Middle East studies in the News
Students for Justice in Palestine Membership Down, But Members Increasingly Radical [incl. Hatem Bazian]
Membership in the country's leading anti-Israel campus organization is down, but participants are increasingly radical, according to a new report by an anti-Semitism watchdog.
The National Students for Justice in Palestine conference in October 2017 had under 100 participants, claims Canary Mission in the report exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, as opposed to nearly 600 attendees only three years ago.
Those who traveled in the fall to the University of Houston to host and attend workshops and panels represented the extreme fringe of anti-Israel activism, wrote the watchdog.
According to Canary Mission, these included Saint Xavier University student Samer Alhato, who ran a workshop at this year's conference and has claimed to be a regular financial supporter of Palestinian terror group Hamas.
Mohammed Nabulsi, a law student at the Texas School of Law who moderated a panel at the conference, has also repeatedly voiced his support for Palestinian terrorists and called on his peers in 2015 to look toward Hamas and Islamic Jihad as inspirations in "resistance."
Brant Rogers, a UH student and co-organizer of this year's conference, has also openly celebrated murderers of Jews, writing in 2014, "F**k that sh*t! I support what the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] & PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] have done in their cause to free the Palestinians."
Like Alhato and Nabulsi, Rogers has also called for another intifada, Arabic for popular uprising and a reference to two extended periods of Palestinians violence against Jewish Israelis in the last 20 years, marked by suicide bombings, shootings, and stabbings.
As the Washington Free Beacon previously reported, other attendees at this year's conference—focused on drawing connections between the "settler colonial" United States and "the Zionist project" of Israel—later wrote on social media that they found NSJP leadership to be "perpetuating Arab Supremacy."
Canary Mission anonymously maintains public profiles of faculty and students deemed anti-Semitic, and claims to have influenced the dip in NSJP numbers, which the watchdog said began to plummet in the years after its May 2015 launch.
The group claimed its catalogue has made real the potential personal and professional "consequences of being part of an organization that is seen as a hate group." Canary Mission compared the results of its work to the repercussions for neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, Va., this summer, at least four of whom were identified and fired.
Canary Mission's exposure of anti-Semitism resulted in February in the firing of a Texas pre-school teacher who had urged Twitter followers to "kill some Jews" and celebrated the Holocaust.
Over recent weeks, University of California-Berkeley has faced pressure to fire lecturer Hatem Bazian, who founded NSJP, after Canary Mission unearthed his retweets of posts suggesting orthodox Jews and Israelis are mass murderers.
Some of those leaving NSJP have done so when further education about Israel led them to reexamine their beliefs, according to Canary Mission, which claimed to have received "scores" of messages from activists asking to the be removed from the database. Those who have "displayed genuine contrition and recognized that they were wrong" have the opportunity to be included in the recently launched "ex-Canary" section, where testimonies from reformed anti-Israel activists are collected.
"As a former member of SJP, I now understand how my actions were anti-Semitic and wrong. I am truly sorry for the pain that I have caused," one testimonial reads.
NSJP's funding and leadership were linked to a Palestinian terror organization in congressional testimony last year and again this November in a report out of a Jerusalem-based think tank. The presence of an NSJP chapter on a campus has been repeatedly correlated with increased anti-Semitic activity at that school.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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