Middle East studies in the News
Exposing SJP as a Terrorist Front at UC-Berkeley [incl. Hatem Bazian]
Update: On Thursday night, the poster above and several others were put up all over the campus of UC Berkeley in conjunction with Milo Yiannopoulos's "Free Speech Week." The next morning, as soon as they were discovered, Berkeley's new chancellor, Carol Christ, ordered her minions to tear down the posters, lest they be seen and read by Berkeley students. Chancellor Christ accompanied this assault on free speech with an announcement that her staff was investigating to see whether the posters constituted a "hate crime."
Only recently, Chancellor Christ had won widespread praise for what at the time seemed a forthright stand in defense of the First Amendment, which had been recently battered by attacks on conservative speakers on her campus – attacks so violent that have made Berkeley a "no go zone" for prominent conservatives (unless accompanied by $600,000 worth of armed security). Yet how quickly the worm has turned. Now the chancellor's stand is one of smearing an expression of free speech as a possible "hate crime." (For the record, every word and claim in the posters is documented.) Sadly, from proclaiming "We Are Free Speech" to suppressing a modest attempt to exercise free speech, Chancellor Christ has matriculated from a bold champion of the First Amendment to being one of its all too many academic enemies.
Editor's note: The David Horowitz Freedom Center today announced the University of California-Berkeley as the first school named in its new report on the "Top Ten Worst Schools that Support Terrorists." Coinciding with the release, the Freedom Center placed posters on Berkeley's campus exposing the links between Students for Justice in Palestine and the terrorist organization Hamas, whose stated goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.
As revealed in recent congressional testimony, Students for Justice in Palestine is a campus front for Hamas terrorists. SJP's propaganda activities are orchestrated and funded by a Hamas front group, American Muslims for Palestine, whose chairman is Hatem Bazian and whose principals are former officers of the Holy Land Foundation and other Islamic "charities" previously convicted of funneling money to Hamas. The report and posters are part of a larger Freedom Center campaign titled Stop University Support for Terrorists. Images of the posters that appeared at UC-Berkeley may be viewed at www.stopuniversitysupportforterrorists.org.
While America's eyes are focused on the battle to defeat ISIS in Syria and terrorist attacks in Europe, at colleges across the United States a coalition of terrorist-linked organizations are waging a propaganda war to destroy the Jewish state, annihilate the Jewish people and fan the flames of hatred for America as Israel's "protector." Led by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Association, and Jewish Voice for Peace, these organizations do not launch rockets at Israeli civilian targets or dig terror tunnels under Israeli kindergarten classrooms. But they spread propaganda and take money and marching orders from those who do. Their mission is to whitewash actual terrorist attacks and promote the genocidal lies of terrorist organizations, specifically Hamas, whose stated goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.
In conducting these malevolent campaigns, these campus allies of the terrorists can count on the funding and protection of American universities like the University of California, who allow them to use their authority and prestige to lend this genocidal offensive an aura of respectability. The hatred that is an inevitable aspect of these campaigns has inspired an epidemic of anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish students, 59% of which – according to one study – are attributable to the anti-Israel lies spread by these campus groups, namely that Israel is built on stolen Arab land and is an "apartheid state."
The primary collegiate member of the Hamas terror network is Students for Justice in Palestine whose principal founder is Hamas supporter Hatem Bazian, a Palestinian professor at UC-Berkeley. Bazian co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine in 2001 to support the Second Palestinian Intifada, which introduced suicide bombing into the attacks on Israel's citizens in September 2000.
In his book American Jihad, terrorism expert Steven Emerson quotes Bazian's exhortations at an American Muslim Alliance conference at which Bazian endorsed the infamous Hadith calling for the slaughter of the Jews, and advocated for the establishment of an Islamic state in Palestine: "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."
