Wednesday, December 18, 2013

To SFSU Hillel: Improving communication

We've heard often how beloved the Hillel leadership is at SFSU and how strong the community is.  While this is a true blessing for Jewish students at the school, it may not have been enough.   With the cycle of adverse publicity and rumors circulating regarding the events at SFSU, a different form of leadership was needed.


The American Psychiatric Association offers advice for those in extraordinary circumstances. Geared for trying times, it provides an effective formula for leadership on campus


Communicate Effectively with Your Community 
Worry and distress can spread within and among communities, resulting in rumors and distortion of the facts of the event. Therefore, special attention should be given to optimizing communication with members of your community and with those outside of your community. Formal and informal leaders can be role models for the importance of sharing grief, communicating hope, identifying facts, managing rumors and providing support to others as needs change over time.

Be Visible–Make Public Announcements and Appearances
By providing useful and accurate information, leaders can re-establish a sense of safety and enhance the community’s trust in leadership.

Provide Accurate, Timely Information on What Is Known, What Is Not Known, and When More Information Will Be Communicated
Press briefings, use of social media, and community meetings can reassure families and dispel rumors. Always say when more information will be available.

Words of Wisdom from GUPS supporters

Its been nearly a month since GUPS  announced their strategy, (blaming the messenger) and launched their petition.

Its truly remarkable how few of the thousand or so signators are from San Francisco State.

Lets take another look at some of the comments, and see just what kind of people defend murder and incitement to violence.

Mikos Fabersunne is well known in anti-Israel circles. He hits a new low here, blaming the Jews for antisemitism on campus.


Rabab Abdulhadi  is deeply concerned with providing a safe environment for Palestinians on campus, but apparently is perfectly ok with Israeli students and supporters being threatened, harassed and vilified.
.


And there's always room for some classic antisemitism in any anti-Israel document. Note to John Barker and Rand Carter:  If the Zionists really dominated American academia, Mohammad G. Hammad would have been out on his ass  suspended from SFSU weeks ago.




Hashem  Kardevani from Aptos plays constitutional scholar, but neglects to notice the petition seeks to curtail the freedom of speech of those who support Israel's right to exist.

Clayton Plake from Concord seems unclear on the concept. By signing this petition, does that mean he supports threats and intimidation directed towards Jews, and Israelis?



Caroline Lato from Milton, Ma presents her impassioned  plea to find the cuckoos and expose them.  I think we just did.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Mohammad G.Hammad Issues a personal Statement. Hint: Its not an apology

 Originally posted at Pro Israel Bay Bloggers

An anonymous commenter points us to Mohammad Hammad's personal  statements about the incidents at San Francisco State University, published here.  Its not an apology.

 Mohammed claims  that  posts threatening to stab and behead Israeli soldiers were part of his sardonic sense of humor, admitting that although they were "immature"  they were taken out of context.

He writes:
"An organization with a track record for hyperbole and misrepresentation has taken some of my old personal blog posts out of context."

Would that be the ADL?  Head Of Pro-Palestinian Student Group Posts Inflammatory Comments On Israel

Would that be CAMERA on Campus? President of Campus Palestinian Group Wants to Stab Israeli Soldiers

Would that be the Simon Wiesenthal center?  SWC to San Francisco State University: Take Action After Violent Posts by Palestinian Student Group Leader - Expel Student & Make Investigatory Findings Public

Would that be the AMCHA  Initiative?  President of SFSU Student Palestinian Group Puts Name and Face to IDF Soldier He Wants to Kill

The vast majority of the organizations charged with protecting the safety of the Jewish community have condemned Mohammad's words.  The vast majority of the organized Jewish community and the blogsphere also expressed their collective outrage.  What Mohammad describes as a  "smear campaign" against him, characterized by "selective quotations and other misrepresentation"   was the unified gasp of revulsion at his words by those who genuinely feared for the safety of Jewish students on campus.

To Mohammad- in what context would  this EVER be acceptable?

Anyone who thinks there can be peace with animals like this is absolutely delusional, and the only “peace” I’m interested in is the head of this fucking scum on a plate, as well as the heads of all others like her, and all others who support the IDF
 
The Liberation of Palestine can only come through the destruction and decimation of this Israeli plague and it can’t possibly come soon enough.”
You are calling for the genocide of 40% of the Jews on the planet.
Mohammad,  the entirety of your Tumblr post has been widely published.
You captioned a photo of yourself holding a knife: “I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.”  

You provided the context. The photo and the caption were simply reproduced in their entirety. In what context is incitement to murder EVER acceptable?


Read Mohammad Hammad's personal statement here  and below.  See the narcissism and  moral bankruptcy of a young man who lacks the empathy to ever move beyond his cherished identity as victim.




Friday, December 13, 2013

From the No Cal J Weekly: SFSU student allegedly threatens Israeli soldier

From the Jewish Weekly, the Bay area's  local Jewish newspaper.
The president of the General Union of Palestine Students at San Francisco State has directly threatened the life of a specific soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, according to the AMCHA Initiative.

Screen shot from Tumblr

AMCHA earlier this month reported that Mohammad G. Hammad, the president of the GUPS chapter at SFSU, had posted a picture of himself holding a large knife on his Tumblr social media site, along with the caption: “I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.”

 Thats old news already.  But now  Mohammad's target has a name

In turn, the Simon Wiesenthal Center warned SFSU officials of a potential threat to its Jewish students.

