Middle East studies in the News
Anti-Israel Student Org's National Conference to Focus on US, Israel 'Legacy of Exploitation' [incl. Hatem Bazian]
The country's major anti-Israel student organization's upcoming national conference will focus on drawing connections between the "settler colonial" United States and "the Zionist project" of Israel.
The National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) annual conference, to be held at the University of Houston from Oct. 27-29, is themed, "A Reimagined World: Dismantling Walls from Palestine to the Rio Grande."
The group will demonstrate that the United States and Israel share a "distinct legacy of the displacement and theft, enslavement and disenfranchisement, and exploitation and domination of oppressed peoples," according to its website.
Those similarities include the countries' "militarized walls," or Israel's security barrier erected at the West Bank to stem terror activity and the U.S. border with Mexico; "raids" by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement linked to "home demolitions in '67 Palestine," a reference to the 1967 Six Day War between Israel and the armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria; and "the water in Gaza and the water of the Rio Grande."
With this being the group's first-ever conference held in the south, NSJP plans to explore the "multifaceted struggles" of the region. They will "intertwine black and Palestinian resistance histories and weave them into a collective liberation," like comparing the Great Migration with Israel's War of Independence.
This year, NSJP writes that it will continue to devote much attention to promoting boycott, divestment, and sanctions on campuses. The organization has supported its chapters passing anti-Israel resolutions through many student governments, but has yet to find success convincing university trustees or administrators to fall in line.
"We will envision pathways to achieving sanctions in the future and work towards getting our institutions to follow through on commitments to divest," wrote NSJP. "Students involved in successful campaigns will lead a variety of BDS-oriented workshops on topics like divestment, consumer boycotts, week-long event planning, and more."
Another project of the conference will be skills-training on "combating normalization," teaching the students on how to refuse to engage with their pro-Israel peers so as not to "normalize" their views.
Earlier this week, NSJP accused Canary Mission, an anonymously run website that lists the names of anti-Israel campus activists, of trying to obtain their members' private information.
NSJP linked Canary Mission to a social media account selling unauthorized merchandise featuring the official conference logo of grenades filled with flowers. Other items bore maps of the state of Israel superimposed with pictures of the Palestinian flag, a popular symbol among activists who seek to dismantle Israel as a Jewish state.
"The website linked to this fake account has the same registrant domain as Canary Mission. DON'T GIVE OUT YOUR INFO. Be safe!" warned NSJP.
Canary Mission told the Washington Free Beacon it is not behind the website.
The retail account bristled at the suggested tie with "the evil Zionist organization."
NSJP will be hawking official merchandise at the conference. The group sold t-shirts celebrating Palestinian terrorists at its 2016 event, held at Virginia's George Mason University.
The first NSJP chapter was created by Hatem Bazian, a University of California-Berkeley lecturer in the department of ethnic studies.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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