Every successful terrorist campaign has a political as well as a military arm. The IRA terrorist organization was aided and abetted by its sister organization, Sinn Fein, a parliamentary party which advanced the terrorists' agendas through propaganda and political support. Hamas operates in a similar fashion, relying on Students for Justice in Palestine and its key campus allies – the Muslim Students Association and Jewish Voice for Peace – to advance its sinister agendas. It does so with Hamas's organizational support and funding through an intermediary organization, American Muslims for Palestine, whose creator is also Hatem Bazian. Hatem Bazian currently serves as the chair of AMP's board. In 2009, Bazian founded the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the University of California's Center for Race and Gender. Thus, the University of California also lends its prestige and resources to a program designed by a terrorist agent to discredit critics of Islamic terrorism as "Islamophobes."
Other key board member officers of American Muslims for Palestine were formerly board members of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Muslim charity in America until it was exposed in trial as a front for Hamas. American Muslims for Palestine has copied the Holy Land Foundation model. In recent testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Jonathan Schanzer, who worked as a terrorism finance analyst for the United States Department of the Treasury from 2004-2007, and now serves as the Vice President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), described how Hamas funnels large sums of money and provides material assistance to Students for Justice in Palestine through AMP for the purpose of promoting BDS campaigns and disseminating Hamas propaganda on American campuses.
According to his testimony, "At its 2014 annual conference, AMP invited participants to 'come and navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.'" He further classified AMP as "arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States." He revealed that AMP "provides speakers, training, printed materials, a so-called 'Apartheid Wall,' and grants to SJP activists" and "even has a campus coordinator on staff whose job is to work directly with SJP and other pro-BDS campus groups across the country." Furthermore, "according to an email it sent to subscribers, AMP spent $100,000 on campus activities in 2014 alone."
Since its founding in 2001, Students for Justice in Palestine has served as a front for Hamas on university campuses. Students for Justice in Palestine is the leading force behind the Hamas-endorsed and funded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, a form of economic terrorism which seeks to weaken the Jewish state, deny it legitimacy, and ultimately destroy it. As of May 2017, over 50 campuses had passed resolutions endorsing the BDS movement against Israel and over 100 campuses had debated the issue. Students for Justice in Palestine's chief allies in these BDS campaigns are the Muslim Students Association and Jewish Voice for Peace.
Students for Justice in Palestine and its partners are also responsible for the proliferation of Hamas propaganda attacks known as "Israeli Apartheid Weeks" which occur on dozens of prominent university campuses every year. These weeks provide opportunities to bring in Hamas-supporting campus speakers and to erect mock "apartheid walls" featuring Hamas propaganda claims that Israel targets Palestinian children for slaughter, and fake maps that purport to show that Israel stole Palestinian land. While SJP falsely accuses Israel of theft and war crimes, it also works to whitewash the atrocities committed by Hamas, whether the deliberate use of civilians as human shields in military combat or the abduction and slaughter of three Israeli teenagers that started the 2014 Gaza War. And it works to glamorize terrorists such as Rasmeah Odeh who was convicted by an Israeli military court in 1970 for her involvement in two fatal terrorist bombings. Another terrorist lionized by SJP is Leila Khaled, a convicted hijacker and a member of the terrorist organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
SJP and its partners conduct their campaign of aggression against the Jewish state through the relentless dissemination of genocidal lies intended to warp student opinion on Israel. Prominent among these lies is the claim that Israel occupies Arab land. In fact, the land on which Israel was created by the U.N. was part of the Ottoman Empire that belonged to the Turks for 400 years previously. The Turks are not "Palestinians," and are not even Arabs. A second lie designed to de-legitimize the Jewish state and justify its destruction, is the claim that Israel is an "apartheid state." The Arab citizens of Israel have more rights, and enjoy more freedom, education, and economic opportunity than the Arabs of any Arab state. Arab citizens of Israel vote in national elections, have representatives in the Israeli Parliament, sit on the Israeli Supreme Court, and serve as tenured professors teaching in Israeli colleges and universities.
