Activists from the BDS movement against Israel [File].
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
NEW YORK – Lawmakers of the Virginia General Assembly, the board of the International Leaders Summit think tank and other individuals and organizations concerned with antisemitism recently called on George Mason University in Fairfax to stop the group Students for Justice in Palestine from holding its national conference there.
The event, set to take place next month, is hosted by the university’s Students Against Israeli Apartheid group.
In a letter addressed to university president Dr.
Ángel Cabrera, the BDS opponents wrote that they are reaching out “on behalf of concerned citizens and the Jewish community.
“According to published reports and letters sent from state legislators, including our distinguished colleagues in New York, about Students for Justice in Palestine’s actions and statements, the antisemitic and anti-Israel group’s agenda is to promote the total destruction and elimination of the State of Israel,” the letter said. “[It] fuels intimidation and fear among Jewish and pro-Israel students and faculty members.
“According to reports from US college campuses, Students for Justice in Palestine continues to stoke the flames of hatred and incites violence and harassment against Jewish students and pro-Israel students,” it continued. “Criminal behavior on any university campus is unacceptable; it is an assault on individual liberty, the rule of law and the safety and well-being of citizens.”
The signatories of the letter also pointed out that the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate passed a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement
against Israel. Therefore, the group’s attempt to promote BDS on campus goes against the resolution.
“The rule of law and freedom of speech must be upheld,” they wrote. “Hate-filled speeches and the incitement of violence toward the Jewish community and students and faculty showing support for Israel is unacceptable.
“Antisemitism is a throwback to the dark days of Nazi Germany and a reminder of the Holocaust, which eliminated over six million Jews,” the letter continued.
“A group that incites hate, fuels violent behavior and places citizens’ lives at great risk should not be allowed to use any facility in this Commonwealth of Virginia, let alone a taxpayer- funded educational institution,” it added.
Signatories of the letter include Virginia State Senator Charles W. Carrico, Sr., former director of the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs Becky Norton Dunlop, president of Secure America Now Allen Roth and founder of the Endowment for Middle East Truth Sarah N. Stern.