Tuesday, February 18

Submission: SJP unfazed by hate posters, will continue to educate students

The David Horowitz Freedom Center plastered derogatory posters on and around campus Oct. 5 in an attempt to suppress student activism for Palestinian human rights and scare potential supporters. The posters implicated Students for Justice in Palestine as a pro-terrorist, anti-Jewish organization that acts as a recruiting tool for future terrorists in the Middle East. It should be noted the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented the Freedom Center as an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black hate organization.

But despite their hateful views and tactics, the Freedom Center is no pariah. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Maccabee Task Force, a new Israel advocacy group with a budget of at least $50 million, provided funding to the Freedom Center. The funding of such an organization, along with social media campaigns and subsidized trips to Israel, is part of the overall strategy led by Sheldon Adelson – a right-wing Las Vegas casino tycoon – to foster a positive image of Israel on US colleges campuses. The Freedom Center and the Maccabee Task Force are part of a larger cohort of Israel advocacy groups that are trying to suppress student activism for Palestinian human rights.

The Maccabee-funded Freedom Center has, in the past, displayed hate posters against Palestinian human rights activists. But during spring 2016, the Freedom Center escalated its campaign of intimidation by naming students individually, implicating them as anti-Semitic terrorists and murderers. As a result, students have reported feeling unsafe on campus. And now the Freedom Center, with its most recent campaign, shows no signs of stopping.

For Palestinian students and allies like myself, the experience has been all too surreal. Because of my activism for Palestinian human rights, I have been placed on an online blacklist – an anonymous website ran by students and “concerned citizens” – that is trying to prevent me from being employed, and that blacklist provides the Freedom Center with the information needed to launch its hateful campaign of intimidation. Ever since my name was listed on the posters, I have been followed, bullied and harassed on social media. Like other students, this has caused me to worry for my safety. This experience has also caused me a great deal of psychological trauma, and I worry about my well-being.

However, campaigns of intimidation by outside Israel advocacy groups are no surprise. Because of the work SJP does, the student body is becoming conscious of Israel’s oppressive policies that deny Palestinian freedom. That is why – with the support of a diverse array of individuals and student organizations – UCLA’s student governing body voted in 2014 to divest from corporations that profit from Israel’s racist colonial network and violence that violate Palestinian human rights. Now, we will amplify our call to the University of California Board of Regents to hold true to its commitments of socially responsible investments and obey the nearly unanimous call by its undergraduate campuses to divest our tuition dollars from corporations that profit from the human rights abuses inflicted upon the Palestinian people.

Israel advocacy groups that protect those abusive policies are in a panic. So they’re descending onto campus in an attempt to inject fear and stop our activism.

But Palestinian students and allies will not be silenced by hate organizations like the Freedom Center, nor will we be silenced by multimillion-dollar Israel advocacy groups like the Maccabee Task Force that fund them. We will never terminate our quest for Palestinian freedom, and we urge the campus community to stand in solidarity with SJP and our fight for human rights, equality and justice for the Palestinian people.

Despite hateful and intimidating campaigns to suppress us, we will continue to educate the campus community and demand our tuition dollars be divested from corporations that profit from abuse of human rights in Palestine. Our support on campus is strong and only growing. As for students who know nothing about the struggle for Palestinian freedom, we urge them to attend our future meetings and events to learn about Palestine and what they can do to achieve human rights. Together, we will prevail in the face of hate and intimidation.

Robert Gardner is a fourth-year political science student.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Reddit

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.

  • roccolore

    Robert Gardner is your typical fascist Jew-hating DemoKKKrat. SJP is a hate group that hates Jews, supports terrorists, and wants Israel wiped off the map.

    • Andee

      You are a commenter that supports threatening and intimidation of our own students. Stop being an internet troll and get off the daily bruin spewing so much hate. If you were in this mans position you would be screaming anti Semitic! How dare they target Israel! But since it is the other way around, you are justifying the hate.

      • roccolore

        It is your side that threatens your fellow students, especially Jewish ones. You are the hatemonger who hates Jews and hates Israel. Muslim fascists like you are the bigots who support Hamas.

  • deebee

    Roccolore, you post only confirms the authors points in this piece. Why are you so full of hate and so afraid of free speech? Answer: you are a bigoted, hate filled fanatic who supports Israel’s practice of apartheid in the occupied lands.

    • Andee

      Amen !

    • roccolore

      You Muslim fascists hate free speech. You kill over cartoons. Muslim fascists like you are the bigots who support throwing gays off buildings, stoning rape victims, and beheading aid workers. Muslim fascists like you want to criminalize any criticism of Islam. Muslim fascists like you are cowards.

