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December 11, 2013

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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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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April 5, 2012

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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