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October 10, 2013 13

Anti-Israel “Eviction Notices” Taped to Dorm Rooms at Rutgers University

The Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP)Rutgers_SJP_Mock_Eviction_Notice chap­ter at Rutgers-New Brunswick posted mock evic­tion notices in res­i­dence halls through­out cam­pus this past week­end in an effort to “edu­cate” stu­dents about the expe­ri­ence for some Pales­tini­ans whose homes are demol­ished. The notices were report­edly posted “on the res­i­dence hall doors on all five cam­puses as part of a cam­paign to raise aware­ness,” accord­ing to the cam­pus newspaper.

Text on the mock evic­tion notices claimed: “Your suite is sched­uled for demo­li­tion in the next three days. If you do not vacate the premise within this time frame, we reserve the right to destroy all remain­ing belongings…This may seem like unre­al­is­ti­cally harsh treat­ment, but this is the actual state of affairs in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.” The notices also alleged that “the Israeli mil­i­tary occu­pa­tion forces” evict Pales­tini­ans on a reg­u­lar basis and that they have dis­placed over 160,000 Pales­tini­ans from their homes since 1967.

Mock evic­tion notices have been placed on the doors of dorm rooms on sev­eral other uni­ver­si­ties across the coun­try. Most recently, the SJP chap­ter at Florida Atlantic Uni­ver­sity taped sim­i­lar notices to more than 200 dorm room doors around cam­pus in March 2012. Those notices con­tained a seal from FAU’s Hous­ing and Res­i­den­tial Life Depart­ment, which caused wide­spread con­ster­na­tion because it appeared to give cred­i­bil­ity to the mes­sage on the notices. In April 2011, notices were also dis­trib­uted in stu­dent dor­mi­to­ries at Yale Uni­ver­sity to crit­i­cize the “actions of the Israeli state” and to pro­mote SJP’s upcom­ing events on campus.

This tac­tic is the lat­est in a series of efforts by anti-Israel stu­dents to indis­crim­i­nately demo­nize Israel. While it is true that some Pales­tini­ans are evicted from their homes, Israel engages in home demo­li­tions for legit­i­mate secu­rity mea­sures, because these homes were built ille­gally with­out proper per­mits or because they are not in accor­dance with zon­ing laws. More­over, the evic­tions and demo­li­tions take place fol­low­ing a years-long process and a vari­ety of legal approvals, not with “three days” warning.

At both FAU and Yale, Jew­ish stu­dents reported feel­ing intim­i­dated by the notices. Esther Reed, the rabbi at Rut­gers Hil­lel, was quoted in the cam­pus news­pa­per say­ing, “stu­dents were made to feel that they were not safe in their res­i­dence halls,” which she called “one of the most dis­turb­ing aspects here.”

SJP is a stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion with chap­ters on more than 95 uni­ver­sity and col­lege cam­puses. It is the lead­ing orga­nizer of anti-Israel events, pro­grams and con­fer­ences on campus.

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