Perhaps the most destructive lie is the one that motivates all the campaigns of SJP and its partners — the claim that the terrorist aggressions by Arabs against Israel which began in 1949 as unprovoked attacks on the newly created Jewish state are efforts to liberate "Palestine." Palestinians are a "nationality" that didn't even exist until 1964 – sixteen years after Israel's creation. Jordan is a majority Palestinian country ruled by a Hashemite minority, but it is not a target of this alleged liberation campaign. The campaign in fact has only one clear agenda: the destruction of the Jewish state.
The campaigns inspired and funded by Hamas terrorists and carried out by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Association and Jewish Voice for Peace have had the demonstrable effect of spreading hate against Jewish students on American campuses. A recent study conducted by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights found that 54% of students surveyed experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism during the previous six months on campus. Another study conducted by the Amcha Initiative revealed a very strong correlation between these so-called "anti-Zionist" groups and incidents of anti-Semitism and harassment of Jewish students. The study found that "99% of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups had one or more incidents of anti-Semitic activity, whereas only 16% of schools with no active anti-Zionist student group had incidents of overall anti-Semitic activity." As these studies make clear, Hamas's campus front has spawned an epidemic of anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish students that continues to grow worse.
The following report chronicles the campus terrorist campaign to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish state at ten American universities. The fact is that hundreds of campuses across our nation now support terrorist-inspired campaigns whose goals are genocidal and whose weapon is hate. What follows are descriptions of these campaigns on ten characteristic campuses, which we have singled out as the worst.
University of California-Berkeley:
UC-Berkeley, the academic home of Hamas agent and SJP co-founder Hatem Bazian, has long been known as a hub for anti-Israel extremism. This reputation was proven to be well-deserved by the offering of a course in Fall 2016 on "Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis." The course syllabus explained that the course would explore "the possibility of decolonization," meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. The course was briefly suspended by the campus administration but it was reinstated after only minor changes to the syllabus.
Berkeley also boasts a highly active SJP chapter that holds regular protests and die-ins which parrot Hamas propaganda claims that Israel deliberately targets Palestinian children. During a recent campus rally, students supporting the BDS movement chanted pro-terrorist slogans including "Let it be known that we here at Berkeley support the Intifada" and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" – calls to kill Jews in Israel and destroy the Jewish state. The Berkeley campus has hosted numerous pro-BDS speakers including Omar Barghouti, founder of the Hamas-inspired and funded boycott movement.
During March 2017, Berkeley SJP held "Palestine Solidarity Week" on campus featuring the display of a mock apartheid wall, meant to symbolize Israel's security fence which has saved thousands of Jewish lives by keeping Palestinian terrorists out. The Week also featured a "die-in" designed to showcase the Hamas propaganda lie that Israel commits indiscriminate violence against Palestinians, and a mock checkpoint on campus. At the die-in, students held signs proclaiming "Zionism is racism" and "Stop Israeli Occupation Forces From Killing Palestinian Children in Cold Blood."
During November 2016, the Berkeley Law chapter of SJP posted an open letter on social media asking students to pledge not to participate in trips to Israel sponsored by "Israel & Co." The open letter repeated Hamas propaganda lies, claiming that "This trip is part of a broader effort to normalize the occupation of Palestinian people by drawing attention away from a settler-colonial state's systemic violations of human rights." The chapter also tabled on campus in an effort to encourage students to sign the pledge. One student held a sign stating, "I pledge not to go on the Israel trip because: white supremacy here looks a lot like white supremacy there." The Facebook page of the Berkeley Law chapter of SJP carries a banner which compares illegal immigrants in America to Palestinians with the slogan "we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us."
On October 27, 2016, SJP at Berkeleyheld the "3rd Annual International Day of Action on University Campuses for Palestine." Speakers at the event which promoted the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS movement against Israel included Hatem Bazian and SFSU professor Rabab Abdulhadi who has used university funds to meet with anti-Israel terrorists. Social media promotions for the event stated, "Make this call of action part of campus education by holding teach-ins, rallies, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and push for BDS activities. No to Academic Complicity with Israeli Occupation, No to Study Abroad Programs in Israel, No Investments in Apartheid and Occupation Supporting Companies, No to University Presidents' Visits to Israel, No Campus Police Training or Cooperation with Israeli Security, No Joint Research or Conferences with Israeli Institutions, No Cooperation with Hasbara Networks on College Campuses, No to Targeting Faculty for Speaking Against Israeli Crimes, No to Administrative Limits on Free Speech Rights of Palestine Activists, No to University Coordination and Strategizing with the ADL, JCRC, AJC, Stand With US, ZOA, Israeli Consulate to Limit Students Pro-Palestine Constitutionally Protected Activities."
