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April 1, 2015 2

50% of Anti-Israel Events in Illinois on Three Campuses

Anti-Israel activ­ity on uni­ver­sity and col­lege cam­puses in Illi­nois has remained steady over the last two years with student-groups actively work­ing to pro­mote Boy­cott, Divest­ment, and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paigns against Israel and false alle­ga­tions such as that Israel is an apartheid state.

Tweets from pro-BDS stu­dents dur­ing and after the BDS vote at Loy­ola University.

Since Sep­tem­ber 2013, more than 70 anti-Israel events have taken place on uni­ver­sity and col­lege cam­puses in Illi­nois and over 50% of those events were held on three cam­puses: Loy­ola University-Chicago, DePaul Uni­ver­sity, and North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity. So far this year, there have been two divest­ment res­o­lu­tions passed by stu­dent gov­ern­ments at Loy­ola Uni­ver­sity and North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity and 25 anti-Israel events have either taken place or been sched­uled on Illi­nois campuses.

Lead­ing up to the BDS vote at Loy­ola Uni­ver­sity, there was a week-long pro­gram called “Loy­ola Divest­ment Week,” which fea­tured sev­eral events pro­mot­ing BDS and the “Loy­ola Divest” cam­paign. Exam­ples of those events included dis­cus­sions about divest­ment, a “Pales­tine 101” ses­sion which pro­vided his­tor­i­cal con­text about the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict, and a con­ver­sa­tion titled “Reclaim­ing Our Voices through Social Activism.”

ADL described the Loy­ola Divest effort as “mis­guided” and stated that it will likely serve to “divide and polar­ize the cam­pus community.”

The polar­iz­ing effect of the res­o­lu­tion could be wit­nessed dur­ing the vot­ing ses­sion and after its pas­sage, as stu­dents reacted on Twit­ter with the hash­tag “#Loy­olaDi­vest.” One stu­dent remarked dur­ing the vote that there were a “hand­ful of priv­i­leged white peo­ple on one side of room” and that the “rest of human­ity [was] on [the] other.” Another stu­dent echoed that tweet and wrote “Never under­stood ‘white tears’ more than now –white jew­ish stu­dents are ‘uncom­fort­able’ while the Pales­tini­ans are suf­fo­cat­ing,” and another stu­dent cel­e­brated that the cam­pus Hil­lel allegedly lost mem­bers “because #divest­ment made them uncom­fort­able and afraid,” stat­ing that, “That’s a win for #Loy­olaDi­vest no one should join Hillel.”

North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity, the Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter formed a group called “NU Divest” which worked to pro­mote divest­ment. Lead­ing up to the Stu­dent Government’s vote on their BDS res­o­lu­tion, the group spon­sored sev­eral anti-Israel events such as a pre­sen­ta­tion from Hatem Baz­ian, a founder of Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine (AMP), on Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 13, 2015 titled  “Colo­nial­ism is not Over: Con­tem­po­rary Move­ments.” The group also pub­lished pro-BDS arti­cles in the cam­pus news­pa­per to inform their student-body about the BDS cam­paign and on Wednes­day, Feb­ru­ary 18, 2015, the stu­dent gov­ern­ment voted to pass their BDS res­o­lu­tion with a 24–22-3 vote.

The BDS cam­paign at DePaul Uni­ver­sity was also active this semes­ter because of the campus-wide BDS ref­er­en­dum that was passed by a vote of 1,575–1,333 on May 23, 2014. To fol­low up on the vote, the DePaul Divest coali­tion sub­mit­ted a request to the DePaul Fair Busi­ness Prac­tices Com­mit­tee (FBPC) in Jan­u­ary 2015 and asked them to rec­om­mend that DePaul divest from Hewlett-Packard, Boe­ing, Lock­heed Mar­tin, Veo­lia, and Cater­pil­lar. The pro­posal was report­edly rejected by the FBPC.

Flyer from DePaul University SJP Fundraiser for Rasmea Odeh.

Flyer from DePaul Uni­ver­sity SJP Fundraiser for Ras­mea Odeh.

The SJP chap­ters at both Loy­ola and DePaul also hosted events to defend and dis­cuss the case of Ras­mea Odeh, a Pales­tin­ian accused by Israel of hav­ing taken part in two 1969 bomb­ings by the ter­ror­ist group the Pop­u­lar Front for the Lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine (PFLP), who was just con­victed on a count of unlaw­ful pro­cure­ment of nat­u­ral­iza­tion and is fac­ing eigh­teen months in prison and depor­ta­tion to Jor­dan. While Odeh’s case was only dis­cussed at Loy­ola, at DePaul, the SJP chap­ter actu­ally hosted a fundraiser for Odeh where all pro­ceeds were to be donated to her legal defense team.

