Two petitions have been launched calling for the ouster of Florida State University (FSU) student senate president Ahmad Daraldik Friday over overtly antisemitic statements in social media posts, in addition to creating a website comparing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Holocaust, according to a Jewish Journal report.
Daraldik wrote numerous comments of his social media profiles of an antisemitic nature, including "f— Israel" and "stupid Jew", which he defended in a video circulated prior to the student senate vote on whether to remove him from his position as president. The student senate voted 19-16 in favor of Daraldik remaining as president.
In one comment, Daraldik wrote that "I was a child living under an oppressive occupation, where my voice was not heard. So, when I saw a post of a child with a soldier's foot on their chest and a gun to their face, I had no time," in reference to a photo of an Israeli soldier allegedly pointing a gun at a Palestinian child. The full picture of the post allegedly was doctored as well.
Other social media posts span from August to 2013, and includes numerous overtly antisemitic comments, including posts such as “Stupid Jew thinks he is cool,” while also allegedly saying that “The contemporary Holocaust in Palestine is very similar to that of Germany, ” according to the Algemeiner.
FSU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) defended Daraldik in a June 12 social media post, saying that calls for his ouster were designed condemning calls for him to step down “as racially and politically motivated to smear and silence Palestinian students and critics of the state of Israel.”
“We are calling upon our student senators to vote NO in the upcoming vote of no confidence in Ahmad Daraldik’s Senate presidency. As a diverse group of Palestinians, Jews, Muslims, black and brown people of color and working class students, we are confident in Ahmad’s leadership and unyielding advocacy for marginalized students,” the group said in a statement.
Jewish and pro-Israel organizations also criticized Daraldik. Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs CEO and co-founder, said that “As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, I will never accept anyone promoting vicious lies that equate the Jewish state with those who murdered my family and millions of other Jewish people.”
“While countless Palestinians and Israelis have suffered trauma due to the conflict, this is never a legitimate excuse to exploit other people’s pain and spread more hate. SJP and everyone who signed their statement should be utterly ashamed for defending this blatant antisemitism.”
FSU Hillel director Dan Leshem also criticized Daraldik’s, saying that "We continue to call upon FSU's administration to distance itself from this student's hateful rhetoric, and we call on the student to make a sincere apology and commit himself to learning about how harmful his words have been for Jews and others on this campus."
FSU has not commented on whether the university administration will take action to remove Daraldik from his position, but the university's Office of Admissions tweeted in response to Daraldik’s ‘Stupid Jew’ post, saying that “Florida State University does not condone this type of behavior. We take matters like this very seriously, and have informed FSU’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.”