Though the Tumblr post of Aug. 10 reportedly was removed, AMCHA, a nonprofit that works to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses, this week released a statement claiming that Hammad “has put a name and a face to the soldier he would like to kill in one of his [other] Tumblr posts” for allegedly killing a Palestinian teenager in Hebron.

It went on to quote the post: “I’m sitting here looking through pictures of that f—ing scum (name removed to protect the soldier) … Anyone who thinks there can be peace with animals like this is absolutely delusional, and the only ‘peace’ I’m interested in is the head of this f—ing scum on a plate, as well as the heads of all others like her, and all others who support the IDF. The Liberation of Palestine can only come through the destruction and decimation of this Israeli plague and it can’t possibly come soon enough.”

In that post, Hammad “encouraged his followers to harass the female IDF soldier” and linked to her Facebook page, according to AMCHA, which also said it had notified SFSU President Leslie Wong and other school officials.

Read it here
Mohammad G. Hammad's latest rant was profiled in the Jewish Press, as well.
In this post, Hammad discusses the death of an Arab 17 year old in Hebron last year. The 17 year old was shot by a female Israel Defence Forces soldier after the youth attacked her and pulled a realistic-looking toy gun on her. The post includes an entirely fabricated version of the actual events, one which portrays the Arab as a deaf teenager innocently out to get some birthday cake when he was shot to death by the IDF soldier, following an “altercation.”

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/california-student-leader-wants-to-decapitate-all-who-support-the-idf/2013/12/11/

In this post, Hammad discusses the death of an Arab 17 year old in Hebron last year. The 17 year old was shot by a female Israel Defence Forces soldier after the youth attacked her and pulled a realistic-looking toy gun on her. The post includes an entirely fabricated version of the actual events, one which portrays the Arab as a deaf teenager innocently out to get some birthday cake when he was shot to death by the IDF soldier, following an “altercation.”


 Mohammad left out the part  where the 17 year old pulled a metal replica of a gun on the Israeli border patrol.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus continues with the questions we are all asking:
Can the SFSU environment be considered a safe one with a student leader – let’s say that again, a student leader! - who has already posed making threats while caressing a knife, and is now calling for the beheading of IDF soldiers and anyone who supports them? Surely any “dialogue with student groups and counseling resources” is a tack already taken, one revealed to be insufficient. Will SFSU make clear that threats against its population will not be tolerated? The SFSU administration is already on notice. Any action taken after someone is already harmed will not be defensible. We await a response from Dr. Wong. 
A new posting on Tumblr from Mohammad G. Hammad, president of San Francisco State University’s General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), has been discovered by the AMCHA Initiative. It’s even more graphic than the earlier one. In this post, Hammad discusses the death of an Arab 17 year old in Hebron last year. The 17 year old was shot by a female Israel Defence Forces soldier after the youth attacked her and pulled a realistic-looking toy gun on her. The post includes an entirely fabricated version of the actual events, one which portrays the Arab as a deaf teenager innocently out to get some birthday cake when he was shot to death by the IDF soldier, following an “altercation.”

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/california-student-leader-wants-to-decapitate-all-who-support-the-idf/2013/12/11/
A new posting on Tumblr from Mohammad G. Hammad, president of San Francisco State University’s General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), has been discovered by the AMCHA Initiative. It’s even more graphic than the earlier one. In this post, Hammad discusses the death of an Arab 17 year old in Hebron last year. The 17 year old was shot by a female Israel Defence Forces soldier after the youth attacked her and pulled a realistic-looking toy gun on her. The post includes an entirely fabricated version of the actual events, one which portrays the Arab as a deaf teenager innocently out to get some birthday cake when he was shot to death by the IDF soldier, following an “altercation.”

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/california-student-leader-wants-to-decapitate-all-who-support-the-idf/2013/12/11/

Thursday, December 12, 2013

San Francisco State University

Originally posted by Mike  at Israel Thrives

I arrived back at my old alma mater, San Francisco State University, yesterday, and met with a number of individuals on that campus to discuss the recent hub-bub over the Great Killing of "Colonizers" Scandal of 2013.

As I walked onto campus I had a number of questions.  The first was whether or not people were satisfied with president Wong's response to the November 7 Edward Said mural event in which students from the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), and other groups, held up signs that read "My heroes have always killed colonizers." 
It should be obvious to any fair-minded person that when a Palestinian-Arab student holds up a sign calling for the killing of "colonizers" who they mean are the Jews of the Middle East.  But even if that can somehow be construed as not the case, is it not obvious that American universities should not be in the business of financing advocacy for the murder of any people or group or nationality?

Islamic peoples, of course, are among the most significant colonizers in recorded history and they colonized and exploited the Jewish land of Israel, the land of my people, for thirteen hundred years between the time of Muhammad until the fall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

For thirteen hundred years the Jews of Israel were a colonized people by Arab invaders and by the Ottoman Turks.
My second question was concerned with the potential for ethnic tensions on that campus.  There was, after all, a time at SFSU, not so long ago, where a student might get chased out of the quad for wearing a kippa or a Star of David.  
The final question was, what of GUPS president Mohammed Hammad who directly threatened violence?  In the case of Mr. Hammad we have a student leader who explicitly called for the murder of Jews.
 
Read his answers over at Israel Thrives .
 
Spoiler alert: 
 "...rumor has it that Mr. Hammad, president of the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) has been forcibly retired from his position... and from the university, as well."
 
Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

SFSU GUPS "We don't have a position on Jews"

I'm sure the Jews of San Francisco State University are overjoyed that they aren't being targeted for their religion, but for their political beliefs.

The Golden Gate XPress, the school newspaper of SFSU has finally written about the controversy that has riveted people outside of campus.

Over a month ago, signs appeared on campus expressing the sentiment "My heroes have always killed colonizers".  Coupled with violent and threatening Tumblr posts from Mohammad Hammad, the president of the General Union of Palestinian students, local and national non-profits expressed concern about the climate on campus for the SFSU Jewish community.

Apparently there was no need to worry.   According to Francisco González of GUPS, "We don't have a position on Jews".   Thanks for clarifying that, Francisco.


From the Golden Gate Xpress:

SF State President Leslie E. Wong sent out a mass email to the campus community Monday, addressing a balance between expression and safety.

Wong wrote the letter in response to two recent events involving students that have garnered harsh scrutiny, and become the subject of debate. Wong referred to two events, one organized by the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) and one posted on a GUPS member’s personal blog. Both have been challenged by the AMCHA Initiative, a watchdog organization for anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activities at universities.

“Strong opinions — and strong disagreements — are essential to the life of our democracy, and the life of our university,” Wong said. “While one may want to step in and sanction a student or colleague for speech we find repugnant, our obligation is to allow the lawful airing of views.”
The first incident happened at the Edward Said mural celebration, which GUPS organized with other campus organizations, where tables were set up for art projects. At one of the tables there was a stencil that read, “My heroes have always killed colonizers,” which the AMCHA Initiative considered anti-Semitic.

The quote, originally referred to a specific rhetoric of Native American resistance and at the rally was held by members of Student Kouncil of Intertribal Nations (SKINS), el Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (MEChA) and GUPS.

GUPS posted a picture of a member, holding the sign at the celebration, on their group website and it has since received harsh scrutiny from outside sources, including the AMCHA Inititive.
“In the context of the day’s events honoring the Palestinian Mural’s subject Edward Said, who notoriously accused Israeli Jews of being ‘colonizers,’ the stencil clearly refers to the killing of Jews,” said Tammi Benjamin, co-founder and director of the AMCHA Initiative. “Language and images that glorify and honor the murder of Jews are anti-Semitic.”

The second, online incident is the AMCHA Initiative’s exposure of GUPS President Mohammed Hammad, who posted a picture of himself on his personal blog holding a knife and wrote “I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.”

Although the picture was posted in August, it too received harsh criticism and has since been removed. This most recent incident prompted the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which runs the Museum of Tolerance, to warn President Wong of a “potential threat” to Jewish students.
 
San Francisco State University insists that the both veiled and overt threats constitute protected free speech. 

Read the article in its entirety here.

And to Francisco,  who claimed  “We don’t have a position on Jews. We have a problem with Zionists,”  take a moment to read  just why anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Start here:

No Excuses, Progressive Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism 

  

Anti-Zionism is Racism (An essay by Judea Pearl)



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

SFSU Responds to Arab Calls for Violence Against Jews

Mike L, a graduate of SFSU has written the following in the blog, Israeli Thrives, in response to Pres. Les Wong's statement  regarding recent incidents at San Francisco State University. {Cross-posted at Jews Down Under and the Times of Israel.}

 SFSU Responds to Arab Calls for Violence Against Jews

San Francisco State University (SFSU) president, Les Wong, has responded for the second time to criticisms that calling for the murder of Jews is perhaps something less than educative.  And for the second time he refuses to address the central issue, which is a call to violence against Jews by the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS).

Professor Wong, who earned a PhD in educational psychology from Washington State University, makes three significant points.  The first is that calling for the murder of Jews is essentially a matter of free speech.  That is his first and foremost point.  It is not that calling for the murder of Jews might be in contradiction to university policy, the law, or just common human decency, but that calling for the murder of Jews is a matter of free speech.

He writes:
First and foremost, I ask that you stay firmly committed to free speech.  Strong opinions—and strong disagreements—are essential to the life of our democracy, and the life of our university. 
Thus, in the mind of the president of San Francisco State University, whether or not to kill Jews is a matter for discussion and debate.  It cannot be condemned outright because that would ruin the discussion on this important matter.  SFSU cannot expel Mohammad Hammad, the president of GUPS, who held up a knife before the camera and said:
“I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier….” 
Nor can the university cease funding GUPS, and thus eliminate the call for the murder of Jews on the campus of SF State, because that would violate student rights to a free and open discussion on the issues of the day.  In other words, it seems to Professor Wong that the question of genocide against the Jewish people is a matter open to discussion and as the president of an important institution of higher education, dedicated to social justice and human rights, he does not want to interfere with that discussion.