On September 22, 2016, anti-Semitic posters appeared on Berkeley's campus which stated, "Jewish bullies smash free speech at Cal and are pledged $58 billion. Attention Non-Jews: PAY UP AND SHUT UP!"
A course offered at Berkeley during the Fall 2016 semester was titled "Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis." The course facilitator was Paul Hadweh and the faculty sponsor was Hatem Bazian. The course syllabus included generous doses of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic literature and claimed that the course would be "exploring the possibility of decolonization," meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. The course was briefly suspended by the campus administration but it was reinstated after only minor and cosmetic changes to the course syllabus. Course facilitator Hadweh promoted the course on social media by stating that it would explore "the history and present of Zionist settler colonialism in Palestine" and by posting a series of infamous Hamas propaganda maps that falsely show Israel colonizing Arab Palestine. Of course the actual Arab colonization of the Middle East outside the Arabian peninsula - a historical fact - was absent from the syllabus which focused solely on the fictional colonization of an entity – Palestine – which has never existed.
In June 2016, UC Berkeley's Center for Race & Gender offered a "Palestine De-Colonial Summer School" in Istanbul, Turkey. The program reinforced the Hamas narrative that Jews colonized a non-existent state called Palestine. Among the themes examined in the program were "Colonialism: settler colonialism and the meaning of de-colonization," "Understanding Zionism, as a colonial, racial and Euro-centric Project," and "The Palestinian Nakba and the dispossession"—acompendium of Hamas libels against the Jews.
During May 2016, UC Berkeley SJP shared several posts on Facebook commemorating the "Nakba," an Arabic term meaning catastrophe that Hamas and its supporters use to refer to the creation of Israel and to commemorate the unprovoked aggressive war five Arab dictatorships launched against the tiny state on that day and have continued ever since.
On March 31, 2016, Berkeley SJP held a "Die-in, March, and Speakout for Palestine" on campus. The Facebook notice for the event read, "We are dying-in and marching in solidarity with all Palestinians subjected to Israeli violence. Our action seeks to represent visually the people who have shed blood and tears at Israel's hands in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in Gaza, and worldwide." The rally included the display of a large mock "apartheid wall" which featured anti-Israel slogans and pro-terrorist propaganda. One panel of the "apartheid wall" depicted all of Israel replaced with a Palestinian flag, implying that Israel should be replaced by an Arab state of Palestine and should no longer exist.
On March 29, 2016, Berkeley SJP created a "mock checkpoint" on campus to demonize Israel and intimidate students as they attempted to cross the campus. The actual checkpoints have cut the number of Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian terrorists to near zero – a fact suppressed by SJP. During the demonstration, students impersonating Israeli soldiers with "IDF" written on the backs of their shirts, and armed with mock assault rifles, arrested those representing Palestinians, as though the IDF's efforts were about oppressing Palestinians instead of defending innocent civilians.
Over March 8-10, 2016, UC Berkeley SJP held "Palestine Awareness Week" on campus, although events actually continued throughout the month of March. This week featured all the key propaganda points Hamas uses to justify its war of extermination against Israel's Jews.
In March 2015, three Berkeley professors—Rutie Adler, Hatem Bazian, and SameraEsmeir—were among the signatories to an op-ed printed in the Daily Californian supporting BDS resolutions on UC campuses and the Hamas-inspired effort to destroy the Jewish state.
On February 19, 2016, Berkeley SJP shared an article on its Facebook page defending Palestinian terrorism against Israel. The article focused on a Fatah activist who spent 23 years in prison for killing an Israeli. The activist is quoted as saying "Call Me a Terrorist, but I'm No Different From Israeli Troops Defending Their Homeland." The inability to distinguish between a defender and an aggressor is characteristic of Hamas-SJP propaganda.
