Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Time to Investigate Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Student Association

This article first appeared in New English Review.

Hat tip Investigative Project on Terrorism

For some time now I have been writing about the nationwide activities of Students for Justice in Palestine, an organization with well over 100 chapters at universities across the nation.The organization was co-founded by University of California professor Hatem Bazian, a native of Nablus in the West Bank. Bazian studied at San Francisco State, where he was an agitator against Israeli. He is also the co-founder of American Muslims for Palestine (which supports SJP) , the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Center at UC Berkeley, and Zaytuna College, the first Muslim college in America (located just off the UCB campus). American Muslims for Palestine has been tied to support groups for Hamas-a US State Department -designated terror group. They are currently the subject of a lawsuit filed by the parents of David Boim, an American teenager killed by Hamas in Israel in 1996.

Since its inception, SJP has utilized brown shirt tactics of bullying and intimidation against Jewish students who support Israel. These tactics include putting fake eviction notices under dorm  room doors of Jewish students and disruptions of pro-Israel meetings and events on campus. They are a prime mover behind the ubiquitous Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movements on college campuses targeting companies that do business with Israel. They work hand in hand with various Muslim Student Association chapters in their agitation against Israel. In fact, those MSA members who are anti-Israel activists also tend to be SJP members. SJP, unlike the MSA, accepts non-Muslim members. In 2010 after the UC Irvine Muslim Student Union was suspended for its disruption of the Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren's speech, an SJP chapter was conveniently formed on campus. Twice in the past year (May 2016 and May 2017), SJP has led other student groups in disrupting pro-Israel events at UCI. The most recent incident (May 10) was videotaped by this writer, who was present.

This is not a case of SJP chapters whose members get out of control due to a particular event. These incidents are planned.  In 2014 a document emerged authored by the SJP chapter at State University of New York at Binghamton in which  disruptions of pro-Israel events were listed as one of their tactics. Also, in 2014, SJP at Northeastern University in Massachusetts was suspended for distributing fake eviction notices. Other example are too numerous to list here.

In addition to SJP, the Muslim Student Association chapters on various campuses have also been guilty of planned disruptions and bullying of Jewish students. Arguably, the most notorious chapter has historically been that of UC Irvine, where I taught part-time for 18 years (1998-2016). For the past 10 years I have personally observed their annual hate  fests against Israel every May. Since the founding of the UCI-SJP chapter in 2010, the two groups have worked in tandem to disrupt pro-Israel events, such as the annual campus I(srael-Fest. In addition, over the years, they have sponsored a litany of anti-Israel (and anti-American/anti-Jewish) speakers such as Abdul Alim Musa, Mohammed al Asi and Amir Abdel Malik Ali-all radical imams who have appeared at UCI and numerous other campuses to spew hate. People who have videotaped MSU activities at UCI have had cameras shoved in their faces and have been followed back to their cars where their license plates numbers have been written down. The MSU at UCI has given the school a black eye for years. Many, like David Horowitz, have described UCI as the most anti-semitic university in the country-thanks to the MSU.

In my view, the MSU at UCI-and most likely other universities as well- uses SJP to do their dirty work as they (MSA/MSU) pose as a religious group that also works for "social justice". It is useful to note that the notorious Memorandum of Explanation, a document seized by the FBI in 2004 and introduced as evidence in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial, was written from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1991 and addressed to its affiliated organizations "North-American Brothers", which included the Muslim Student Association.

Clearly, students who join an MSA chapter in 2017, many for legitimate reasons, cannot be held responsible for what members of their chapter did years earlier. However, now that there is a new administration and a new Justice Department in power, it is time for a historical investigation into these two organizations to be conducted. In my mind, in addition to our conspiracy laws, a RICO investigation might be warranted. Not only do these groups have ties to Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East, they are engaging in orchestrated campaigns to deprive other students and their organizations of their first amendment rights as well as engaging in tactics of intimidation. The so-called Irvine 11, those who disrupted the Michael Oren (Israeli ambassador to US) speech at UC Irvine in 2010, were arrested and successfully prosecuted. (One of them, Taher Herzallah, is today campus coordinator for American Muslims for Palestine. He was most recently seen disrupting the confirmation hearing for the new US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.)

