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February 27, 2014

Eviction Notices At Northeastern Kick-Off Israeli Apartheid Week

Update: February 27 – Yesterday, members of the University of North Carolina (UNC) SJP chapter, distributed hundreds of mock eviction notices in residence halls on the UNC campus. Just like at Northeastern University, where the students began to use the hashtag “#BostonMockEviction” on Twitter after posting them, at UNC they began to use “#UNCMockEviction.” The mock eviction notices were also used to promote UNC’s Israeli Apartheid Week, scheduled to take place on the campus from March 3 to March 7.

Mock eviction notices were slid under residence hall doors of many students at Northeastern University earlier this week. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) took responsibility for the action and claimed that these notices were posted to kick off Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), which is taking place this week on dozens of college campuses across the United States.northeastern-iaw-eviction-2014-sjp

The notices at Northeastern stated that the affected dorm rooms would be demolished in three days and that “eviction notices are routinely given to Palestinian families living under oppressive Israeli occupation for no reason other than their ethnic background…to cleanse the region of its Arab population, and create space for settlements.” In reality, some Palestinians in the West Bank receive eviction notices if their homes were built ille­gally or need to be demol­ished because of Israeli secu­rity con­cerns, not because of the residents’ “ethnic background.”

Language in the notice echoed many of the themes of IAW, including allegations of Israeli racism and apartheid, calls for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel, and claims that Israel is committing war crimes such as ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people. Northeastern SJP later issued a comment on Twitter that “some students don’t like facing uncomfortable facts about Israeli apartheid.”northeastern-iaw-eviction-2014-2-sjp

The notice, various versions of which have been distributed at several other college campuses in recent years, was also made to appear as if it was issued by a municipal court, making the threat of demolition seem more real to the students who received them.

In the past year, anti-Israel stu­dent groups at the fol­low­ing uni­ver­si­ties have cir­cu­lated mock evic­tion notices:

  • University of Michigan, December 2013 – Over 1,000 students received mock eviction notices posted by members of the student group “Students Allied for Freedom and Equality” at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  These notices claimed that Israel evicts Palestinians from their homes for the purpose of “mak[ing] life so miserable for the Arabs that they leave.”
  • Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity, Octo­ber 2013 – Stu­dents from the Rutgers-New Brunswick SJP chap­ter posted mock evic­tion notices in res­i­dence halls to “edu­cate” stu­dents about the expe­ri­ence for some Pales­tini­ans whose homes are demol­ished. Text on the mock evic­tion notices read, “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.”
  • San Diego State Uni­ver­sity, March 2013 – Mock evic­tion notices were posted on stu­dents’ res­i­dence hall room doors by mem­bers of the SDSU SJP chap­ter. The notices, which claimed that “$30 bil­lion US tax dol­lars have been used to fund Israeli apartheid in the past decade,” were meant to raise aware­ness over Israel’s alleged human rights vio­la­tions against Palestinians.

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October 10, 2013

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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