He is, nonetheless, considering, maybe, doing something:
Second, trust that I will step in when speech or actions cross the line into violations of law or University policy. I am absolutely committed to maintaining a safe environment. In both recent cases, for example, we have conducted thorough threat assessments with law enforcement, increased campus safety measures, facilitated dialogue with student groups, offered counseling resources and initiated the student conduct review process. I am confident these actions protect both the safety and the rights of our campus community.  In all situations, I ask that you give our processes the time needed to be thorough, objective and effective.  Understand as well that these processes must protect the rights and privacy of those who may be the subject of counseling, review or sanction.... 
Finally, Professor Wong says this:
Third, keep an open mind.  I have spoken before about the obligation to own your own mind. Issues being debated on campus can capture widespread attention.  This can be a welcome contribution to the dialogue. It can also be a source of confusion, misinformation, and pressure to subvert our processes.  Each of us at this university is a scholar—whether student, faculty member or staff—and each of us has the obligation to form opinions and take action based on exploring, analyzing and carefully listening before drawing conclusions.
Read it all here

Monday, December 9, 2013

SFSU Pres: Respectful Disagreement: A Message to our Campus Community

 A new message from San Francisco State University President Les Wong

Respectful Disagreement: A Message to our Campus Community


Dear students, faculty, staff:
Universities, especially public universities, play an essential role in fostering debate. We treasure this role at our campus, where social justice is a strategic priority and our commitment to free speech runs deep.  We work hard to achieve a balance where both expression and safety are fostered.
Two recent statements by students—one made on campus last month, and one posted online in August, which recently came to light—have challenged this balance.  I am confident that our community can address this challenge-- but it will require help and commitment from each of you.
First and foremost, I ask that you stay firmly committed to free speech.  Strong opinions—and strong disagreements—are essential to the life of our democracy, and the life of our university. While one may want to step in and sanction a student or colleague for speech we find repugnant, our obligation is to allow the lawful airing of views.
Second, trust that I will step in when speech or actions cross the line into violations of law or University policy. I am absolutely committed to maintaining a safe environment. In both recent cases, for example, we have conducted thorough threat assessments with law enforcement, increased campus safety measures, facilitated dialogue with student groups, offered counseling resources and initiated the student conduct review process. I am confident these actions protect both the safety and the rights of our campus community.  In all situations, I ask that you give our processes the time needed to be thorough, objective and effective.  Understand as well that these processes must protect the rights and privacy of those who may be the subject of counseling, review or sanction. 
Third, keep an open mind.  I have spoken before about the obligation to own your own mind. Issues being debated on campus can capture widespread attention.  This can be a welcome contribution to the dialogue. It can also be a source of confusion, misinformation, and pressure to subvert our processes.  Each of us at this university is a scholar—whether student, faculty member or staff—and each of us has the obligation to form opinions and take action based on exploring, analyzing and carefully listening before drawing conclusions.
I thank you in advance for helping to promote dialogue and safety on our campus.  Together we can forge a path to peace and greater understanding.  The university is committed to fostering these aims and provides resources to assist you.  These include:
University Police Department   http://www.sfsu.edu/~upd/
Counseling and Psychological Services   http://psyservs.sfsu.edu/
Student Involvement & Career Center   http://www.sfsu.edu/~sicc/
Office of Student Conduct   http://conduct.sfsu.edu/
Sincerely yours,
Les Wong
President

What does this mean? Most feel GUPS will face no real consequences for its incitement and hate speech.  GUPS president Mohammad Hammad's "free speech" involved a direct threat- and perhaps is whose  privacy  is being referred to, "in respect to those who may be the subject of counseling, review or sanction.".

We are being asked to respect the system, and to respect the process.
Can we do this?  Should we do this?   
Only if we know it protects the rights and guarantees the safety of all student at SFSU.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Israel Thrives: "Canned Palestinian Children Meat"

From a former student at San Francisco State University. Originally published at the Israel Thrives Blog, this article chronicles a school marred by reports of "academic discourse" belying a dark core of antisemitism.  Clearly things have not changed too dramatically.

"Canned Palestinian Children Meat"
I arrived at San Francisco State University in the fall of 1996.

It is getting to be a rather long time, now, but in those days the school just bubbled with politics in a way that I thought was exceedingly positive.  The Caesar Chavez Student Center was always abuzz with students yammering at one another concerning issues of social justice and Malcolm X Plaza would often find students behind tables handing out flyers and discussing significant issues of the day.

Although I have not been on campus for awhile, I assume it is probably much the same today.

I will never forget the afternoon in which I was strolling across campus on a beautiful day, heading to a class, when I found myself confronted by a poster put up by a student organization and a bunch of those students milling around and yelling.  It showed a hand-painted American flag, but instead of fifty little five-pointed stars in the upper-left corner, it had fifty little Stars of David.

{Oh, joy.}

It was surreal to stand there looking at impassioned students "of color" screeching to the heavens that Zionists (i.e., "the Jews") are evil and are committing atrocities in "Palestine."  It was like some alternative universe from the Twilight Zone in which Nazis were replaced by urban students of Middle Eastern and African descent screeching to the heavens for Jewish blood and doing so for reasons of social justice and human rights.

It has to be understood that the Nazis were also idealists and that it is no coincidence that among Hitler's greatest fans were German college students who believed in their souls in the rightness of the cause.  When students of Arab descent go onto American campuses, today, and rally against the Jews of the Middle East they are continuing a tradition of blood libel and hate they goes not only to the history of Nazi Germany, but to Muhammad, himself, in the 7th century.

Apparently, however, I am not the only one who felt that way.  Shortly after I departed SFSU, Laurie Zoloth, Professor of Ethics and Director of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State at the time, had a similar experience.  As noted in a New York Post article by John Podhoretz, dated May 14, 2002:
"I cannot fully express what it feels like to have to walk across campus daily, past posters of cans of soup with labels on them of drops of blood and dead babies, labeled ‘canned Palestinian children meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites.’ "

Canned Palestinian Children Meat, Slaughtered According to Jewish Rites Under American License.

If what I saw at SFSU was bad, what Professor Zoloth saw was considerably worse.

