Attacks on Jews, Israel, and Israelis Greatly Escalated in February

Office of the President of The George Washington University. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In February, the BDS movement and its affiliates furthered themselves with Palestinian rejectionism with rallies chanting “the Intifada” and Palestinian “martyrs”. These terms combine the religious-nationalist agenda of the BDS movement and leftist anti-imperialist protests. Coupled with the harassment of Israeli speakers and Palestinians who advocate for peaceful talks, and the dramatic increase in violence in Israel and the “territories”, an untenable situation exists on campus, and on the downside in politics.

On campus, a series of protests called for the Intifada were held at the University of Michigan. Brandeis Universityalong with graffiti Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. The Brandeis rally was co-sponsored by the local Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter and the Brandeis Leftist Union. Demonstrators’ slogans included “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” “There is only one solution, the Intifada revolution,” and “Netanyahu is the new Hitler!”

In response to allegations that the content of the protest was anti-Semitic, the SJP president was quoted as saying “people don’t really know what antisemitism means,” and “when I’m a Semitic person you call me antisemitic.” Can’t say.” This misinterpretation of the term antisemitism is common, if not intentional.

In an email to the Brandeis community, university president Ron Lebovitz said that both the SJP protest and the protest groups “followed proper protocol for a protest event on campus,” but added that “the protection of speech does not protect those criticizing that reprehensibly expose the horrors of the Holocaust, seek to incite violence, or call for the destruction of any country.

A complaint made to the University of Michigan administration calls for the destruction of Israel violated state and federal hate speech statues, And put Jewish students in jeopardy. this was it sacked by administration and rhetorically defended “academic freedom” with the statement that “one of the most important values ​​as an institution—one we teach and model in and out of the classroom and one that values ​​diversity, equality, and inclusion” enshrined in our commitment to – respect for those who have different opinions, different life experiences, different world views. It is truly inconceivable that similar rhetoric should be directed at other minority groups by the University Will be embraced. A student government resolution demanding condemnation of Israel argued later,

Several institutions, including BDS-sponsored rallies, were held in memory of Palestinian terrorists killed by Israeli security forces. Binghamton University, where the slogan “Glory to our martyrs” was central. These rallies, and a variety of “Apartheid Week” style events, complemented the SJP convention at UCLA and other events organized by the BDS organization in several North American cities. al awda And this Palestinian youth movementand a variety of Muslim rejectionist organizations such as American Muslims for Palestine.

The centrality of “denormalization” to the Palestinian movement has been completely transferred to the BDS movement, which calls for a rejection of peace from other Arabs. This was reflected in the disruption of a joint Israeli-Palestinian discussion program Masked individuals at Tufts University shouted “genocide” and called a Palestinian participant a “slut” in Arabic before fleeing when campus police arrived. The local SJP chapter denied involvement.

Intifada protests followed Princeton University and the University of Michigan, with institutionally sponsored lectures by Muhammad al-Kurd, a well-known anti-Israel activist. Demonstrating the absolutist nature of the pro-Palestinian argument, El-Kurd refused to acknowledge that there were any Palestinian terrorists killed and asked rhetorically “What should happen to the seven million Palestinian refugees languishing in refugee camps?” There are approximately 5-6 million Palestinians in total worldwide.

The extent to which BDS and Palestinian negationism – the complete denial of any Jewish rights to sovereignty – has been normalized on university campuses is reflected in a curriculum Bard College titled “Apartheid in Israel-Palestine.” The course, taught by Nathan Thrall, former director of the Arab-Israeli Project at the International Crisis Group (ICG), was praised by the BDS movement and shows the revolving door between “human rights” industry, academia, government and the media. ,

The way rejection is handled by student organizations was demonstrated in Complaint filed against the president of Oxford Union Following the appearance of Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotoveli in an argument with several Arab ambassadors. The no-confidence motion accused the union president of “deliberately conspiring with foreign agents” to facilitate Hotoveli’s 2022 appearance, in which he was harassed and attacked by protesters. The complaint further alleged that “Israeli security conspired to harass members of color and pro-Palestinian” and that the union’s president “facilitated a serious threat to the safety and privacy of Oxford union members.”