Universities have shown time and time again that they are unable or unwilling to deal with these groups. It is time for the law to step in at the federal level. The incidents in question have been documented for years. As a retired DEA agent, I know that a good team of conspiracy investigators can put it all together. The targets are not necessarily the students. The real targets are the organizational leaders and their alleged ties to Hamas and other terrorist organizations. These are not just people whose only sin is opposing Israel. It is the organized use of illegal tactics of intimidation and disruption that makes this prosecutable in my opinion. To be sure, it will take the will of the Justice Department to move forward. The previous administration and Justice Department did not have that will. Hopefully, this administration and this Justice Department do.


Miggie said...

Weeks after the most recent MSU outrage, it's clear that UCI will do nothing AGAIN. Just like they did in the case of MSU's sponsoring James Galloway address on campus to raise funds for HAMAS. They stonewalled complaints for months then said that they.had an investigation and did not find anybody at UCI had done anything wrong (!).

Clearly, in order to stop this tolerance to intolerance at UCI, there has to be a large scale clearing out of the leadership at UCI. The blind eye toward Muslim outrages seems to go through all of UCI. All UCI statements they have been pressured to make have conspicuously omitted the names of the responsible Muslim organizations. They have framed it as some dispute between the Muslim and Jewish students and that both sides are culpable. They are not.

Another disappointment is the absence of any public statement by the Jewish organizations. They are supposed to be the leadership in the Jewish community yet they are silent on the protection of Jewish students issue. It is particularly galling because national Muslim organizations support the MSU and the SJP directly and in tangible ways. The local Imam allows them to use the Islamic Center of Orange County premises to build thei Hate Wall every year. All the while, incidentally, claiming to be the ROP.

Instead of defining their roles as not including this issue, the Jewish organizations should re-define their roles and use their resources to lobby for change at UCI both locally and nationally.

Gary Fouse said...

You are right Miggie and I will have more to say about that. Where is Hillel? Where is the Jewish Federation and the Rose Project? Absent because they do not support SSI. They are too busy sucking up to the university.

Miggie said...

Recall that the European Jewish organizations pre-WWII held the same positions as the current local Jewish organizations. These messages were "It's not that bad."; "It will blow over."; "Let us handle this."; "We are already doing everything that can be done." How did THAT work out?

The local Jewish organizations, specifically Hillel, say, "Not my yob." They define their function so as not to deal with this issue. Then they wonder why they are not getting financial support from the community.

Just think how much different the situation at UCI would be if the Rabbis spoke out on the UCI history of sweeping the Muslim outrages under the rug.. If it ok for them to express their political views (read Trump bashing) so the congregation is " not deprived" of their views, then it is ok for them to speak out on anti-Semitism at UCI. The Jewish community has the resources and the potential ability to turn UCI around. We have Jewish benefactors, politicians, activists, attorneys, resources, and concerned parents and other citizens to make a difference. Incredibly, they continue to believe the leadership is "doing everything that can be done."

The Muslim student groups get advice from National Muslim organizations, defense attorneys when the are charged with disruption, legal "observers" at potential disruptions, facilities at the Islamic Center of Orange County when they need space to construct their Hate Wall every year. All the time they claim that they are the ROP.

In the meantime, Jewish leadership here has denied even a meeting room to volunteer activists, made it impossible to show a video on anti-Semitism at UCI, denied and disparaged all efforts to speak out on the situation a UCI. Again, how did THAT work out? Hate Week, hate speeches, shout downs and disruption of Jewish/Israel events, creeping Sharia, biased anti-Semitic professors, and a passive UCI administration continues on...unchanged.