  • M2000

    Do you people condone Palestinians using knives against Israeli Jews and having Palestinians shoot and kill them?

    • Andee

      Do you condone Israelis killing innocent children ? Do you condone Israelis shooting Palestinians on point?

      • M2000

        Do me a favor and shut the f up, you condone Palestinians using knives against Israelis.

      • Brownstudent

        Literally the only way to defend the awful terrorist entity of Palestine: crying “what about Israel?”

  • Brownstudent

    SJP is a pro-terrorist organization, and they don’t even bother to deny it. It deserves to be labeled as a hate group no different than the Westboro Baptist Church. In fact it’s worse than Westboro, because no member of Westboro has ever physically attacked someone for disagreeing with them, while SJP members have done so on many occasions. Let’s talk about the terrible behavior of SJP at UCLA alone.

    They’ve glorified terrorists:

    And have brought anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist speakers to campus:

    In 2014, the anti-Israel resolution pushed by SJP had to be voted on in secret because students were afraid for their safety if they voted against it:

    Then when SJP lost the vote, they started harassing students who disagreed with them on social media and accusing them of having “conflicts of interest” to get them fired.

    They attacked members of the pro-Israel community and slandered them as
    “Islamophobic, genocide deniers, and human-rights violators.”It got so bad that Jewish students started to circulate a petition for the administration to do something about it.

    SJP was involved in a McCarthyist campaign to force student government members to sign an “ethics statement” that would forbid them from learning things SJP didn’t want them to know:

    Let’s not forget the harassment of Chatterjee either:

    So with all of this in mind, I’m finding it *extremely* difficult to feel much sympathy for you just because someone dared to push back against you in the mildest possible way. You all never stop screaming about how you have a right to “criticize” Israel, but apparently no one has a right to criticize you. How disgusting, yet how typical of SJP.

    • Andee

      Go cry. If anything everyone always cries about any damn criticism of Israel as anti semitism. No one can say anything without automatically being targeted and attacked with so much “evidence.” Are you actually a student at Ucla? Why don’t you talk to someone from SJP? Talk to them in person, instead of reading biased non factual news articles *ahem dailywire ahem*, and read the FACTS instead of spewing hatred. If you aren’t a Ucla student (and even if you are), how dare you support the intimidation and threatening of our own students. You should be ashamed.

      • roccolore

        Muslim fascists like you are the crybaby terrorists who can dish it out but not take it.

      • Brownstudent

        If you think the facts are any different from what I said above, present your case and we can discuss it. Until then, go defend the indefensible somewhere else.

        SJP is a hate group: worse than Westboro. They should be shunned by every person with a conscience. Whining and personal attacks on their critics doesn’t make them look any better, it just makes them look more guilty.

      • robman012

        Thank you Andy. I usually don’t respond to these folkx because they are intellectually lazy and dishonest. Hope to see you around, brother.

    • robman012

      Lol. Do you even go here? Maybe you can come and say these things to our face if you do. You are a piece of trash masquerading as a token person of color who probably has nor family nor life.

      • Brownstudent

        I would be happy to come and criticize SJP to its face, except that as I said SJP and its allies have a long history of using violence and thuggery to silence people who disagree with them. Excellent work carrying on that tradition.

  • Andee

    Thanks so much for sharing, and I’m so so sorry you have to go thru all this. It is despicable threat and intimidation and I can’t believe the so called “Freedom Center” can get away with spewing so much hate and intimation on OUR campus. Whoever writes below that SJP is a terrorist organization is only playing into what these hateful people want – to intimidate and marginalize a group of students who have as much free speech and ability to express their opinions about the unjust treatment of Palestinians, just as these jerks are able to spew hatred. All the comments are the same blah blah terrorist blah blah anti Semitism blah blah link to show sjp is a terrorist Group. WAKE THE EFF UP. Read the FACTS. Do your homework, don’t blindly follow like sheep. Seriously. Sometimes I wonder if these comments come from actual students or just internet trolls. And shame on you commenters for making the intimidation of our fellow students ok. You should all be ashamed!

    • roccolore

      Muslim fascist, where is the hate and intimidation? Oh wait, it’s coming from Jew-haters like you! Muslim fascists like you should be ashamed for defending Hamas, ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab.

  • PKT

    Hey Robert, I have my M.A (applying for PhD programs) and also worked as a T.A/GSI for several semesters in Letters and Sciences courses at UC Berkeley. I was also a first generation college transfer. If you need motivation, study help, support etc to get through this difficult time contact me. You’re in your fourth year Robert, you got this.

  • http://AddictionMyth.com/ AddictionMyth

    Please send me your twitter so I can beat down the bullies for you.