Middle East studies in the News
UT-Austin anti-Israel student leader called for "support" of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP [incl. Ami Pedahzur]
by William A. Jacobson
Just over two months ago leader of Israeli Studies disruption called on BDS movement to "support Palestinian resistance groups"
The disruption was carried out by the UT-Austin Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), led by law student Mohammed Nabulsi, who also is a leader of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on campus.
Despite my requests both to the University and the students' lawyer Brian McGiverin, I have not received a copy of the complaint. But the nature of the charges has been explained in press statements issued by the students and McGiverin.
The Austin Chronicle reports:
The Austin-American Statesman further reports:
Claims by Nabulsi and other UT-Austin PSC students that their motives and goals are misrepresented are not new. In an April 22, 2015 article in the student Daily Texan, After weeks of debate, UT SG votes against divestment resolution, Nabulsi made the charge:
Similarly, UT-Austin PSC member Katie Jensen, who participated in the disruption, claimed in an April 9, 2015 article in The Daily Texan, UTDivest, Unify Texas debate foreign divestment:
But was it really unjustified — much less legally defamatory — for Prof. Pedahzur to express a concern about what was happening in Paris after the UT-Austin PSC students screamed at him that they wanted an Intifada?
There are facts which do not appear to have been discussed at the press conference, at least according to news reports.
Prof. Pedhazur, in a statement he had posted online, indicated that he felt the need to address the situation publicly because he learned that two of the students involved used online alias of terrorist names:
When I first wrote about this, I noted that the Facebook account of "Georges Abdallah" was not active and I could not confirm whether the account was used by Nabulsi. One post was still in Google Cache, though, for the Boycott Israel group:
I emailed the students' attorney, McGiverin, yesterday asking for confirmation or denial that Nabulsi used the online alias "Georges Abdallah." I also asked if the full unedited video would be released, but I didn't receive a response to either request. Last night, however, the account had been reactivated and was live. (I don't know if the reactivation was before or after my email.) As of this writing, it's down again.
It's pretty clear from the postings that the "Georges Abdallah" account is Nabulsi's account.
* * *
The post about the incident on the Boycott Israel Facebook page, which was only available in Google Cache when I first checked, was live last night and linked to the "Georges Abdallah" account that appears to be Nabulsi's:
Who is Georges Abdallah? He is currently the focus of an international activist campaign to get him released from French prison. Abdallah was infamous, The bombs exploded, and France's prime minister called it 'war.' It was 1986.:
It certainly seems relevant to the accusations in the complaint and at the press conference against Prof. Pedahzur that Nabulsi appears to have used the online alias of a known terrorist name.
In addition, the UT-Austin PSC sponsored a protest endorsing the current Palestinian uprising. That clarifies that when they chanted and screamed "Long Live the Intifada" while disrupting the Israel Studies event, they reasonably could be interpreted as using the term to apply to the current "Knife Intifada":
It also seems relevant that just over two months ago Nabulsi wrote an article for the Warscapes website in which he argued that the BDS movement must "support" groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The article, published on August 27, 2015, was titled BDS 10 Years On: Anti-Colonial Demands in a Liberal Framework. You definitely should read the entire article, because there is a fairly frank assessment of the BDS movement and how its true goals of destroying Israel have been subverted by the need to bring western liberals on board.
That's the most honest assessment of the BDS deception I've read.
But more important to the current issue, is how the article explained the need to support "resistance" groups even as BDS mollifies western liberal concerns (emphasis added):
Here is Nabulsi's description at the bottom of the post:
There is more about what has been going on behind the scenes on social media, but that will be for another post.
For the present, the accusations made at the press conference seem somewhat different when you learn that Nabulsi appears to have used an online alias of a known terrorist name, PSC sponsored an event supporting the current uprising, and Nabulsi argued that BDS needs to support groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP.
[Note: Some images and text were added after initial publication.]Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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