Of the more than 70 anti-Israel events on Illi­nois cam­puses since Sep­tem­ber 2013, SJP has spon­sored the major­ity of those events, which were focused on BDS cam­paigns and cas­ti­gat­ing Israeli policy.

Other recent anti-Israel events on other cam­puses in Illi­nois include:

  • Shirien D, an Exec­u­tive Board mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion for Pales­tin­ian Equal Rights, spoke about alleged sim­i­lar­i­ties between Fer­gu­son and Gaza at the Illi­nois Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy on Feb­ru­ary 11, 2015.
  • A teach-in for stu­dents to learn about and get involved with the BDS move­ment took place at the Uni­ver­sity of Illinois-Urabana Cham­paign (UIUC) on Mon­day, Novem­ber 10, 2014.
  • Ilan Pappe, an Israeli anti-Zionist pro­fes­sor who is famous for writ­ing a book titled The Eth­nic Cleans­ing of Pales­tine, spoke at the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago on Fri­day, Octo­ber 24, 2014.

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December 3, 2014 9

Calls for Violence against Israel at Annual AMP Conference in Chicago

bannerCalls for vio­lence against Israel were heard at the 7th annual Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine (AMP) con­fer­ence, which took place over Thanks­giv­ing week­end at the Hyatt Regency Hotel out­side of Chicago. The con­fer­ence, billed as “Ris­ing from Ashes: Gaza Teaches Life!,”  addressed a num­ber of top­ics, such as, “Do Occu­pied Peo­ple Have the Right to Resist their Occu­pa­tion?,” “Islama­pho­bia and Pales­tine,” and “Cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the chang­ing Amer­i­can sen­ti­ment toward Israeli aggression.”

AMP is the lead­ing orga­ni­za­tion pro­vid­ing anti-Zionist train­ing and edu­ca­tion to stu­dents and Mus­lim com­mu­nity orga­ni­za­tions in the U.S and its con­fer­ence fea­tured a num­ber of U.S. and inter­na­tional anti-Israel activists as guest speak­ers, includ­ing Hatem Baz­ian, a co-founder of AMP; Josh Rubener, the National Advo­cacy Direc­tor for the US Cam­paign to End the Israeli Occu­pa­tion; and Rashid Kha­lidi, the Edward Said Pro­fes­sor of Mod­ern Arab Stud­ies at Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity and an Advi­sory Board mem­ber of the US Cam­paign to End the Israeli Occupation.

The most extreme com­ments at the con­fer­ence came from Taher Herza­l­lah, AMP’s national Cam­pus Coor­di­na­tor. Dur­ing his remarks, Herza­l­lah claimed that, “The State of Israel is a lie,” and spoke about how the “Israel lobby” works to ensure that Israel’s legit­i­macy is not chal­lenged. He also claimed that the focus of anti-Israel groups should be on the younger gen­er­a­tion and ended his com­ments with a call for vio­lence, stat­ing, “Israelis have to be bombed, they are a threat to the legit­i­macy of Pales­tine, and it is wrong to main­tain the State of Israel. It is an ille­git­i­mate cre­ation born from colo­nial­ism and racism.”

Mads Gilbert, a Nor­we­gian triage spe­cial­ist and pro­fes­sor of emer­gency med­i­cine who recently was banned from enter­ing Gaza by Israel, also sup­ported a call for vio­lence when claim­ing that the Nor­we­gian peo­ple do not sup­port Hamas or Fatah, but that they do “sup­port the fight with arms.” Gilberts, added that the strug­gle in Gaza is one against racism, apartheid, and polit­i­cal Zion­ism, and he also spoke pos­i­tively of rocket fire into Israel, claim­ing that, “When we heard of each rocket from Gaza [into Israel] that gave us hope and strength.”

One speaker, Sheikh Abdelfat­tah Mourou, a Tunisian lawyer who founded the Tunisian Islamic Ten­dency Move­ment, remarked that Israel was “defend­ing itself by killing inno­cents” dur­ing the most recent round of fight­ing between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. He also stated that, “When an Israeli pilot kills a fam­ily of 25, when he knows the head of Hamas is not home, it is shame­ful of the whole world to accept this claim of self-defense…The claim of Israeli secu­rity is a shame­ful one.”

Other speak­ers at the con­fer­ence dis­cussed the “Israel lobby” and its alleged role in “look­ing to pro­tect the Zion­ist nar­ra­tive.” Israeli anti-Zionist author Miko Peled claimed that the lobby stretches far and that, “There are spheres of Jew­ish influ­ence here in the U.S., like AIPAC and the Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion.” Fol­low­ing Peled’s com­ments, Dima Kha­lidi, Direc­tor of Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Legal Sup­port and Coop­er­at­ing Coun­sel with the Cen­ter for Con­sti­tu­tional Rights, stated that, “Jew­ish Zion­ists are a pow­er­ful force, not just AIPAC.”

