The following is an overview of SJP’s toxic activities during the 2013-2014 academic year and the fall of 2014.
SJP chapters have engaged in many different types of intimidation over the last year:
- In February 2014 SJP violated the free speech rights of two Israelis at a pro-Israel event at Cal Poly Pomona. It brought professional anti-Israel activists and students from other schools to shout the speakers down, preventing them from making their presentations and robbing audience members of the opportunity to hear Israeli perspectives on the conflict.
- When SJP brought divestment campaigns to the University of Michigan and other campuses, numerous Jewish students and members of student governments were subjected to threats, hate speech, and other forms ofintimidation.
- At UC Irvine and San Francisco State University (SFSU), SJP disrupted Israel Independence Day celebrations. Its members attempted to shout down pro-Israel student speakers at SFSU, physically pushed people away from informational booths, and assaulted three Jewish students at Irvine.
- UCLA’s SJP chapter employed an especially sophisticated intimidation tactic, filing judicial complaints against two student senators who had gone on sponsored educational trips to Israel.
- Temple SJP is currently being investigated because a student associated with the group hit a pro-Israel student in the face during Welcome Week.
- SJP at Loyola University of Chicago is currently being investigated for harassing Hillel students and blocking their Birthright Israel informational table.
In all of these instances, SJP demonstrated its total disregard for freedom of speech, its eagerness to silence pro-Israel voices, and its desire to prevent uninformed students from hearing or seeing Israel’s side of the story.
Slander and Misinformation
When SJP members shared their perspective, they made misleading and often slanderous claims about Israel and pro-Israel students:
- At campuses in California, SJP chapters set up mock “apartheid wall” displays with maps labeling all of Israel as “occupied territory.”
- Many SJP chapters, including those at the University of Michigan, Northwestern, Northeastern, NYU, and UNC, put mock eviction notices in student dorms, aimed at shocking campus communities and spreading misinformation about Israeli policies in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Many Jewish students reported feeling unsafe as a result, and SJP at Northeastern was suspended for violating school policy.
- At a UCLA SJP-sponsored event, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti made statements denying Jewish peoplehood and accusing Israel of shooting Palestinian children for sport – a claim reminiscent of the anti-Semitic blood libels that led to violence against Jews in the Middle Ages.
- At the UCs, Cornell University, and elsewhere, SJP’s divestment campaigns featured countless slanderous accusations against Israel, including “genocide,” sterilization of Ethiopian women, and holding refugees in “concentration camps.” Pro-Israel students who opposed BDS and stood up for Jewish self-determination were dehumanized and compared to supporters of slavery and South African apartheid.
- The worst tactic may have occurred at UCLA, where a Jewish student government candidate was subjected to a prolonged smear campaign, on social media and elsewhere, centered around baseless accusations of Islamophobia.
- At campuses across the country, SJP’s messaging and menacing were synonymous with slander, misinformation and harassment.
As if intimidation and slander were not enough, some SJP activists engaged in overt bigotry against Israel and Jews:
- During the divestment campaign at UC Riverside, one of SJP’s key leaders posted extremely hateful statements on social media, including, “Judaism is not the problem. Filthy Zionists are.”
- At SFSU, the SJP-affiliated General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) held signs on campus that read, “My heroes have always killed colonizers.” Shortly afterward, GUPS president Mohammad Hammad confirmed that the signs were referring to Israelis and even expressed support for genocide. He wrote that “Israelis ARE colonizers… And you know what else? My heroes HAVE always killed colonizers. I literally see nothing wrong with this and my only regret is that not all colonizers were killed.”
- Lastly, at the end of the academic year, the SJP chapter at Vassar postedNazi propaganda on one of its official social media accounts. The president of the university condemned SJP for its “racist, hateful speech” and initiated an investigation, forcing SJP to issue a public apology.
Vice President Joe Biden’s casual use of an expression some deem anti-Semitic has drawn sharp criticism from the Anti-Defamation League.
Biden referred to bankers that take advantage of military men and women serving overseas as “Shylocks.”
The term comes from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, in which the villain, Shylock, is a greedy Jewish money-lender that asks for a “pound of flesh” as payment.
“Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day. The Vice President should have been more careful,” Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said.
Violence and incitement against European Jews reached new heights during Operation Protective Edge.
Nevertheless, levels of German anti-Semitism remain high – even when there is no military conflict taking place in Israel.
