Is it Fathomable that Our Own Classmates Condone Terrorism? Sadly, the Answer is Yes

 By: Liat Menna and Roxana Shana 

On October 14th, 2015, campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held a “die-in” on University grounds. At the “die-in” they memorialized Palestinians who died during recent clashes.

SJP claimed the deaths occurred because of Israel’s “oppression of the Palestinian people”. However, these claims run completely contrary to reality. Many of the individuals that they honored were killed while attempting to kill, assisting in, or after murdering Israeli civilians or police according to Israeli, Palestinian and other reputable publications[1].  Reiterating these harmful sentiments, SJP shared an article with an extensive list of those they were “honoring”. Here is a sampling of their heroes:

·         Ahmad Abu Sh’aban, 23, was shot after stabbing a 70-year-old Israeli civilian at a bus station (Maan News).

·         Amjad Hatem al-Jundi,, 17, was killed after grabbing a gun from a soldier and killing two Israelis in Kiryat Gat (TIMESOFISRAEL)*

·         Mohamed Nathmie Shamassnah, 22, was killed after he grabbed the gun of an Israeli soldier on a bus and killed two Israeli civilians (IMEMC)

·         Fadi Alloun, 19, was killed after he stabbed and wounded an Israeli teenager. Fadi had written on his Facebook page: "Either martyrdom or victory." (BIGSTORY)*

·         Mostafa Al Khateeb, 18, was killed while stabbing a member of the border police in his flak jacket (CNN)*

·         Thaer Abu Ghazala, 19, was killed after stabbing 4 civilians and one soldier with a screwdriver (TIMESOFISRAEL)

·         Mohannad Halabi, 19, was shot after killing two men and stabbing a woman and her toddler in Jerusalem (BIGSTORY)*

·         Ishaq Badran, 19, was killed after stabbing an Israeli at Damascus gate (ALGEMEINER)*.

Ahmad Abu Sh’aban stabs a 70 year old (in the red circle) photo from a security camera. 

SJP not only took the opportunity to celebrate murderers, it used the names of individuals who died of natural causes and blamed these deaths on Israel. For example, Ibraheem Dar-Yousif, 46, died of a heart attack (Maan News). SJP and some of its followers are exploiting death to garner hatred towards the Jewish State and the Jewish community.

 The names and events listed above are not isolated but are part of a harmful ideology, which has penetrated UCLA’s campus. Unfortunately SJP is merely echoing its role models whom routinely incite Palestinians to attack and kill Jewish civilians and celebrate “every drop of blood spilled”[2].This behavior is not acceptable nor does it have any place on campus.

 UCLA has a thriving Jewish community and many students’ love for Israel is an inherent part of their Jewish identity. Many Jewish students, administrators, and professors have family and friends living in Israel that are the victims of these celebrated terror attacks.

 How can Jewish students on campus feel safe when their peers are condoning the terrorism that has stolen the lives of their relatives and friends? How can the student body feel safe as condoning terrorism becomes acceptable? This behavior is shameful and unacceptable.

 The University of California has the responsibility and obligation to create a safe campus. SJP “die-ins” are an instrument of evoking fear in Jewish students and inciting violence against the Jewish State and people. The University must address the compromising position of SJP at UCLA, in order to prioritize the safety and integrity of its institution.  

Liat and Roxana are the President and Vice President of Students Supporting Israel at UCLA. SSI's first chapter in the University of California school system. 

[1] Names marked by asterisk were recited at the die-in event on October 14th, as shown on video. All other names listed are mentioned in an article featured in the Daily Bruin, and shared by SJP.

[2] Abbas, president of Palestinian Authority, commenting on recent terror attack on September 16, 2015