As Podhoretz writes:
In an account confirmed by other witnesses, Laurie Zoloth described the disgusting denouement following a “Peace in the Middle East” rally sponsored by the SFSU Hillel. 
A group of students, numbering around 50, had remained to chant afternoon prayers. At that moment, “Counter demonstrators poured into the plaza, screaming at the Jews to ‘Get out or we will kill you’ and ‘Hitler did not finish the job.’ I turned to the police and to every administrator I could find and asked them to remove the counter demonstrators from the plaza, to maintain the separation of 100 feet that we had been promised. The police told me that they had been told not to arrest anyone . . .    
“The police could do nothing more than surround the Jewish students and community members who were now trapped in a corner of the plaza, grouped under the flags of Israel, while an angry, out of control mob, literally chanting for our deaths, surrounded us. . . .  There was no safe way out of the Plaza. We had to be marched back to the Hillel House under armed S.F. police guard, and we had to have a police guard remain outside Hillel.”
The only real question at this moment, however, is what SFSU president Wong intends to do about the fact that the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) incited to violence against the Jewish people?
 
Read it all here

Empowering Jewish students on campus by empowering Hillel


Some strategies for when hate filled events come to your campus, from the New York Jewish Week as written by Eric Fingerhut, Hillel’s President and CEO and Jonathan Kessler , AIPAC’s Leadership Development Director.

The Jewish community is rightly concerned with a campus environment that is too often hostile to Israel. Public demonstrations, inflammatory language and personal attacks by anti-Israel organizations seek to exploit the spirit of open debate and public action central to American academic life.

Rather than reflexively respond to the animosity of others, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)—America’s pro-Israel lobby—and Hillel— the center of Jewish life on over 550 campuses worldwide—are working together to strategically and proactively empower, train and prepare American Jewish students to be effective pro-Israel activists on and beyond the campus.  

We are leveraging the reach and resources of our respective organizations and partnering with the many other important pro-Israel organizations that gather together as the Israel on Campus Coalition. As we work together, we develop better and more effective strategies for minimizing the impact of anti-Israel activities on campus.  We build on this growing base of knowledge and experience every day.
 Fingerhut and Kessler discuss Stanford University's successful response to anti-Israel organizing on campus,concluding

The result? Students emerged more confident in their skills, beliefs and the community around them, to stand in support of Israel. During a challenging time, the Jewish campus community continued to thrive.

The success at Stanford, and on campuses that have experienced similar activity, is a lesson in the best way to confront those seeking to exploit the campus for their anti-Israel agenda. We will continue to provide affirmative ways for Jewish students and the rest of the university community to learn and to articulate the case for Israel.  This is essential year-round, not just when anti-Israel forces are mobilized on campus.  This effort requires that our organizations, AIPAC and Hillel, remain close, strategic partners. 

We are proud that the organizations we help lead work every day to support Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. AIPAC and Hillel both raise their voices for Israel, and both work to engage students on campus to love Israel and to strengthen the ties between Israel and their college environments.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Zionist organization of America (ZOA) adds their voice

From the Zionist Organization of America, an open letter regarding the recent events at San Francisco State University

Dear President Wong,
We write on behalf of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest and one of the largest pro-Israel organizations in the U.S., whose mission includes fighting anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias and bigotry on college campuses.  The ZOA played a key role in ensuring that Jewish students at publicly-funded schools would be protected from anti-Semitic harassment and intimidation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.  Publicly-funded schools that fail to take the necessary steps to remedy a hostile campus environment for Jewish students in violation of Title VI now risk losing their federal funding.

We were outraged to learn that on November 7, 2013, San Francisco State University’s General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) was involved in a campus event at which students were encouraged to create their own placards with a pre-made stencil that read, “MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS KILLED COLONIZERS.”  When a Palestinian Arab group makes a statement like this, the message is crystal clear:  The group is urging, promoting and glorifying the murder of Jews, which includes students on your campus.  This cannot help but cause Jewish students at San Francisco State to feel threatened and intimidated, and even fear for their lives.

You issued a statement which said that “there is no place at SF State for celebrating violence or promoting intolerance, bigotry, anti-Semitism or any other form of hate-mongering.”  While a step in the right direction, the statement was hardly strong enough.  You need to publicly name the students and student groups who are promoting and glorifying violence on the campus, and publicly condemn their conduct. They should be embarrassed and get the clear message that WE MEAN YOU.

There is no question that the term “colonizers” in the stencil was a reference to the Jewish people in Israel.  Indeed, Mohammad Hammad, the president of GUPS, made that clear when he wrote on his Web page:  “You know what? / Israelis ARE colonizers, there is literally no way around it / And you know what else? / My heroes HAVE always killed colonizers / I literally see nothing wrong with this and my only regret is that not all colonizers were killed / HMM.”

Mohammad Hammad and his group are promoting a second Holocaust, against all the Jews in Israel and maybe even elsewhere.  The fact that he is making this threat here in the U.S. is intimidating to Jews in the U.S. and on your campus. Just days ago, we learned about a shocking post on Mohammad Hammad’s Tumblr page.  Hammad posted a photo of himself holding a knife with its sharp blade in the air.  The photo caption read:  “I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade.  It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.”
Hammad openly expressed his desire to stab an Israeli soldier.  That is a terrorist threat.  It is a direct threat to Jews and Israelis, including the Jews and Israelis on your campus.

