The videos don’t lie. On the campus of University of Pennsylvania, a group of students affiliated with the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) march down a major walk, past campus buildings, loudly chanting through a megaphone: “Intifada, intifada,” encouraging violence, and “Israel you can’t hide….There is only one solution!” And across the country at UC Berkeley, SJP recently chanted, “Every hole and every tree, Palestine will be free!” a reference right out of the Hamas charter about annihilating Jews.
At least they’re being honest with us.
For two decades, SJP students and supporting faculty have echoed the basic credo of Hamas: There can be no peace or coexistence with a Jewish state, there should be a violent “decolonization” of the Jewish state, and there will be no peaceful division of the land. All the geographical area that comprises Israel belongs to the Palestinian people, not Jews.
According to the ADL, that’s exactly what SJP means when they chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free.”
Now, after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, SJP has told everyone: Hamas was right to murder more than 1,400 people, kidnap 200, shoot, rape and traumatize thousands, and should do it again and again and again. They’ve said these exact words on dozens of campuses across the country in the past weeks. In fact, one speaker at the UPenn rally unequivocally stated there are no innocent Israeli civilians, he will never condemn the violence, and Jews can go back to Germany or Russia.
After campus administrators responded with largely indifferent and meek pronouncements, donors and stakeholders have taken matters into their own hands, withdrawing gifts and pulling back on cooperation with some of the most elite universities. Many have made their voices heard.
But it’s not just about issuing better statements. Campus administrators must take action against the sources of antisemitism on campus. That starts by taking away SJP’s license to operate.
No one can afford to excuse SJP’s language of violence as emotional excess. Their rhetoric must be taken at face value. It’s a threat. If I were a Jewish student walking down a quad as a gang of loud, amplified voices called for Jewish genocide, I would rightly worry for my safety. And I would expect my university to protect me.
University leaders must confront such violent speech, intimidation, and incitement when it happens, not later. If an administrator is present, he or she must take a stand against genocidal threats.
Moreover, universities should not fund or sanction organizations that engage in incitement to genocide. SJP chapters receive university funds as a student organization. SJP leaders sit on student government boards and set rules and funding levels for other campus groups. This is wrong.
SJP uses its position and resources to target Hillel, Chabad and Jewish or Israeli students and faculty. Their activities are disruptive, their influence is malign and for years, they have been a threat to safety.
What other student group would receive funding after threatening violence against other students? The answer, of course, is none. There should be no carve-outs and subsidies for SJP’s violence and hate speech. Campus administrators must rely on campus codes and existing powers; there’s no excuse for delay.
Some universities have. Lafayette University recently denied SJP’s application to form a chapter. The university cited other SJP chapters and their activities as proof the organization would undermine safety on campus.
Whatever SJP says in its own defense, it has a record of antisemitism. This group posts “eviction notices” on the doors of Jewish students. It distributes materials depicting Israelis as pigs. SJP students have protested loudly and thrown objects while Jewish students held an outdoor Seder. At the University of Chicago, SJP protested the fact that Israeli professors were teaching classes. SJP online campaigns call for public shaming of Jewish students with accusations of “colonizer”, “racist”, and “go back to Brooklyn.”
For years, we were told by SJP’s defenders and enablers that these words and actions were benign, simply emotional ways to “educate” the campus about Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.
But in the days since Oct. 7, we were given a different message: SJP stands with Hamas, and everything it does, including the murder of babies, the mass rape of women and the point-blank execution of entire families while livestreaming the whole thing.
SJP’s defenders and activists literally said in many public spaces those activities are what they mean by “decolonization.” So now we know. And so when they come marching down the leafy walkways at UPenn, calling for more of it, we should believe them.
Baime is chief executive officer of the Israel on Campus Coalition.Source: https://www.nydailynews.com/2023/10/23/hamas-terror-is-celebrated-on-american-campuses-students-for-justice-in-palestine-goes-beyond-advocacy/