by Sara Dogan
Refusing to accept inconvenient facts about BDS and terrorism.
The UCLA Undergraduate Students Association just passed a resolution to condemn the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s newest report, “An Epidemic of Jew Hatred on Campus: the Top Ten Neo-Nazi Incidents” which was distributed in newspaper form on the UCLA campus on April 30. As the author of that report, I want to respond to the false and defamatory accusations made in the student council resolution.
The resolution passed by the student council charges the Freedom Center with “falsely and slanderously equating Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activism with Nazism and terrorism” and making “racist and demonizing accusations of campus activism [against Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)] being directly continuous with terrorism.” These charges are demonstrably and factually false.
Our report stated that the BDS movement against Israel is funded by terrorist organizations. It also stated that these terrorist organizations funnel money to SJP to propagandize for BDS on campus. These statements are not slanderous or demonizing because they are true.
In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Jonathan Schanzer, an expert who previously worked as a terrorism finance analyst for the United States Department of the Treasury—someone who knows what he’s talking about—described the how SJP’s propaganda activities and support for BDS are orchestrated and funded by a Hamas front group, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). Hatem Bazian—a cofounder of SJP and a professor at the University of California-Berkeley—serves as chairman of AMP. The organization’s leadership includes former officers of the Holy Land Foundation and other Islamic “charities” previously convicted of funneling money to Hamas.
Schanzer explained, “At its 2014 annual conference, AMP invited participants to ‘come and navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.’” He described AMP as “arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States” and revealed that AMP “provides speakers, training, printed materials, a so-called ‘Apartheid Wall,’ and grants to SJP activists” and “even has a campus coordinator on staff whose job is to work directly with SJP and other pro-BDS campus groups across the country.” Furthermore, he stated, “according to an email it sent to subscribers, AMP spent $100,000 on campus activities in 2014 alone.”
Further evidence comes from a recent study presented by Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan at the recent Global Coalition 4 Israel Forum (GC4I). The study exposed a “Network of Hate” connecting the most prominent BDS organizations worldwide with the terrorist organizations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Minister Erdan described how BDS organizations disseminate false propaganda provided by Hamas and the Palestinian authority and stated, “The relationship between terrorist organizations and the BDS movement has never been closer, ideologically or operationally.”
And there is no doubt that the BDS movement contributes to rampant anti-Semitism on campus. A recent study conducted by the Amcha Initiative found that there is a “strong correlation between anti-Zionist student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and anti-Semitism.” The study’s results indicated that “99% of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups had one or more incidents of anti-Semitic activity, whereas only 16% of schools with no active anti-Zionist student group had incidents of overall anti-Semitic activity.”
As for equating BDS with Nazism, that is indeed a justifiable comparison. Just as Hitler’s reforms aimed to marginalize Germany’s Jews through increasingly restrictive laws and sanctions, the BDS movement seeks to isolate and delegitimize Israel, cut it off from the world community, and bankrupt its resources in the hopes of ultimately destroying it.
A more direct connection also exists between BDS and the Nazi movement. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Muslim scholar Hassan al-Banna. An ardent follower of Adolf Hitler, al-Banna translated Mein Kampf into Arabic in the 1930’s and launched the Islamic-Palestinian movement to “push the Jews into the sea.” According to Richard Clarke – the chief counterterrorism advisor on the U.S. National Security Council during the administrations of both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush—Hamas, along with al Qaeda and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, is one of the “descendants of the membership and ideology of the Muslim Brothers.” Therefore we can show that Hamas—the organization funding SJP’s BDS activism—has a demonstrable lineage extending back to Nazi Germany.
UCLA was one of the schools named in our report because of an incident that occurred there on May 17, 2018—although in truth there have been a great many anti-Semitic incidents at UCLA. On that date, members of Students for Justice in Palestine viciously disrupted a pro-Israel event titled “Indigenous Peoples Unite” which had been organized by Students Supporting Israel. While a participant was speaking about surviving genocide in his native Armenia, a protestor walked over and tore the Armenian flag off the wall and threw the speaker’s notes on the floor, while screaming directly in his face. SJP protestors used horns and whistles to create a chaos of noise and chanted slogans including “We don't want 2 states, we want '48,” a genocidal statement in favor of abolishing Israel and returning to a time before it existed. Due to SJP’s protest, the event was forced to halt for over 15 minutes until calm could be regained.
Despite SJP’s egregious behavior during this incident and others, the UCLA administration allowed SJP National to hold its infamous annual conference on the UCLA campus the following semester. The conference announcement even bragged about disrupting pro-Israel events.
And yet it is the David Horowitz Freedom Center that is being condemned by the UCLA student council for exposing the truth about this incident and others. Not SJP for its censorship of pro-Israel speech on campus and for espousing the anti-Semitic doctrine of BDS.
Instead of attempting to bully pro-Israel organizations like the Freedom Center and the Canary Mission into silence, UCLA’s student council would do better to look at the source of the Jew hatred lurking in their midst.
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