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December 11, 2013 1

University Of Michigan Latest School To Be Hit With Anti-Israel Mock Eviction Notices

Mock evic­tion notices were recently dis­trib­uted at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan by the pro-Palestinian stu­dent group “Stu­dents Allied for Free­dom and Equal­ity.” More than one thou­sand stu­dents report­edly received the notices on their res­i­dence hall room doors on Tues­day, Decem­ber 10, which warned them that their dor­mi­tory would be demol­ished by Decem­ber 13.michigan-mock-eviction-notice

The notices were made to appear as though they were issued by the university’s Depart­ment of Hous­ing and were designed to mimic the evic­tion notices received by some Pales­tini­ans in the West Bank if their homes were built ille­gally or needed to be demol­ished because of Israeli secu­rity con­cerns. The notices, how­ever, claim that Israel evicts Pales­tini­ans from their homes for the pur­pose of “mak[ing] life so mis­er­able for Arabs that they leave.”

Stu­dents affil­i­ated with SAFE also pub­lished a “View­point” piece on the uni­ver­sity newspaper’s Web site call­ing for Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paigns against Israel and claim­ing that the evic­tion notices are a “tool of polit­i­cal satire.”

These notices, which have appeared on at least a half a dozen other cam­puses in the past few years, have pre­vi­ously made some stu­dents feel threat­ened or intimidated.

For exam­ple, after stu­dents at Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity received the notices in Octo­ber 2013, Esther Reed, the rabbi of Rutgers’s Hil­lel was quoted in the cam­pus news­pa­per say­ing, “stu­dents were made to feel that they were not safe in their res­i­dence halls.” Sim­i­larly, at Florida Atlantic Uni­ver­sity, stu­dents reported feel­ing con­fused or scared after receiv­ing evic­tion notices in March 2012, accord­ing to Palm Beach County Com­mis­sioner Steven Abrams, who spoke to a local news­pa­per shortly after the inci­dent occurred.

Other stu­dents have crit­i­cized the tac­tic for fail­ing to cre­ate dia­logue. At Yale Uni­ver­sity, stu­dents wrote an op-ed in the cam­pus news­pa­per and called the mock evic­tion notices “offen­sive,” claim­ing that there was not “even the faintest attempt at build­ing a con­struc­tive dialogue.”  

In the past few years, anti-Israel stu­dent groups at the fol­low­ing uni­ver­si­ties have cir­cu­lated mock evic­tion notices on campus:

  • Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity, Octo­ber 2013 – Stu­dents from the Rutgers-New Brunswick SJP chap­ter posted mock evic­tion notices in res­i­dence halls through­out the cam­pus 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.
  • Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, March 2013 – Mem­bers of the Har­vard Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Com­mit­tee posted mock evic­tion notices on stu­dents’ doors in fresh­man and upper class res­i­dence halls. The notices, which warned stu­dents that their res­i­dence hall rooms were “sched­uled for demo­li­tion in the next three days” were posted in order to pub­li­cize “Israel Apartheid Week” on cam­pus and to raise aware­ness about Israel’s policies.
  • Florida Atlantic Uni­ver­sity, March 2012 – Mock evic­tion notices were posted on nearly 200 stu­dent res­i­dence hall rooms. The action, orga­nized by the FAU SJP chap­ter, warned stu­dents that their rooms were being demol­ished and that “any­one left inside is not our respon­si­bil­ity.” This episode attracted sig­nif­i­cant ire because the flier con­tained the offi­cial seal of university’s Hous­ing and Res­i­den­tial Life Department.  
  • Uni­ver­sity of Chicago, May 2011 – Over 200 mock evic­tion notices were dis­trib­uted by the SJP chap­ter on cam­pus. The notices stated that affected stu­dents would have their rooms demol­ished and that if they did not vacate them, “we reserve the right to destroy your hous­ing unit. We do not main­tain respon­si­bil­ity for any­one remain­ing inside.” 
  • Yale Uni­ver­sity, April 2011 – Mock evic­tion notices were dis­trib­uted by SJP at Yale Uni­ver­sity to crit­i­cize “the actions of the Israeli state” and to pro­mote the group’s upcom­ing events.

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September 18, 2013 0

San Diego State SJP Launches Recruitment Effort Comparing Israel To Nazi Germany

The Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter at San Diego State Uni­ver­sity (SDSU) recently unveiled an online slideshow and ad cam­paign to advo­cate for the Pales­tin­ian cause and recruit new mem­bers to join SJP which “enables you as a stu­dent to act on the truth.”sjp-sdsu-right-side-campaign

The cam­paign, “The Right Side: A Guide to the Moral High Ground,” repeat­edly com­pares Israeli pol­icy to the Holo­caust, includ­ing analo­giz­ing a sup­porter of modern-day Israel to a “grand­son of a Nazi” and claim­ing that the inter­na­tional community’s will­ful igno­rance of Israel’s trans­gres­sions is com­pa­ra­ble to the Euro­peans’ obliv­i­ous­ness of the hor­rors of the Holo­caust in the 1930s and 40s.

The recruit­ing tool – which is avail­able on SJP’s web­site as a slideshow and has been dis­played on fly­ers around cam­pus – is rife with extreme pro­pa­ganda and claims that Israel is guilty of apartheid and “war crimes” against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. It fur­ther alleges that Amer­i­can politi­cians turn a blind eye to these injus­tices because they “receiv[e] money in exchange of a polit­i­cal stance.” One of the slides even repeats UN Rap­por­teur Richard Falk’s infa­mous line: “Is it an irre­spon­si­ble over­state­ment to asso­ciate the treat­ment with Pales­tini­ans with the crim­i­nal­ized Nazi record of col­lec­tive atroc­ity? I think not.”

The first slide, titled “The Racist Grandpa,” claims that “no grand­son of a Nazi, or a KKK clans­man or a sup­porter of apartheid in South Africa can be proud of their grand­fa­ther. The last thing you want to be is that racist grandpa in the future.” The slide then warns: “Today, many of us could be racist grand­pas or grand­mas in the future if we con­tinue to let our­selves be fooled by politi­cians, lob­by­ists and the media” with regard to Israel.  

The web page fea­tur­ing the slideshow also con­tains images of well-known fig­ures who have expressed anti-Israel views in recent years, includ­ing Alice Walker, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, for­mer pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter and Lupe Fiasco, a rap­per who is crit­i­cal of Israel.

The SJP chap­ter at SDSU is very active on cam­pus and has existed since at least 2009. In the past year, the group has spon­sored speak­ing appear­ances by Nor­man Finkel­stein, a for­mer pro­fes­sor at DePaul Uni­ver­sity and noted critic of Israeli pol­icy, and orga­nized events with Mex­i­can stu­dent groups like MEChA that sought to com­pare the U.S.-Mexico bor­der fence to the secu­rity fence in the West Bank.  The group refuses to dia­logue or meet with the pro-Israel orga­ni­za­tion on cam­pus, Aztecs for Israel, an anti-Israel tac­tic pred­i­cated on a rejec­tion of “nor­mal­iza­tion” of the pro-Israel position.

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