Threatening an Israeli soldier is particularly heinous, because an Israeli soldier is not like a soldier in any other country.   Military service in Israel is compulsory for both men and women.   Even after they complete their service, soldiers must continue serving in the reserves into their early 50’s.  This is because Israel faces more threats than any other country on earth.  Israeli soldiers must be ready and able to protect this small country from the constant risk of war, terrorism, and threats to its very existence.
We must take every threat to an Israeli soldier seriously, because that soldier is risking his/her life at every moment, even in the most innocuous circumstances.  Just last month, a 19-year-old Israeli soldier named Eden Attias was repeatedly stabbed to death by a 16-year-old Palestinian Arab terrorist on a bus in Israel.  According to media reports, this Arab terrorist did not know Eden Attias, nor had Eden Attias done him any harm.  The Arab terrorist viciously murdered Eden Attias, who was seated and sleeping beside him on the bus, simply because Eden Attias was Israeli and wearing the uniform of the Israel Defense Forces.

There are Jews and Israelis on your campus; for their safety and protection, you must take strong and immediate action, required not only by Title VI, but also by San Francisco State’s own rules and policies, which prohibit “conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person within or related to the University community, including physical abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct.”  We urge you to take the following steps:
1. We think this terrorist threat may be illegal.  We urge you to immediately report it to legal authorities.
2. You should immediately expel Mohammad Hammad from San Francisco State University.  If murderous threats were made to Arabs, or African Americans, or Hispanics, or gays, they would not be tolerated for one second.  Murderous threats against Jews should be treated no differently.  This student does not belong on your campus; he has shown that he is a danger to others.
3. You and other San Francisco State University leaders should hold a press conference at which all these recent horrific actions on the campus are more strongly condemned.  We are not simply talking about students “celebrating violence” or “promoting intolerance,” as your recent statement said.  A student is making murderous terrorist threats against Jews.  That conduct, and the perpetrator, should be publicly condemned.
4. To make sure that the university community understands that there will be a zero tolerance policy for such threats, you should publish an article in the university newspaper specifically condemning the conduct.  Everyone in your university community should have no doubt that when threats of violence against Jews or Israelis are made, they will not be tolerated and that the university will take the strongest possible measures.
We look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,
Morton Klein
National President of ZOA
Susan Tuchman
Director of ZOA Law and Justice Center
Sam Levine
Executive Director of ZOA Western Region

Chronology of recent hate speech at San Francisco State University

The AMCHA intiative was one of the first organizations to publicize the events at San Francisco State University, in keeping with their mission to investigate, document, educate about, and combat antisemitic behavior on campus and the institutional structures that legitimize it and allow it to flourish.
They have also published a helpful chronology of recent hate speech at SFSU.

December 3, 2013: Palestinian SFSU student’s photo condemned as ‘potential threat’

After discovering a potentially threatening photo on the social media Web site Tumblr posted by the president of a Palestinian student group at San Francisco State University (SFSU), the Simon Wiesenthal Center warned the university on Dec. 2 about “a potential threat to its Jewish students.”(Read more).

December 3, 2013: Did SFSU Student Post Selfie with Knife: ‘I Want to Stab an Israeli Soldier’
It appears the president of a university-funded student group at San Francisco State boasted how much he loved his knife and that it made him want to stab an Israeli soldier.(Read more).

December 2, 2013: Photo of Knief-Wielding SFSU Student Prompts Warning on ‘Potential Threat to Jewish Students’
A Jewish human rights organization sent a warning Monday to officials at San Francisco State University advising them of an alleged potential threat to its Jewish students.(Read more).

November 26, 2013: As Legislators Congratulate SF State University President for Standing up to Anti-Semitism, Student Group Hate Speech Exposed
As nine California legislators on Tuesday congratulated San Francisco State University President Dr. Leslie Wong for standing up to anti-Semitism on campus last week, online activity of the student group in question showed even more blatant displays of Jew hate.(Read more).

November 22, 2013: Anti-Semitic writing alleged at S.F. State event
Uproar over what some are calling an anti-Semitic stencil that showed up at a Nov. 7 San Francisco State University campus event has prompted the school’s president to issue a stern statement against advocating violence and hate. (Read more).

November 21, 2013: Outcry over anti-Semitism at mural event at S.F. State
The S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council and other Jewish groups are “outraged” over an event last week at San Francisco State University, during which some participants made and held signs that critics say glorified the killing of Jews. (Read more).

From the ISM: Another Red Herring.

Berkeley’s Middle East Children’s Alliance was a co-sponsor of the now notorious mural event at SFSU. Their  Program Manager for Cross-Cultural Programs, Ziad Abbas was the keynote speaker at the event.   MECA has not made a public statement in support of the controversial  messaging, nor have they publicly disavowed it. Perhaps they know better than to return to the scene of the crime.

There has been overall silence from the normally hyper- driven  anti-Israel machine regarding this event. Even rats know to flee a sinking ship.

Enter the ISM, who has no issue with promoting lawlessness.

They have printed  a letter from an anonymous group "Justice for AMED" , claiming to represent  "women of color, Indigenous, anti-racist and queer feminists", who  "refuse to remain silent while our movements and communities are slandered. For, as our rich histories of struggle teach us, an attack upon one of us is an attack upon us all".  They claim the message “My heroes have always killed colonizers’ is

“...part of a broader narrative aimed at countering the depiction of the “Indigenous warrior who has been labeled a terrorist, unpatriotic, and/or savage while defending the land, the people, and our traditional ways....”

