Malak Afaneh, senior class president at Pomona College in southern California, has been accused of antisemitism last week after social media posts surfaced featuring tweets comparing the ongoing conflict in Yemen to the Holocaust, while also suggesting that Israelis or Diaspora Jews are involved or sympathetic to the violence, according to an Algemeiner report.
Pomona College's student newspaper, the Claremont Independent, detailed the incident by noting that Afaneh posted the image of a tweet on Instagram that says “6 million people died in the Holocaust, we still commemorate it to this day. 18.4 MILLION people are dying in Yemen RIGHT NOW. That’s 3 holocausts at once…SILENCE IS COMPLIANCE!!!”
Afaneh also claimed that Jewish students are somehow sympathetic to the conflict and violence in Yemen, claiming in a social media posts that “[O]nce again, zionist-Israel-birthright-vacation-stuck-on-comparing-holocaust-to-racism-WW2-worshipping bitches, this should be right up ur alley. Oh wait u hate brown ppl,” in reference to the popular Taglit-Birthright organization that brings Diaspora Jews to Israel.
Pro-Israel organizations at Pomona College were quick to criticize Afaneh. In response to the incident, the Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance sent a letter to Afaneh criticizing his conduct, in addition to Associated Students of Pomona College Executive Vice President Payal Kachru, Dean of Students Avis Hinkson and President G. Gabrielle Starr. The letter noted the Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance was “deeply saddened and appalled” by Afaneh's claims, referring to them as “offensive, repugnant, and deeply hurtful.”
The group also called for an “immediate explanation and apology” from Afaneh.
“She is wholly unable to carry out her duties representing Jewish students if she holds these beliefs,” the letter said.
B’nai B’rith International also criticized Afaneh's conduct, saying in a Tweet that they are "outraged."
We are outraged that the @pomonacollege senior class president accused “Zionist-Israel-birthright-vacation-stuck-on-comparing-Holocaust-to-racism-WW2-worship[pers]” of being indifferent to the plight of the Yemenis. No one with these vile views should represent Jewish students.— B'nai B'rith Int’l (@BnaiBrith) June 22, 2020