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April 5, 2012 9

FAU Students Latest Target of Anti-Israel Mock Eviction Tactic

The mock evic­tion notices taped on more than 200 dorm room doors at Florida Atlantic Uni­ver­sity last week are part of an ongo­ing cam­paign by an anti-Israel cam­pus group to raise aware­ness to its cause through shock tactics.

Stu­dent lead­ers of FAU’s Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter said that the fliers are designed to show how Pales­tini­ans expe­ri­ence evic­tion from their homes by the Israeli gov­ern­ment. The stu­dents also indi­cated that they had received prior approval from the Hous­ing and Res­i­den­tial Life Depart­ment at the university.

SJP is a stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion with more than 75 chap­ters at Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties. As the pri­mary orga­nizer of anti-Israel activ­ity on cam­pus, SJP has con­sis­tently demo­nized Israel, describ­ing its poli­cies toward the Pales­tini­ans as racist and apartheid-like, and com­pared Israelis to Nazis.

This is not the first time SJP mem­bers have used mock evic­tion notices on cam­pus. In April 2011, sim­i­lar mock evic­tion notices were dis­trib­uted in stu­dent dor­mi­to­ries at Yale Uni­ver­sity to crit­i­cize the “actions of the Israeli state” and to pro­mote the group’s upcom­ing events. The group said in a press release that it aimed to star­tle Yale stu­dents and give them a sense of what evicted Pales­tini­ans must feel.

A month later, stu­dents from the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago’s SJP sim­i­larly dis­trib­uted the evic­tion notices through­out three res­i­dence halls as part of SJP’s annual “Nakba” Com­mem­o­ra­tion Week.

Dur­ing the 2011 Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine (AMP) National Con­fer­ence, a vir­u­lently anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tion that aids and assists SJP activ­i­ties nation-wide, Uni­ver­sity of Chicago SJP pres­i­dent Sami Kishawi took credit for his SJP chapter’s method of activism. He also claimed that the mock evic­tion tac­tic has proven to be as effec­tive as SJP’s use of mock-checkpoints, which Kishawi explains also helps expose daily Pales­tin­ian humil­i­a­tion to a large num­ber of students.

As was the case at the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago and at Yale, the evic­tion fliers at FAU were seen by some stu­dents as dis­re­spect­ful and intimidating.

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March 2, 2012 0

“Occupy AIPAC” Conference Seeks to Lambast Pro-Israel Lobby and Cast Antiwar Agenda as the “99%”

An anti-Israel con­fer­ence to counter this weekend’s annual AIPAC Pol­icy Con­fer­ence will begin today and includes a vari­ety of events, ral­lies and pub­lic demon­stra­tions through March 6.
This year’s protest event, titled “Occupy AIPAC,” seeks to cap­i­tal­ize on the suc­cess of the Occupy Move­ment and fos­ter com­mon cause between the pop­u­lar social protests and anti-Israel efforts. The event’s Twit­ter feed tries to paint Israel and its sup­port­ers in the U.S. as part of the prover­bial “1%” and  the left-wing anti­war move­ment as the 99%, a repur­pos­ing of the Occupy Movement’s rhetoric. In addi­tion, one of the con­fer­ence ses­sions links the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street Move­ment with anti-Israel efforts.
The con­fer­ence ses­sion that is likely to fea­ture the most egre­gious rhetoric is titled “AIPAC: What it is, who its allies are, why it’s dan­ger­ous and how to stop it.” It will fea­ture, among oth­ers, Hatem Baz­ian, the leader of the extreme anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tion Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine; Jef­frey Blank­fort, an anti-Israel jour­nal­ist who claims that the “Israel lobby” con­trols U.S. for­eign pol­icy in the Mid­dle East; and Ali­son Weir, the direc­tor of the Coun­cil for the National Inter­est. Weir’s writ­ings and com­ments have at times crossed the line into anti-Semitism, includ­ing accus­ing Israelis of har­vest­ing Pales­tini­ans’ organs. Accord­ing to descrip­tions pro­vided on the con­fer­ence Web site, the ses­sion will include a seg­ment on how AIPAC “pro­motes Mus­lim otherness.”
Con­fer­ence atten­dees will have the oppor­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in sev­eral ral­lies and demon­stra­tions against AIPAC events, includ­ing protests out­side the White House dur­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s and Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu’s speeches.
Occupy AIPAC’s Twit­ter feed accuses AIPAC of exces­sive con­trol over U.S. pol­icy, includ­ing posts read­ing “We want our coun­try back” and “End big money lob­by­ist con­trol of MidEast Policy.”
The con­fer­ence has already attracted at least one anti-Semitic attendee, Charles Carl­son. Carl­son is the co-founder and direc­tor of “We Hold These Truths,” an Arizona-based Chris­t­ian anti-Semitic group that reg­u­larly protests out­side Chris­t­ian Zion­ist churches. In a mes­sage to his mem­bers invit­ing peo­ple to join him at “Occupy AIPAC,” Carl­son wrote:
“Every polit­i­cal can­di­date for pres­i­dent is bow­ing and scrap­ing to the state of Israel…they are not appeal­ing for Israeli votes,  but for the tens of mil­lions of Amer­i­can Chris­t­ian Zion­ist votes…Thousands of mis­taken and oppor­tunis­tic Pas­tors also fear the truth because they have mis­lead their con­gre­ga­tions.  Knowl­edge of Chris­t­ian Zion­ism can drive a stake through it, to be some­day buried in the grave­yard of apos­tate, reli­gious acts of war.”

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February 21, 2012 0

American Muslims for Palestine Takes Aim at High Schools

The vir­u­lently anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tion, Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine (AMP), held its first high school edu­ca­tional train­ing ses­sion of 2012 at the Islamic Foun­da­tion School in Villa Park, Illi­nois.

The train­ing ses­sion was attended by some 200 stu­dents from grades 10 to 12 and con­sisted of a half-day work­shop on a vari­ety of top­ics, includ­ing the Islamic sig­nif­i­cance of Pales­tine, accord­ing to AMP’s Web site. One ses­sion was led by AMP Direc­tor of Media and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Kristin Szrem­ski on steps stu­dents can take to uti­lize the media in their activism. Szrem­ski was a fea­tured speaker at the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia BDS con­fer­ence ear­lier this month.
AMP pro­motes its extreme anti-Israel views through var­i­ous pub­lic events designed for stu­dents and non-students alike. For exam­ple, dur­ing its ses­sion at the Decem­ber 2009 MAS-ICNA con­ven­tion, speak­ers called on “all Mus­lims to lib­er­ate all of Pales­tine from the North to the South from Al Quds to the sea” and described Jews as “the worst kind of people.” 
AMP has announced that it will embark on sim­i­lar events for high schools in Chicago and Mil­wau­kee. Facil­i­tat­ing stu­dent activism was the cen­tral theme of AMP’s 2011 national con­fer­ence, where a num­ber of ses­sions were ded­i­cated to ways stu­dents can dis­cuss the issue of Pales­tine in schools.
AMP has also made a con­certed effort to engage in advo­cacy on col­lege cam­puses and facil­i­tate increased col­lab­o­ra­tion among anti-Israel stu­dents, in par­tic­u­lar the activ­ity of Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP), a stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion that’s a pri­mary orga­nizer of anti-Israel events on campus.

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