They add

Both stencils raised awareness of indigenous and anti-colonial struggles and resistance. However, they were both taken out of context and distorted as a pretext in Benjamin’s larger crusade to shut down Palestinian programming, students and professors across the state of California.


In what context is the promotion of murder ever acceptable?
 
"Justice for AMED" claims

Taking the statements and icons of struggle and resistance out of context, Benjamin hoisted charges of anti-Semitism that were inappropriate, offensive and false, enabled only through a larger cultural climate of Islamophobia and a general lack of knowledge about Palestinian struggles for dignity and justice.

Translate that as "NO!!!! We are the victims!"

Justice for AMED and the ISM have yet to comment just how  the GUPS president's statement,  “I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.” reflects the Palestinian struggle for dignity.

 seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.”

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/did-sfsu-student-post-selfie-with-knife-i-want-to-stab-an-israeli-soldier/2013/12/03/
“I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.”

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/did-sfsu-student-post-selfie-with-knife-i-want-to-stab-an-israeli-soldier/2013/12/03/

Friday, December 6, 2013

Petition in Support of Jewish Students at SF State

San Francisco State University Hillel has been quiet throughout this controversy.   Nearly a month to the date of the incident at Caesar Chavez plaza, they have released a public statement, calling for community members to sign a petition in support of Jewish students at the school.

From San Francisco State Hillel:

We are deeply troubled by the recent events that have taken place at San Francisco State University, in which individual students have openly glorified violence, including in this latest incident directed against Israeli soldiers. These expressions of violence are unacceptable and have no place in an academic environment. This has already led to an increased sense of fear and intimidation among some students, even while we continue to engage in dynamic and visible Jewish programming on campus. SF State has, in recent years truly become a welcoming environment for Jewish students and we are committed to maintaining that openness.

We appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes by President Leslie Wong's office, the Dean of Students, local law enforcement and security personnel, campus group leaders, and students to ensure that SFSU continues to be a safe place for all students, irrespective of religion, nationality, ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation or political affiliation, and demand that the work not stop until all students feel safe on campus.


Please sign their petition here 


To San Francisco State Hillel:

The community appreciates that you have been working behind the scenes.  Nonetheless, as the primary representative of the Jewish community at SFSU, you ought to have been the conduit for information, for planning, and for coordinating a community-wide response.   There has been only silence for nearly a month.

Indeed, "individual students have openly glorified violence", but when these "individual students" are the presidents of student organizations at a tax-payer financed institution, it is an indication of a much deeper problem.

Parents with children at SFSU, and the overall Jewish community look to Hillel for proactive leadership in university matters such as these.  Please make an effort to communicate more effectively with your constituency.  Thank you for your continued efforts, and remember than we are all partners in insuring a safe and successful college experience for our students.



Why has the SFSU school news paper neglected to cover the GUPS controversy?

The story of hate speech at the GUPS Mural commemoration and the subsequent exposure of the organizations' president fantasizing about the murder of Israeli soldiers has made the rounds.

Its been covered by the Jewish Press.  Did SFSU Student Post Selfie with Knife: ‘I Want to Stab an Israeli Soldier’
Its been covered by the San Francisco Examiner. Anti-Semitic writing alleged at S.F. State event
Its been covered by the Jewish Journal  Palestinian SFSU student’s photo condemned as ‘potential threat’
Its been covered by the Times of Israel  “Canned Palestinian Children Meat”
Its been covered by a diverse range of bloggers as well, from the formidable Elder of Ziyon  to SFSU grad Mike at Israel Thrives, from  Israellycool to Adina Kutnick

There is one voice that's been conspicuously  absent, however.  The Golden Gate XPress, the school paper of SFSU has been "serving the San Francisco State community since 1927". Not very well, apparently. Aside from a puff piece on the mural written and updated in early November, there is no word about this controversy thats been covered across the globe.

Who or what is stopping the Golden Gate Xpress from covering this?  Who better than the Golden Gate Xpress to cover this?  Surely this is as compelling a story as "Rain Showers hit SF State"?

Golden Gate Xpress has tweeted about it, yet nothing appears in the online edition of the paper.  

Was the decision to sweep this under the rug made by the editorial staff of the paper, or was it a directive from higher up above?  We may never know.

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Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/did-sfsu-student-post-selfie-with-knife-i-want-to-stab-an-israeli-soldier/2013/12/03/
Sponsored Post The Meir Panim Free Restaurant in Tiberias is celebrating its 12th year of offering free meals to the city’s residents. Charity on the Kinneret: Tiberias Soup Kitchen Serves Hot Food Seasoned with Kindness Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well. Click Here! Click Here! Click Here! Click Here! Click Here! Click Here! Click Here! Click Here! Home » News & Views » Israel »

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/did-sfsu-student-post-selfie-with-knife-i-want-to-stab-an-israeli-soldier/2013/12/03/

Thursday, December 5, 2013

An open letter to Pres. Wong of San Francisco State University from the AMCHA Initiative

An open letter to Pres. Wong of San Francisco State University, by Tammi Benjamin of the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America.


 


Dear President Wong,


As you know, a posting from the Tumbler account of GUPS president Mohammad G. Hammad has recently been widely circulated.  The posting includes a photograph showing Mr. Hammad holding a large knife and a caption reading "I seriously cannot get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier."  This is a horrifying image, all the more so because Mr. Hammad is the leader of a university-sanctioned and funded student organization that recently hosted an on-campus event glorifying the murder of Jews.