The disrespect of Jewish and Israeli student concerns was also reflected at the City University of New York (CUNY), where several longstanding BDS-related antisemitism scandals have been ongoing. In late 2022, the CUNY chancellor made several compromise moves after stonewalling critics, including the New York City Council. Meanwhile, the university appointed a former CAIR official CUNY Chief Diversity OfficerTo supervise the investigation.

He has been made responsible for investigating anti-Semitic allegations at CUNY’s Kingsboro Community College, where reports indicate that the Jewish professors who filed the complaint are now being subjected For a retaliatory investigation on discriminatory practices filed by another faculty member.

In response to critics, CUNY also opened an online portal students to report anti-Semitic incidents, but only as one of many forms of discrimination.

Elsewhere the BDS movement and its student and faculty supporters have continued to react harshly, subject to criticism. At George Washington University, an anti-Semitism scandal continues to unfold around allegations that psychology professor Lara Sheehy verbally abused and discriminated against Jewish students. defending sheehi The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the BDS group Palestine Legal have responded by filing complaints with the US Department of Education. accused the university “Anti-Palestinian racism.”

Similar attempts to portray the BDS movement as real victims of university abuse and neglect were seen at the University of Chicago, where the local SJP chapter complained that university officials Protesters were prevented from entering an administrative building to continue rallying against a curriculum being taught by a former Israeli military officer.

BDS inspired calls to attack Jews and “Zionists” were common in February. at the University of Illinois, Pamphlets saying “Zionist destruction” were foundCourtesy of Revolutionary Communist”Party for Socialism and SalvationAn attempt to put up a violent poster calling on spectators to fire Zionist teachers was also shown Created by Key48A group founded by the Palestine Society at the University of Westminster Palestine Society, which was the source of many ISIS members including “Jihadi John”.

BDS-inspired anti-Semitic vandalism was also frequent during February. on windows purdue hillel were vandalized, and antisemitic graffiti was found on the door of the student union. University of California at Berkeley. But University of DenverMezuzot were ruined and pork products were affixed to doors.

The growing climate of anti-Semitic bullying and violence now extends to the K-12 levels. In a February incident, a basketball game between A California Jewish School and a local rival Supporters of the opposing team joined in, singing Kanye West songs and waving pictures of Palestinian flags and swastikas on their phones. had more serious attacks Miami Jewish High School students during a football match with a rival Catholic school, which resulted in several injuries.

Attempted attacks on Israelis were also common in February. Israeli Arab and pro-Israel activist Yosef Haddad in Britain met a crowd shouting “Intifada” at the University of Nottingham, the University of Exeter and University College London. protesters in london Blocked exits to the building, accused Haddad of being a “war criminal” and placed photographs of Iranian “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Khamenei alongside Palestinian flags.

A similar physical threat was faced to an Israeli in Madrid, when Israeli ambassador He was attacked by pro-Palestinian protesters during a university appearance. The ambassador’s security detail carried weapons and the ambassador was withdrawn to a secure location until he was rescued by a police detail.

attempted firebombing of a, outside the academic area New Jersey Synagogueattack of a San Francisco Synagogue by a man who then fired several blank rounds to terrorize the individuals, and shot two Jews except the gatherings in Los Angeles, reflecting the deteriorating security situation for American Jews. there was some background to this situation detailed in a new report from the American Jewish Committee, which showed that some 39% of respondents believe that American Jews are “more loyal to Israel than to America”, while 20% believe that “Jews have There is too much power in the United States today.”

In the legal field, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging an appeals court ruling that upheld Arkansas’ anti-BDS law as legal. Advocates have long claimed that the law Target economic behavior only, not speech,

in the international arena, Socialist Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, citing Israeli “apartheid” annulled a sister city agreement with Tel Aviv. The move came after pressure from local pro-Palestinian and LGBT groups. In response to Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, Mayor of Barcelona, offered to join with Tel Aviv. Finally, at the instigation of South Africa and Algeria, Israeli observer delegation was removed From the African Union Summit. The move was praised by the BDS movement and Palestinian sources.

A version of this article was originally published at SPME, where the author is a contributor.

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