Tuesday, November 13

Submission: SJP uninvolved in controversy surrounding Rachel Beyda’s appointment


Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA would like to correct some mischaracterizations about our organization that have surfaced in campus discourse and the work of outside publications reporting on internal student government issues, specifically in regards to the offensive Judicial Board interview of Rachel Beyda. Some individuals, both from the outside media and within the UCLA campus, have suggested that SJP may have been involved with this incident, and while we have already made this point, we are once again writing to explicitly clarify that SJP was not involved in, had no knowledge of, and would not support the questioning of Beyda or anyone else based on their identity.

Despite SJP’s condemnation of the Rachel Beyda incident, we are dismayed to see various media outlets from Fox News to The New York Times connect this incident to SJP’s efforts to educate and advocate in support of Palestinian rights. SJP members continue to receive messages from curious reporters and incensed students asking if we were involved in any way with the questioning of Beyda. Publications that stop short of blaming SJP outright for Beyda’s interview still portray SJP as somehow complicit by arguing that support for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions creates a hostile and unsafe campus climate that encourages discrimination.

These assertions ignore all of our efforts to conduct our campaigns and debate the issue of divestment in an inclusive, transparent and accessible manner. Our town hall, willingness to compromise on the divestment resolution’s language and open letters to the pro-Israel community show how much we worked to ensure that the debate on this issue was carried out by two sides that respected each other despite political differences precisely the opposite of creating a hostile climate. And, lest we forget, the accusation that pro-Palestine activism invariably creates an unsafe and discriminatory campus climate is essentially the same argument made by the widely rebuked campus climate reports and HR 35, each of which sought to connect activism critical of Israeli policy with anti-Semitism. The U.S. Department of Education has emphatically determined that Palestine solidarity activism on campus is not discrimination, but is protected speech. The department rejected four different complaints alleging that Palestine advocacy created an anti-Semitic environment on university campuses.

All of this goes to show that support for Palestinian equality and opposition to all forms of bigotry, including anti-Semitism, are compatible positions. As we have stated time and time again, SJP is an organization opposed to discrimination. We believe in the inherent equality and right to freedom for all people, a stance that inspires us to both support the Palestinian call for BDS as well as to oppose incidents like that which befell Beyda. These are the principles that led 30 student groups from across campus to endorse divestment from companies that profit off of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and which led a bipartisan group of council members, including independents and a member of Bruins United, to vote yes on that resolution.

We support the Palestinian call for solidarity precisely because we believe that no one, Palestinian or otherwise, should ever be denied an opportunity based on their religion or ethnicity. It is for these reasons that we take issue with the idea that support for Palestinian freedom and BDS by extension means the denial of freedom to others. Yes, we are students, and we do make mistakes. But we are not responsible for the Beyda incident, and to attempt to discredit our work because of events outside of our control is beneath the dignity of this campus. As an organization that bases its work on a position of solidarity with all oppressed peoples, we hope that future coverage of this issue will reject such a conflation.

Kurwa is a graduate student in sociology and a member of Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA. Zahzah is a graduate student in comparative literature and the president of SJP at UCLA.

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  • Nabilam Nabilam

    First, israheili intel is running a worldwide propaganda op
    with its agents planting stories about “rising tide of anti semitism”. but
    it is all a lie, just propaganda designed to get sympathy for the “poor
    jews, i.e. zionist thugs” who are committing mass murder in gaza. Just google:
    rising tide of anti semitism…………you can see the operation for yourself.

    Second, see the link below for an example of the zio mafia trying to turn
    legitimate criticism of israheil into a crime. under their definition saying
    “that sure was horrible of israheil to mass kill all those kids last
    summer” or “israheil killng all those kids in gaza reminded me of the
    warsaw ghetto” would be hate speech and therefore a crime.

    ,

    http://www.amchainitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/CNES-Report.pdf.

    go to page 16-17 and you will see the conspiracy against free speech and civil discourse.

    • roccolore

      If you Muslim and black supremacist groups have a problem with Jews, then give up your internet, social media, and cell phones.

      • Nabilam Nabilam

        the cellphone was invented by an indian. irc was invented by a saudi. social media was invented by Tom Anderson–myspace–an american.

        • M2000

          You Islamic fanatics hate Indians too…

        • TheIGofSA

          that is a lie

      • robman012

        That’s what the South told Europe since they opposed slavery: “if you don’t like us, stop wearing our clothes because our slaves picked the cotton!!!!!!” By the way, since you don’t like Muslims, then stop counting, since its their invention.

        • roccolore

          Math came before Islam. You support the Muslim hellholes where slavery is still permitted.

          • M2000

            Greeks and Chinese invented math….

    • M2000

      Idiot, go away you support discrimination against Jews.

  • ThisIsPalestine

    This is a highly disingenuous article. The four student senators were simply following in the footsteps of SJPs and BDS supporters country-wide, who have established a precedent that “pro-Palestinian” individuals must do whatever it takes to get their resolutions passed.