In May, the Anti-Defamation League’s Global 100 Index found that 27 percent of German adults answered “probably” or “definitely” true to six or more of 11 stereotypes about Jews in the survey, such as “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the country they live in.”
This placed Germany among the countries with the highest levels of anti-Semitism in Western Europe.
Germans and other Europeans need to ask themselves why it is legitimate to express “Israel criticism” while leveling the same withering criticism against other countries is unheard of. There is, after all, no “Japan criticism” or “Sweden criticism” or even “Syria criticism”; rather, criticism is confined to specific policies, governments or regimes.
It is their preoccupation with Jews and Israel that motivates Europeans to take to the streets to show solidarity with Palestinian victims.
What else explains why the same sort of solidarity is not shown with the hundreds of thousands killed in Syria?
Is there anything that Germany or other European countries can do to combat anti-Semitism? Education might help. But when a rally against anti-Semitism takes place in the center of Berlin attended by the chancellor and other notables, and only 5,000 bother to show up, it is difficult to be optimistic.
Another major Jewish group, B’nai B’rith International, expressed similar sentiments, saying it was troubled that the gathering was “overshadowed by a display of animosity toward Israel.”
“Just as the entire international community must rally to protect the fundamental rights and dignity of Christians in places like Iraq and Syria, Christian leaders and faithful, along with others, are morally obliged do the same for Jews in the Middle East. There can be no condoning or belittling the Islamist extremists doctrinally committed to the violent destruction of the Middle East’s democratic Jewish state,” B’nai B’rith said. “If efforts for peace, and to protect Middle Eastern Christians, are to succeed, there must be recognition that ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ applies to the people of Israel as much as to any other human beings.”
This happened in Britain in 2014, not in Germany in 1939.
A British sporting goods chain has apologized for a security guard preventing identifiable Jewish preteens from entering one of its stores.
The seventh-graders were wearing the uniforms of the Yavneh Academy, a Jewish secondary school, when they attempted to enter the Sports Direct store in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, on Friday, the Jewish Chronicle reported. The guard stopped them at the door and said “no Jews, no Jews.”
Other Yavneh students who wore coats over their uniforms were permitted to enter.
The company apologized and removed the guard, who was fired from the security company for which he worked.
Muslim Student Challenges Jewish Professor, He Shuts Her Up On The Spot
Editor-In-Chief of NewsReal Blog, David Horowitz gave lecture at UC San Diego to combat the ‘Muslim Students Association’s Israeli Apartheid Week’, what some are referring to ‘Hitler Youth Week’. During the question & answer portion of the talk, David had an interesting and bone-chilling encounter with a member of the MSA. He then went ahead to reveal the real intention of her visit to the meeting.
What happens in this video is so chilling, it feels almost like its scripted and that it could be in a movie. Wait for her last 2 words. They are stunningly racist and extremely hateful.
As stated by David Swindle over at NewsReal Blog, whats shocking is not the fact that she holds the views but rather she is so willing to admit it.
As a Jew I am aware of how important the existence of Israel is for the survival of us all.
And because I am proud of being Jewish, I am worried by the growing anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the world."
— Steven Spielberg
A Turkish pundit writing for Yeni Akit, a major publication aligned with President Erdoğan, called for the country’s Jews to be taxed to pay for reconstructing buildings damaged in Gaza during Israel’s recent Operation Protective Edge.
Faruk Köse said that the “Gaza Fund Contribution Tax” should apply to Turkish Jews as well as foreign Jews doing business in Turkey and any Turkish nationals with commercial ties to the Jewish state.
The columnist even said the tax should apply to any company or business that maintains a partnership with a Turkish Jew.
“The reconstruction of Gaza will be paid for by Jewish businessmen,” he said.
The penalty for failing to pay the tax should be the revocation of the Jew’s business licence and the seizure of his property, Köse said.
Köse also sparked controversy in July when he penned an open letter to Turkey’s chief rabbi, calling on Erdoğan to demand that the Jewish community apologize for Israel’s actions in Gaza.
Israeli Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, found herself face to face with an anti-Israel sign while on vacation in Crete. Although considered left-wing by Israel’s standards, she was enraged and attacked the sign, attempting to pull it to the ground.
One picture, Livni even uploaded to her Facebook page with the following message:
“The battle that remains ahead of us is the battle for world public opinion. I went for a short vacation and was confronted with this threat… The use of the Star of David is an attempt to connect our most cherished symbols to hatred and anti-Israel sentiment. …We must work everywhere in the world to make clear who are the terrorists and which nation is trying to protect its people from terror.”