Middle East studies in the News
The Truth About Jew-Hatred is Never Slander [incl. Hatem Bazian]
It ought to be axiomatic that if you join a group marinated in anti-Semitism and devoted to the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel you are likely at some point to be identified as a hater of Jews.
But after getting involved with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UCLA, student Robert Gardner claims to be shocked at being called out publicly for promoting Jew-hatred.
A poster from David Horowitz Freedom Center (which publishes FrontPage) that was distributed where Gardner attends classes listed his name under the heading: "The following students and faculty at UCLA have allied themselves with Palestinian terrorists to perpetrate BDS and Jew Hatred on this campus."
Quite predictably, some left-wing campus groups and UCLA's diversity-groupthink commissar have condemned the posters. They are, after all, usually the ones doing the slandering and intimidating. This specific poster is merely an exercise in what the Left calls consciousness-raising.
UCLA Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Jerry Kang, says the posters constitute "thuggish intimidation" and absurdly characterized them as promoting "guilt by association, of using blacklists, of ethnic slander and sensationalized images engineered to trigger racially tinged fear."
Gardner, a twenty-something political science and urban planning major, bristled at being publicly associated with racist hatred. He recently told the Los Angeles Times that the accusations on the poster are false, explaining that he does not support terrorists or hate Jews.
The newspaper reports:
The African American senior likened Israeli crackdowns on Palestinian protesters to police violence against black Americans. So he joined Students for Justice in Palestine and an international movement known as BDS, which advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against companies deemed players in Israeli human rights violations.
Gardner assures reporters that SJP explicitly condemns all unlawful violence, but he says he is "worried about people coming to campus to attack me."
"I've received death threats online, and people have followed me," or so Gardner claims.
Maybe Gardner should have examined SJP a little more closely before he got involved in its ugly campaigns.
Students for Justice in Palestine isn't some innocuous group that meets up at Starbucks to harmlessly shoot the breeze about Middle East affairs: it's a hate group. And a powerful one at that.
As John Perazzo reports in the DHFC pamphlet, "Students for Justice in Palestine: a campus front for Hamas terrorists":
SJP is the most influential and most radical anti-Israel organization in American higher education, with chapters at approximately 200 U.S. colleges and universities. SJP defines its mission as "promoting the cause of justice," "speaking out against oppression," and "educating members of our community specifically about the plight of the Palestinian people" at the hands of alleged Israeli depravities, in hopes that "one day [the Palestinians] will be free from occupation, free from fear, free from poverty, and ... able to determine their own fate."
Many SJP supporters fail to recognize, according to the Jewish News Service, that
"the 'Palestine' that SJP defends is not only anti-Semitic, but also misogynistic, homophobic, racist, anti-Christian, and fascist."
SJP "defends a place where women are subject to honor killings" and other violence, and where gays and all "members of the LGBTQ community face persecution, torture, and death."
Of course SJP "does not discuss these injustices nor do they care when Hamas murders opponents and drags them through the street. In SJP's mind, none of this matters, because 'Israel is the oppressor.'"
Jewish students in the University of California system have complained that SJP members have told them "Hitler was right" and called them "kike" and "dirty Jew." One Jewish civil rights group reported last year that 70 testimonials had been collected from Jewish students at UC describing acts of intimidation committed by SJP and other BDS hate groups.
SJP was co-founded in 2000 by pro-Hamas activist Snehal Shingavi and Hamas supporter Hatem Bazian, to wage a campus war against Israel on behalf of Hamas. Bazian is a Jew-hating Muslim whom Rabbi Douglas Kahn of the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council has said is "more responsible than any other student on campus for trying to make life miserable for Jewish students."
The founding charter of Hamas, by the way, speaks of "the Nazism of the Jews" and asserts that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." It claims that peace initiatives "are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement"; that "there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad"; and that "war for the sake of Allah" is a noble enterprise that requires the faithful to "assault and kill" on a massive scale.
Bazian was born in the West Bank city of Nablus and went to high school in Amman, Jordan. He moved to the U.S., loaded up on academic credentials, and began teaching at UC Berkeley soon after that school conferred a doctorate on him in 2002. In 2009 Bazian founded and became director of the Center for the Study and Documentation of Islamophobia, which is part of Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender. He is editor-in-chief of the Islamophobia Studies Journal which he founded. He also co-founded Zaytuna College, which became the first accredited Muslim college in the U.S. last year.
Bazian has called himself an "organic intellectual," borrowing a concept from influential Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci. Shingavi, an associate professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, is a member of the International Socialist Organization, a Trotskyist group.
Of course Bazian, the more high-profile and influential of the two SJP co-founders, denies strenuously that he hates Jews. The charge of "anti-Semitism is used as a means of neutralizing the opposition so the mainstream American public will distance itself from the 'extremists,'" he has said.
As Perazzo reports:
Bazian has quoted approvingly from a famous Islamic hadith which calls for the violent slaughter of Jews and which appears in Hamas's founding charter. In 1999, Bazian said, for instance: "In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews. They are on the west side of the river, which is the Jordan River, and you're on the east side until the trees and stones will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him! And that's in the Hadith about this, this is a future battle before the Day of Judgment."
In 2004, Bazian urged an "intifada" in the United States. He called Hamas's triumph in the 2006 Gaza elections "a monumental event."
And more recently, after Islamic State killed more than a hundred Frenchmen in November 2015, Bazian made excuses for the terrorist group. American politicians inserted "a heavy dose of Islamophobia and 'clash of civilizations' venom" into "public opinion" after the atrocities. Sounding much like George Soros, he declared that "terrorism is a tactic that has no religious identity."
Back at UCLA, Students for Justice in Palestine members tried "to bar Jewish students from student government by demanding that candidates sign a pledge agreeing not to take trips to Israel sponsored by Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee," according toanother DHFC pamphlet, "Teach-Ins About Anti-Semitic Hatred and Intolerance on Campus: A Student Guide."
"No corresponding pledge was required from students of any other faith."
Gardner, who is also a Black Lives Matter supporter, seems to be aware of what his group, Students for Justice at Palestine, is doing at UCLA.
It's very hard to imagine that well-informed, politically active student doesn't know about SJP's origins or its ideological baggage.
In a Facebook post from August 11 strewn with tedious politically correct cant, slang, and colloquialisms, he brags about preventing students from visiting Israel to see for themselves what is going on there.
Because of the events that have transpired at San Jose State University (apparently, the Black Student Union there have accepted free trips to Israel), ma black-ass gotta sit here in patrol niggas on campus to make sure aint no body takin free trips to Israel. lol. Gotta do what I gotta do though fam to preserve our struggle and ensure that the preciousness of blackness is not being exploited. #NotOnMyWatch #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat #FreePalestine #IntersectionalStruggles #SourcesAndSystemsOfOppressionAreTransnational
Robert Gardner is far from the worst of today's student radicals.
He's also far from a victim.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.
Campus Watch contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org