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July 21, 2014 3

Weekend’s Anti-Israel Protests Feature More Nazi-Israel Comparisons

Over the week­end, close to 50 anti-Israel demon­stra­tions were held across the United States to protest Israel’s response to the lat­est round of rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza. At these ral­lies, there were com­par­isons made between Israel and Nazi Ger­many and alle­ga­tions that Israel is com­mit­ting geno­cide against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. At one of the ral­lies, a speaker also called for “the full lib­er­a­tion of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and the end of the Israeli state.”

Please see below for a round-up of the protests:

July 20

Hous­ton, TX

About 75 pro­test­ers were present for a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by the Uni­ver­sity of Houston’s Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter. Many of the pro­test­ers held signs with slo­gans such as “Israeli geno­cide, under direct US guide,” “Israel out of Pales­tine now,” “Stop the Pales­tin­ian Holocaust/Genocide,” “The US is com­plicit in geno­cide,” and “If 9/11 deserves a moment of silence, then Pales­tine deserves for us to never speak again!”


Chicago, IL

Sev­eral hun­dred pro­test­ers par­tic­i­pated in a march and demon­stra­tion with signs that stated “End this Holo­caust,” “I am Amer­i­can and I stand with Gaza because geno­cide is wrong!,” “It’s not self-defense it’s geno­cide.”  Another sign also showed a blood-stained Israeli flag with text that stated “Stop arm­ing the mur­der­ers of Humanity.”


July 19

New York, NY

An anti-Israel demon­stra­tion spon­sored by Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine was held in Times Square on Sat­ur­day. This demon­stra­tion brought out a few hun­dred pro­test­ers who held signs with slo­gans like “Zionism=Fascism,” “New York­ers stand with Gaza against Israeli geno­cide,” and “His­tory repeats Itself, Nazism = Zion­ism,” (with the image of a Swastika an equal sign and the Star of David).

Yas­mine Kamel, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Inter­na­tional Social­ist Orga­ni­za­tion (ISO), addressed the crowd at the protest and called for the destruc­tion of Israel, stat­ing, “This is part of a 66 year-old occu­pa­tion; a 66 year-old his­tory of abuse, of crimes, of mur­der of chil­dren; of an occupation…We have to con­tinue to resist the Israeli occu­pa­tion beyond today and beyond this assault on Gaza. We have to work for the full lib­er­a­tion of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and the end of the Israeli state and the return of all Pales­tin­ian refugees.”


Fort Laud­erdale, FL

About 100 pro­test­ers demon­strated at the U.S. Fed­eral Cour­t­house at a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by Al-Awda, the Coun­cil on American-Islamic Rela­tions (CAIR), the National Lawyers Guild South Florida, Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Palestine-Florida, and the Broward Green Party.

Many of the pro­test­ers were hold­ing signs that read, “This is not war it’s GENOCIDE,” “One Holo­caust doesn’t jus­tify another,” “1948+1967 = PALESTINE,” and “”ISRAEL IS A TERRORIST STATE!” A num­ber of slo­gans were chanted, includ­ing “From the [Jor­dan] River to the [Mediter­ranean] Sea, Pales­tine will be free,” “Hey Obama shame on you! Kids are dying ‘cause of you!,” “Occu­pa­tion is a crime, from Iraq to Pales­tine!,” and “All the walls have got to go, from Iraq to Mexico!”


July 18

Philadel­phia, PA

Approx­i­mately 100 pro­test­ers gath­ered out­side the Israeli Con­sulate hold­ing signs that con­tained slo­gans such as “Israel praises Moses, but acts like Pharaoh,” “Stop Israeli Holo­caust against Pales­tini­ans,” “No more racism, No more Zion­ism, No more Fas­cism,” and “Do you think that Israel is a vic­tim? Zion­ism = Nazism” (with the Swastika and Star of David shown next to one another).


San Diego, CA

Around 150 pro­test­ers attended a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by the San Diego chap­ter of Al-Awda. The pro­test­ers held signs with slo­gans such as “Stop Gaza geno­cide,” “This Jew does not sup­port Israel’s GENOCIDE,” and “Blam­ing Pales­tine for fir­ing rock­ets at Israel is like blam­ing a woman for punch­ing her rapist.”

Many of the pro­test­ers engaged in chants of “Netanyahu you can’t hide, we charge you with geno­cide!” “From the [Mediter­ranean] Sea to the [Jor­dan] River, Pales­tine for­ever!,” “Long live the Intifada, intifada, intifada,” and “Brick by brick, wall by wall, Israeli apartheid has to fall!”


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