Groups Urge University of California to Monitor SJP Actions at So-Called “International Day of Action”
Earlier today, fifteen national organizations urged Chancellor Dirks of the University of California at Berkeley to monitor the behavior of Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) and other student organizations involved in the so-called September 23 “Day of Action.” The 15 organizations, representing hundreds of thousands of members and supporters nationwide, expressed deep concern about the safety and well-being of Jewish students around these events. In the wake of the Israel-Gaza conflict, global antisemitism has reached levels not seen since the Holocaust. Jews throughout the world are being targeted for threats, physical assaults and murder, and Jewish property for desecration and destruction. The groups emphasize that they fully support academic freedom and students’ freedom of expression, but nevertheless caution that “these types of demonstrations can result in antisemitic rhetoric and violent behavior, creating a hostile and unsafe environment for Jewish students.” Just days ago, the groups observed, a Jewish student at Temple University was punched in the face and called “baby-killer, racist, Zionist pig” and “kike” as he stood next to a table run by the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). The groups’ letter is as follows:
Dear Chancellor Dirks,
We represent 15 organizations with hundreds of thousands of members and supporters nationwide, who are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of Jewish students on campuses across the country, particularly in light of the current unrest in the Middle East. We would like to bring to your attention a matter that directly affects Jewish students at UC Berkeley.
Dr. Hatem Bazian, a UC Berkeley lecturer in Near Eastern Studies, has posted to his Facebook page an announcement of an “International Day of Action on College Campuses: Free Palestine and End the Siege on Gaza,” which is to take place on September 23. The posting includes the following message:
A call for activists and organizations on campuses across the world to organize massive protests on every college and university campus. Make Free Palestine and Ending the Siege on Gaza part of campus education by holding teach-ins, rallies, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and push for BDS activities.