    Just last year, SJP dragged two students before the Judicial Board claiming that because those two senators had gone to Israel they had a “conflict of interest.” Sound familiar? Let’s not forget how they “forgot” to do the same to one student who had also gone to Israel but supported BDS. No conflict of interest there, of course.

    As for the authors’ claims that “SJP is an organization opposed to discrimination,” it becomes more and more hollow every time you say it. SJP’s entire mission is to form a racist Arab theocracy called “Palestine” not alongside Israel as a neighbor, but on top of it. They have said so many times both in person and in their mission statements.

    This embarrassing incident for UCLA is entirely due to the ‘whatever it takes’ nature of BDS and SJP activism in general. You have long been peddlers of anti-Semitism both at UCLA and countrywide. I just hope that someday you finally face the justice you deserve.

  • roccolore

    The SJP is a known anti-Jewish group.

    • klsdjfklasdjflkj

      and a known terrorist organization

  • Adam OnWeb

    What baloney this article is!

    The article says: “All of this goes to show that support for Palestinian equality and
    opposition to all forms of bigotry, including anti-Semitism, are
    compatible positions.”

    But you are only boycotting the Jewish state! In Syria, more Palestinian refugees have died in one month than the entire 70 year history of the Israeli-Palestine conflict – and you have no boycott against Syria! You have no boycott against ISIS, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Russia and dozens of other human rights violators, all with far worse records than the one Jewish state that is fighting for survival.

    You ignore EVERY OTHER injustice and solely focus on Israel. You intentionally demonize, delegitimize and apply double standards to the only Jewish state on earth. Your organization is the very definition of antisemitism.

    When you chant, “From the river, to the sea, Palestine will be free”, anyone can look at a map and see that you are talking about the land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean sea: That land is the entire state of Israel. You people don’t support a 2 state solution. You are extremists and you seek to destroy the legitimate state of Israel.

    Really, who do you people think you are kidding?

  • M2000

    Hey…SAE is sadly sounding like BDS in saying it’d pander to something they originally didn’t support even when they did. Must be okay to use politically correctness to bully groups and people around….BDS is running away the way SAE is running away.

  • Adam OnWeb

    Great Job. You’re absolutely right.
    You need to fix the 3rd link from the top (Carleton University in Canada).
    Keep up the great work.
    Fight bigotry disguised as activism!

  • roccolore

    SJP = Nazis

  • TheIGofSA

    SJP is practicing al taqiyya Its members were part of the attack

  • BklynBirny

    SJP = terrorists in training

    “to attempt to discredit our work”. No attempt necessary. Your “work”, by definition, discredits itself.

  • BradD99

    The “Nakba” = Arab countries teamed up to try to exterminate the Jews, and failed.

    Meanwhile, in 2016, there are over 1.5 MILLION Arab citizens of Israel. Had Israel actually committed “ethnic cleansing” there would be ZERO Arab citizens of Israel, instead of 1.5 MILLION.

    Want to know what real ethnic cleansing is?

    1) Gaza has declared Jews to be illegal. So there are no Jews there at all. Zero.

    2) West Bank Palestinians declare Jews to be illegal. So any Jews in the West bank are deemed “illegal” and need army protection because local Palestinians try to murder Jews who try to live in a place that was called JUDEA for almost 2,000 years.

    3) Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, etc. used to have Jewish populations. Arabs ERASED THOSE Jews. There are almost ZERO Jews left in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan. There are zero left in Gaza. And the West Bank declares Jews in the West Bank to be illegal and TRIES to erase them.

    4) Arab countries between 1948 and the 1970′s ETHNICALLY CLEANSED over 800,000 Jews out. Those Jewish refugees fled to the only country in the region that would accept them, ISRAEL.

    In summary:

    The Palestinian population INCREASES each year.
    The Israeli Arab population INCREASES each year.
    Population GROWTH. That’s the OPPOSITE of genocide. That’s the OPPOSITE of ethnic cleansing.

    And here’s the final FACT: Know what has DECREASED? The Jewish (AND CHRISTIAN) populations of EVERY SINGLE Muslim country.

  • BradD99

    “Pro-Palestinian” activists don’t care about helping Palestinians. They don’t want peace with Palestinians and Israel. They just want Israel dead or erased.

    They will never accept peace with a Jewish state.

    They will only propose “solutions” that erase the world’s only Jewish state.

    They pretend to do this in the name of “democracy,” but only if it’s a Muslim majority. Israel is a Jewish majority, so they reject Israel’s democracy. They demand Israel merge with millions of Jew-hating Muslims, just enough to make Muslims a majority and Jews a minority, and then suddenly the “pro-Palestinian” activists accept democracy. Because their only goal is erasing the Jewish homeland to make a 23rd Arab state.

    “Pro-Palestinian” activists demonize Jewish nationalism (zionism) as something evil, yet they accept Arab nationalism, Muslim nationalism and Palestinian nationalism.

    “Pro-Palestinian” activists demonize the world’s only Jewish-majority state for being Jewish, yet they openly accept Arab-majority states being Arab and Muslim-majority states being Muslim.

    They use one standard against Jews, and a second standard for everybody else. Which is the textbook definition of antisemitism.