one eyewitness:

“As fear of physical altercations mounted, several 911 calls were made. The campus police appeared but refused to remove, reprimand, or otherwise take any action against the disrupters. The police stated they were given “orders” not to take action against the disrupters, but instead, to close down the program if it got out of hand.”

Shockingly, and in stark contrast to your repeated assertions that the University is committed to protecting the rights of free speech and ensuring the safety of all students, the campus police did nothing, and even refused to take the names of disrupters. In addition, at least two high-level UC Davis administrators were present at the event, and they, too, refused to respond to these egregious violations of University policy and state law, which left Jewish students feeling unsafe and violated.

A few days later, on February 29, SJP students at UC San Diego brought to the Associated Students Council for the third consecutive year a resolution asking the University of California to engage in a secondary boycott of Israel by divesting from American firms that do business with the Israeli Defense Forces. The resolution was defeated after seven hours, but the Jewish students and faculty who supported Israel were harassed and bullied by pro-Palestinian supporters and falsely accused of racism.

Several Jewish attendees felt targeted and threatened at the meeting: A UCSD faculty member reported that it was “emotionally difficult to bear the hatred and lies.” The president of the student group, Tritons for Israel, stated that “Jewish students feel targeted, and Jewish students don’t feel as safe or comfortable on campus.” Another Jewish student said, “ I am unsafe on this campus when there is talk of divestment…and by voting ‘yes’ you are making the campus very hostile for students who go here.” The Hillel Director stated: “Many of our students clearly suffered a traumatic blow from that experience. I witnessed the verbal assault on Jewish students and the tears that followed.” At the conclusion of the meeting, one Jewish student, concerned that other Jewish students might be physically assaulted on their way home, cautioned them to avoid walking alone.

In light of your May, 2010 statement that the University of California would not divest from Israel, the SJP resolution was a wholly symbolic gesture intended to further the well-coordinated international campaign to economically strangle the Jewish state and bring about its destruction, a campaign which the US State Department has deemed anti-Semitic. Sadly, the resolution effort revealed the utter ineffectiveness of what you had previously touted to the Jewish community as one of your “assertive” moves to address anti-Jewish bigotry.

Please understand that the student groups behind these incidents are not like other University-funded student organizations. The SJP has as its primary mission the promotion of anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns and others efforts to harm the Jewish state. SJP chapters on UC campuses are closely allied with Al-Awda: the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, an organization which advocates the elimination of the Jewish state and has ties to terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah that call for the murder of Jews world-wide. Many students in the SJP are also members of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), an organization founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, a virulently anti-Semitic Egyptian-based organization dedicated to instituting Sharia law and a Muslim empire throughout the world, in part by means of violent jihad. According to an NYPD police spokesman, “some of the most dangerous Western Al Qaeda-linked/inspired terrorists since 9/11 were radicalized and/or recruited at universities in MSAs,” and more than a dozen former MSA leaders and members have been convicted of terrorist activities and plots. In addition, some pro-Palestinian UC students have expressed support for the Iranian regime, whose supreme religious leader recently called for the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of all Jews. In fact, one student who participated in the disruption of the Jewish students’ event at UC Davis can be seen holding an Iranian flag in the left-hand side of a video clip of the event.

The Disingenuousness Of Divestment

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The recent call by NYU’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for TIAA-CREF to divest holdings in targeted companies doing business in Israel is part of a troubling trend that exposes dangerous radicalism on campuses disguised as efforts at achieving social justice.

In 2010, for instance, student-led groups at both UC San Diego and UC Berkeley introduced initiatives to demonize Israel once again in the court of world opinion. One effort, disingenuously named “UCSD Divest for Peace,” was aimed at divesting university funds from U.S. companies which benefit Israel and which take a “non-neutral financial stance in the occupation of Palestinian territories.”

The Berkeley initiative, endorsed by 41 students groups in March 2010 and cynically named “A Bill in Support of UC Divestment From [Israeli] War Crimes” was promoted by an anti-Israel effort named the “U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.”

The latest NYU effort, an “Open Letter to TIAA-CREF CEO and President Roger W. Ferguson from NYU Faculty and Staff,” signed by over 70 members of the NYU community, has as its purpose “to pressure TIAA-CREF into divesting its holdings in 5 key companies which profit from the illegal Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinians.”

It has at its core the same baseless accusations and libels against Israel, namely, that a company like Caterpillar “sells the bulldozers used by the IDF to destroy Palestinian homes, infrastructure, and fruit and olive trees;” Elbit Systems provides “drones used to kill Palestinian and Lebanese civilians;” Northrop Grumman builds weaponry that “Israel needs to defend itself from crowds of children throwing stones;” Veolia “operates a light-rail system linking Israel’s illegal settlements to Jerusalem;” and Motorola “manufactures surveillance equipment for Israeli checkpoints” [emphasis added]. Advertisement

These companies, it is asserted by SJP, are not only complicit in the slaughter and oppression of the completely innocent Palestinians, but the firms profit, in an immoral and rapacious way, from the suffering caused by their occupation and dispossession.

Clearly, there is no historical context to these outrageous claims, no moral balance, no acknowledgement of Israel’s existential threats from Hamas, Hezbollah, and other of its genocidal neighbors – only condemnation for being an oppressive, racist, murderous colonial settler state, illegal, in the view of activists, under international law.

This core sentiment has come to define the Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the notion that the repeated defamation of Israel will result in its eventual expulsion from the supposed civilized community of nations. But the call for divestment is merely a tactic through which Israel will be marginalized, and eventually extirpated, as a pariah state with no moral justification for existing.

Thus, Students for Justice in Palestine, which gives public expression to notions of “social justice” for everyone in the Middle East but actually means justice for the Palestinians alone, admits, when pushed, that the sole underlying purpose of its calls for divestment is not, as is frequently though falsely described as creating a Palestinian state that will exist “side by side with Israel in peace,” but actually as a new entity that will either economically, militarily, or demographically subsume Israel.

The moral benefit to casting the Palestinians as the perennial victims, of course, is that it makes it easy for SJP and other apologists for terror to justify homicidal aggression against Jewish targets as a legitimate means of “resistance” to occupation – a legitimacy they claim as a right under the intellectually contorted precepts of international law, which has given NGOs, stateless actors, and radical movements the same rights as democracies engaging in self-defense.

SJP and others repeatedly use this intellectual ploy to promiscuously demonize Israel, not to mention to justify terrorism as an acceptable tool in the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. “Resistance is justified when people are occupied!” screamed SJP demonstrators at an NYU rally held last April.

“Divestment campaigns and requests for institutional divestment,” a University of Wisconsin guide for BDS radicals reveals, “provide debate material that places Palestine solidarity groups in the most favorable position to present their case. No other form of activism has generated as much debate and attention towards the plight of the Palestinians as does divestment. No other approach has presented the Palestinian struggle in a more positive light than does divestment.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-disingenuousness-of-divestment/2011/10/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: