University of Michigan has to cancel SJP conference say pro-Israel groups

The conference is yet another attempt by the Students for Justice in Palestine movement to spread Israel-hate and antisemitism on campus.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) logo (photo credit: REFORMATION32/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) logo
The upcoming “2020 Youth for Palestine Conference” at the University of Michigan is no exception to the National Students for Justice in Palestine movement's attempts to spread hate on university campuses, according to a report by Jewish News Service (JNS).
The event is scheduled to take place from January 25-26 on the Ann Arbor campus, and is hosted by Midwest Students for Justice in Palestine, Palestinian Youth Movement and Students Allied for Freedom and Equality.
Several antisemitic and anti-Israel groups are set to take part in the conference and, as such, many pro-Israel groups are urging the University of Michigan to cancel the event.
Stand With Us CEO, Roz Rothstein, told JNS that the event would feature speakers who “have a long record of vicious antisemitism”. In particular, Rothstein expressed concerns over the keynote speaker, Hatem Bazian, who “has a long record of vicious anti-Semitism.”
"The University of Michigan must unequivocally condemn this hate and make clear what steps they will take to ensure a safe educational environment for students on campus,” he said.
“The Students Supporting Israel (SSI) movement expects the University of Michigan to condemn and cancel such a hateful conference,” Ilan Sinelnikov, president and founder of the Israeli advocacy organization, declared to JNS.
Sinelnikov highlighted that one of the sponsor organizations, Anakbayan USA, wrote that “they are sponsoring the conference to ‘continue struggling in solidarity with the Palestinean [sic] people in order to confront or [sic] shared enemy: US imperialism and its puppet regimes”. “Such a statement exposes the true face of this conference, and voices like these should have no room on our campuses, let alone in our country,” he added.
The conference comes weeks after the US Department of Education opened two investigations into UCLA for its failure to “prevent a hostile campus environment for its Jewish campus community in direct violation of the school’s Title VI obligations.” One of those investigations follows the University's decision to allow a NSJP conference on its campus in November 2018.
The executive order Title VI was signed last December by President Donald Trump and protects Jews from discrimination and harassment.
The Zachor Legal Institute sent a letter to the general counsel of the University of Michigan where Title VI is mentioned: “In short, we said that if the same things happen at the upcoming conference as happened at UCLA with SJP, it could be a violation of Title VI, and if that was the case, we’d file a Title VI complaint on behalf of any student(s) who were discriminated against,” Greendorfer told JNS.
In a statement to JNS, Rick Fitzgerald, assistant vice president for public affairs at the University of Michigan, said the university was aware of the conference being hosted “by a recognized student organization on our campus.” “With more than 1,300 student groups on the Ann Arbor campus, events organized by students—many open to students from other campuses—happen with some regularity,” he added.
However, in the past few years, many studies and articles have highlighted the role of the National Students for Justice in Palestine movement (NSJP) in spreading antisemitism and Israel-hate on campus.
In fact, according to a Brandeis University study, one of the strongest predictors of hostility towards Israel and Jews on campuses is the presence of an SJP chapter.
Just last October, a report by the Institute for the Student of Global Antisemitism (ISGAP) revealed how NSJP “leaders and official university chapters espouse blatant forms of antisemitism on social media and use the national conferences as a platform to propagate their discriminatory ideas.”
“Today, the new antisemitism is brought to the world of academia under the pretext of justice for Palestinians,” said ISGAP chairman Natan Sharansky.
All around the United States, SJP chapters hold events with convicted terrorists as their keynote speakers, disrupt and shut down events organized by Jewish and pro-Israel organizations, harass Jewish students, and engage in campaigns of defamation against Israel.
Just as an example, in its last national conference held in November 2019 at the University of Minessota, NSJP promoted Ahmed Saadat, General-Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization by the United States. In its 2015 conference, NSJP hosted Rasmea Odeh who perpetrated a terrorist attack in 1969 at a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students. And the list of examples goes on.