On February 18, 2016, UC Berkeley hosted Dr. Jeff Halper for a talk on "War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians, and Global Pacification." The Facebook notice for the event repeated the Hamas libel that Israelis are using the "occupied territories" to test their experimental weapons: "Drawing on firsthand research, the author shows how the integration of militarized systems - databases, tracking civilian activity, automated targeting systems and unmanned drones – is perfected to sustain fear among the populace and how the Occupied Territories are used by Israel as a veritable weapon laboratory." No mention was made by Halper of the fact that every time Israel withdraws its forces, as in Gaza, the vacuum is filled with Hamas terrorists firing rockets into Israeli schoolyards and digging multimillion dollar terror tunnels to carry out attacks in Israel.
On November 16, 2015, Berkeley SJP hosted anti-Israel poet Remi Kanazi on campus. Kanazi has called Israel "a racist state built on stolen Palestinian land" that is "maintained through ethnic cleansing, occupation, bombing campaigns, draconian laws, settlements, outposts, colonizer roads, siege, blockade, chemical warfare, an apartheid wall, home demolitions, control of borders/imports/exports/water aquifers/air/sea/taxes/currency, the denial of family reunification, jailing of children, night raids, administrative detention, uprooting olive groves, restriction on movement, denying refugees the ability to return, and much more."
On October 14, 2015, UC Berkeley's SJP chapter held a rally to support the "International Day of Action" for Palestine and the BDS movement against Israel at Sproul Plaza on campus. The Muslim Students Association co-sponsored the event. Featured speakers included SJP co-founder, Berkeley professor and Hamas-supporter Hatem Bazian. Speakers and participants at the event chanted pro-terrorist slogans including "Let it be known that we here at Berkeley support the Intifada" and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." The Intifada refers to unprovoked attacks on Jews, and "from the river to the sea" means the obliteration of the Jewish state and its replacement by an Islamic totalitarian regime identical to the one that now exists in Gaza. A mock "apartheid wall" plastered with anti-Israel propaganda was displayed at the event, including the malicious and false accusation that "Israel massacred over 500 kids in Gaza."
On September 18, 2015, Omar Barghouti, the founder of the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS movement against Israel, spoke at Berkeley. His talk was co-sponsored by SJP and by eight university departments including the Center for Race and Gender, Asian American Studies, Native American Studies, Ethnic Studies, English, Chicano Studies, Near Eastern Studies, and African American Studies. Barghouti's speech was titled, "BDS: Academia's Role in the Struggle for Freedom and Justice in Palestine," and promoted the academic boycott of Israel.
On February 4, 2015, a swastika was found on a "university-owned building on University Avenue."
On March 2, 2015, genocidal graffiti was found in a campus restroom reading: "Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber."
On February 22, 2015, Berkeley SJP violated campus rules by distributing over 600 fake eviction notices to students in campus housing. SJP made clear that the campaign was in support of the Hamas-inspired BDS movement against Israel, stating in a press release that "With this action, we are calling on the UC Regents to honor the consensus in favor of divestment."
On January 30, 2015, UC Berkeley's office for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity posted an article on its website titled "Rhetoric of racism, from Ferguson to Palestine" that defended Hamas terrorism, claiming that "Hamas is a political party that has been under siege, along with the entirety of the Gaza Strip, for the last seven years and under Israeli military occupation since 1967." The article, which ignored the 7 years of unprovoked Gaza aggression against Israel, the three aggressive wars conducted by the Arab states against Israel from its birth, and the 70 years of unprovoked terror attacks by Arabs and Palestinians against Jewish civilians, condemned Israel claiming that it "was founded after a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian population that continues until today." Thus it merely repeated the genocidal lie created by Arab dictators and terrorists to justify their aggressive war against the Jews. The only ethnic cleansing proposed in the Middle East is the Arab plan to purge the region of Jews – and in so many words.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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