Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Jewish Organizations Express Concern over Hatem Bazian's proposed day of hate against Israel

Hatem Bazian, the man who notoriously called for an intifada in America has used his facebook page to call for an International Day of Action against Israel on September 23, 2014.

Tammi Benjamin,co-founder of the AMCHA initiative and a fearless advocate for Jewish students on campus has expressed her concerns about Hatem’s proposal in an open letter to UC Berkeley Chancellor Dirks, writing on behalf of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi) ,Americans for Peace and Tolerance, Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law ,Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) ,Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) ,Hasbara Fellowships ,Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel ,National Conference on Jewish Affairs Proclaiming Justice to the Nations ,Scholars for Peace in the Middle East ,Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs, The Lawfare Project , and the Zionist Organization of America.

From her open letter
... 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. While we fully support academic freedom and students' freedom of expression, these types of demonstrations can result in antisemitic rhetoric and violent behavior, creating a hostile and unsafe environment for Jewish students. Just days ago, 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).

As you may be aware, the UC Berkeley SJP group, which was in fact founded by Dr. Bazian himself when he was a graduate student in 2001, has a long history of engaging in antisemitic behaviors targeting Jewish and pro-Israel students for harassment, intimidation, bullying and even assault. Dr. Bazian's call for students to engage in aggressive and potentially illegal actions against Israel and its campus supporters -- actions that include "civil disobedience" -- can only exacerbate the already hostile environment for pro-Israel Jewish students and create the conditions that could well lead to violence on your campus.

Moreover, Professor Bazian is promoting an academic boycott of Israel which calls for shutting down opportunities for students to study in Israel and severing all ties with Israeli universities and scholars -- a boycott which more than 250 university presidents, including yourself, have called a subversion of academic freedom, and which has been decried as antisemitic by government officials and Jewish leaders. Furthermore, we believe that it is highly inappropriate for Dr. Bazian, a faculty member at UC Berkeley, to incite students to engage in "civil disobedience", behavior which is potentially illegal and may lead to adverse consequences for the students and others.

We wanted to bring this to your attention immediately so you could monitor the behavior of SJP and other student organizations involved in the September 23 Day of Action, and ensure, through the use of campus police and administrative oversight, that behavior which violates university policy or the law will be swiftly and appropriately addressed, and that Jewish and pro-Israel students will not be harassed, intimidated, bullied or assaulted.

h/t  Our friend Gary at Fousesquawk

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