Despite terror ties, SJP 'antisemitic force' active at Harvard, Columbia

‘Would university administrators permit the KKK to have a national conference on campus?’

Lara Alqasem at a SJP event at University of Florida September 2017.  (photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Lara Alqasem at a SJP event at University of Florida September 2017.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
The National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) is an “antisemitic force on campus,” according to a new 96-page report about the organization. 
The document, published by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) in advance of NSJP’s annual conference being held November 1-3, tracks the history of the organization and highlights how NSJP “promotes antisemitic rhetoric” and is “associated [with] violence and terror, ideologically and politically.”
The study, titled “National Students for Justice in Palestine and the Promotion of Hate and Antisemitism on the University Campus: The Threat to Academic Freedom,” is authored by Charles Asher Small, David Patterson and Glen Feder.
“For centuries, the most violent antisemitic attacks on Jews, including expulsions and pogroms, were rationalized by a need to bring justice to other groups,” said ISGAP chairman Natan Sharansky. “Today, the new antisemitism is brought to the world of academia under the pretext of justice for Palestinians.”
In the report’s foreword, Sharansky says that demonization, delegitimization and double standards against Jews are now being applied to the Jewish collective in the State of Israel.
“All those who value both justice and academic freedom should be resistant to it,” he said.
The report cites dozens of incidents, mainly on social networks, in which traditional antisemitic tropes are used by NSJP local chapters.
In 2017, for example, Students Supporting Israel at City College in NY described on their Facebook page a reaction by SJP members to the visit of Dani Dayan, the Consul General of Israel in New York. According to the post, “Comparisons to Hitler and Nazis were hurled by students… Rather than listening to what the speaker had to say, they put their antisemitic hate on blast, demonizing the Jewish State of Israel and all who would support it.”
Harvard’s NSJP chapter, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, posted on their Facebook page in 2012 that “Zionism is racism. Women who immigrated from Ethiopia eight years ago say there were told they would not be allowed into Israel unless they agreed to be injected with the long-acting birth control drug Depo Provera, according to an investigative report aired yesterday on Israel Educational Television.”
Stony Brook University’s SJP also had multiple inflammatory posts, including one noting that “together, we can create a domino effect to ensure Zionism is an extinct ideology.”
“Would university administrators permit the KKK to have a national conference on campus?” asked Small, who is also executive director of ISGAP. “They are really poisoning the atmosphere.”
Small told The Jerusalem Post that within the Jewish community, there is now widespread understanding that antisemitism is on the rise, aided by recent reports – such as one published this year by the Anti-Defamation League, which found that the US Jewish community experienced “near-historic levels of antisemitism in 2018.” He noted that on college campuses, as he believes his report proves, NSJP chapters are a big part of this problem.
BEYOND TRADITIONAL antisemitism, the report offers examples of how NSJP demonizes Israel, applies double standards to the Jewish state and even labels Jewish students and other Israel activists as racists, denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination. All these behaviors, ISGAP explains in the report, run contrary to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, as well.
The institute also shows that NSJP expresses support for convicted terrorists at its events and on social media.
NSJP has hosted terrorists at its annual conferences, including Rasmea Odeh as its keynote speaker in 2015. Odeh perpetrated a terrorist attack in 1969 at a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students. She later immigrated to the United States but was caught and deported in 2017.
The report showed that the group retweeted a message in support of PFLP terrorist Bilal Kayed, who was incarcerated for terrorist attacks that he carried out during the Second Intifada.
Small said that NSJP’s actions are rooted in its mandate, which began with its founding in 2010.
NSJP was founded in 2010 at a forum that was sponsored in part by the BDS National Committee (BNC), which is known to include several members that are designated as terror organizations by the United States. Its primary constituent, according to the report, is the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces (PNIF), a coalition of member groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Over the summer, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs reported on 30 financial accounts associated with BDS being shut down, and the BNC was among them. The Israel Law Center, Shurat Hadin, was able to leverage information – such as that BNC secretary Salah Khawaja served a year in an Israeli prison due to contact with a hostile entity – to approach Donorbox and request it close the organization’s account.
According to the ministry’s report, the closure of the Donorbox account is “preventing the organization from raising money by using a significant financial pipeline.”
NSJP local chapters are required to adhere to a set of principles, the report explains. These include: “Ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall,” recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality” and “respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”
Today, according to the report, there are more than 200 NSJP chapters and a national steering committee of 20 students and recent graduates.
THE REPORT offers a short list of the campuses where SJP chapters are most active and most virulent. These include Harvard, Columbia, Stony Brook, Georgetown, Brandeis, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, University of Chicago, University of Washington, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Florida State, University of North Carolina, University of Georgia, University of Florida, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at Austin and numerous universities in Canada.
“NJSP cloaks itself in human rights,” Small told the Post, “but it is really rooted in the most pernicious forms of hatred and ideology that we know.” He added that the organization is engaged in “aggressive silencing” of anyone who disagrees with its principles.
Small said that if NSJP can continue uninhibited, “in a very short time, those views and values will penetrate the rest of our society.” He noted how politicians, such as Congresswoman Ilhan Omar “cloak themselves as progressive but have ties to radical Islam.
“This should be a warning sign: What happens on campus will very soon affect our general society; we can see it beginning to happen,” he said.
“The fact that the members and chapters that make up NSJP promote antisemitic rhetoric on university campus suggests that higher education is not only turning a blind eye to protecting Jewish students, but sets the stage for further forms of prejudice and discrimination against other groups and communities on campus,” the report states. “If NSJP is able to promote its agenda, promoting claims of ‘colonialist,’ ‘racist,’ and ‘Nazi’ onto the Jewish students and Jewish people, then the university’s inaction will be indicative of the future for all marginalized groups on campus, and create a dangerous precedent.
“It would be tragic if universities were to be purveyors of hate, rather than places to learn and a source of inspiration for democratic principles steeped in human rights,” the report concludes.
NSJP did not respond to multiple requests for a response to the report.