The racist nature of the extremist pro-Israel movement against BDS is widely known, but to be supported by pro-Israel professors and university administrators is an obnoxious escalation in fomenting hate crimes against Muslims. These pro-Israel activists are responsible for the rising Islamophobia and racist hate spreading across America that has resulted in the murder of innocent people such as the three students in Chapel Hill
By Ray Hanania
Pro-Israel activists on campuses throughout the United States have launched a pernicious campaign and hatred and racism to counter legitimate criticism of the government policies of a foreign country, Israel.
This week, racist hate-filled posters have been placed throughout several campuses including UCLA, Drake University, DePaul University, UC Irvine, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, that contribute to the rise in violent hate crimes that we have seen spread throughout the country, including the murder of three innocent UNC students at Chapel Hill, North Carolina earlier this month.
The posters target Students for Justice in Palestine, a non-violent student group that advocates for the human rights of civilians in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and libel the BDS movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) which has legitimately targeted the human rights violations of the government of the State of Israel, and attempt to associate criticism of Israel as a form of “anti-Semitism.”
No one from the pro-Israel student community or leadership has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the hate-filled posters, but at the same time, no one from the pro-Israel student community or leadership has stepped up to denounce the hate-filled posters, either.
The chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA published a statement condemning the hate-speech on their website:
On the afternoon of Sunday, February 22nd, UCLA students reported having seen the above posters outside of Powell Library, Ackerman Union, on Veteran and Sunset, and inside of apartment complexes at Strathmore and Levering Avenue. As of this writing, we do not know who is responsible for these acts, although the placement of posters at particular locations on campus and at an apartment complex known to house undergraduate students suggests that the perpetrator(s) is familiar with the campus body.
These posters are a clear example of hate speech directed against Students for Justice in Palestine, as well as supporters of Palestinian freedom and equality. They rely on Islamophobic and anti-Arab tropes to paint Palestinians as terrorists and to misrepresent Students for Justice in Palestine as anti-Semitic. It hardly bears repeating that SJP at UCLA is an organization that prides itself on its opposition to all forms of racism and bigotry, and which is open to and promotes the membership of students from all walks of life. As organizers, we are concerned that these acts are an attempt to delegitimize and slander the work that we have done to pass divestment on our campus. Furthermore, defacing school property and intimidating a specific group of students creates a deeply harmful environment that prevents student learning and community-building. Coupled with the recent uprise in Islamophobia on a national scale, we are concerned for the safety of our fellow students and student organizers.
BDS activists have significantly made the American public aware of the constant oppression of civilians in Israel and in the Occupied Territories and have won major support around the world for their campaign to boycott products stolen from Palestinians and produced by the illegal Jewish-only settler movement.
In response Israel has tightened its manipulation of the American political system, pushing members of the U.S. Congress to introduce laws that make it illegal to protest against Israeli human rights violations and boycott Israel and Israeli institutions, even though Israel is a foreign country. The laws, spearheaded by several racist members of the U.S. Congress, such as Peter Roskam of Illinois and rabid anti-Arab Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros‑Lehtinen.
On the morning of February 8, 2015, hundreds of students gathered in Tom Bradley International Hall at UCLA as the UC Student Association (UCSA) deliberated motions in support of divestment from companies engaged in the systematic violation of Palestinian rights in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Students from across California arrived to speak in favor of divestment, and to highlight the nearly 90 student organizations across the state which joined the call for the UCSA to endorse divestment. The historic vote passed in an overwhelming majority of 9-1 with 6 abstentions (click here to read the full text of the divestment motion).
It is the MO of pro-Israel activists that when they can’t argue the issues posed by the SJP or BDS movement, they resort to libel and name-calling. The posters are an affirmation that the SJP and BDS activities are legitimate and expose human rights violations committed by the Government of Israel.