Following articles about Mr. Hammad's posting in several Jewish media outlets such as the Jewish Journal and the Jewish Press, members of the Jewish community throughout the state and across the country are understandably outraged at such behavior, and deeply concerned for the safety of Jewish students at SFSU.

In light of Mr. Hamad's post threatening violence against Jews and his organization's sponsorship of an event that included the glorification of the killing of Jews, we and many members of the Jewish community want to know what your action plan entails -- what concrete steps you have already taken, and what steps you intend to take in the immediate future -- to keep Jewish students safe from antisemitic harassment and attack on your campus.

We believe that if a registered student group or its leader threatened violence against any other student ethnic group, the university would take prompt and concrete actions.  We expect nothing less for Jewish students.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
 
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Co-founder, AMCHA Initiative
 
 

Mohammad Hammad of SFSU: Anger Management Issues?

Mohammad Hammad, President of the General Union of Palestinian Students at San Francisco State may very well have anger management issues. When the story of GUPS incitement first broke, he exalted in the attention.  The fact that  Jewish community members felt threatened by the actions on campus only served to vindicate his feelings. "We have them on edge", he triumphantly wrote.

The following are screen shots to a now password protected Tumblr account associated with Mohammad Hammad.

Mohammad Hammad Tumblr

Mohammad Hammad declares  "This is my Thing. I'm ready to destroy". 


Mohammad Hammad Tumblr


And here's where Mohammad introduces his plan- not a heart felt apology for embarrassing his school and his cause, but a counter-campaign. Kill the messenger, so to speak


Mohammad Hammad Tumblr

From the ADL Blog


Hammad’s posts on his pub­lic Face­book and Twit­ter pages reveal a stu­dent with a record of express­ing desire for vio­lence against Israel and its sup­port­ers. In Decem­ber 2012, for exam­ple, Ham­mad responded to a tweet by a pro-Israel user about an Israeli sol­dier that had killed a Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist in the West Bank with the fol­low­ing remark: “You are a sick­en­ing sup­porter of ter­ror­ism, I only wish it were you on the other end of this monster’s barrel.”

In a recent tweet, he also described a hash­tag that was being used to poke fun at Hamas as being “enough to turn any­one into a mil­i­tant with your peo­ple as the targets.”

In the past year, Ham­mad, an Inter­na­tional Rela­tions major at the uni­ver­sity, has also retweeted sev­eral tweets by OpIs­rael, an inter­na­tional hack­ing group that tar­gets Israeli and pro-Israel Web sites. In Novem­ber 2012, he wrote a tweet about the hack­ing group Anonymous’s appar­ently suc­cess­ful hack­ing of an Israeli Web site with the hash­tag “#win.”

StandWithUs Statement on the Anti-Israel Incidents at San Francisco State University

 From StandWithUs, who join with the community in hoping that SFSU Pres. Wong will go beyond mere words in insuring a safe campus for all students.

We are appalled by recent threatening anti-Israel incidents at San Francisco State University (SFSU). 

On November 14 the school's General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) co-sponsored an event that included an art project glorifying Palestinian terrorists and “killers” of “colonizers.” In the context of the event, “colonizers” seemed to refer to Israeli Jews and possibly Israel's supporters. Worse, in early December, the president of GUPS posted a picture of himself on his social media Tumblr account. In the photo he was holding a sharp knife with the caption, “I seriously cannot get over how much I love this blade.... [J]ust holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.”

GUPS is an approved student club that receives funding from SFSU.

We commend SFSU President Leslie Wong for unequivocally condemning the November 14 event, and we hope that he will begin proactive steps to ensure that such hatred and incitement to violence are outside the boundaries of acceptable behavior at SFSU and that he will disqualify groups who indulge in this behavior from being university-approved student clubs.

Unfortunately, these incidents expose the extremism, irrationality, and menace that often underlie anti-Israel activities on our campuses. Pro-Israel students feel targeted and threatened. This is unacceptable, just as it would be if blacks, Hispanics, gays, or other minorities were targeted and bullied.

We hope that President Wong sets an example for other universities so that the safety of pro-Israel students is ensured and so that contentious topics can be reasonably discussed without degrading into hatemongering, incitement, or violent rhetoric and threats.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mohammad Hammad of SFSU: Still Life with Knife

Mohammad Hammad, the president of GUPS studies International Relations at San Francisco State University. In what might very well be the most disturbing image we've seen since this story broke, Mohammad has posed with a knife on his Tumblr account, and has written

“I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier….” 

The Tumblr post has since been removed, but it lives on through the wonders of the web.

Mohammad Hammad of SFSU
This very real threat was exposed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Dec.2

Copies of the picture were forwarded to SFSU President Leslie Wong by Amcha and the Wiesenthal Center, and in a phone conversation earlier today with Wong’s office, Center officials warned that such avowedly violent statements, especially when linked with another recent GUPS campus event where participants used a stencil saying, “My heroes have always killed colonizers,” pose a potentially significant threat to the university’s Jewish students.
“It is outrageous and unacceptable that the leader of a University-funded group would invoke a message of death and violence,” said a Wiesenthal Center official.
 From Jared Sichel in the LA Jewish journal:
When contacted on Dec. 2, a member of GUPS said that the group would release a statement on Dec. 3. But by Dec. 3, the phone number appeared to have been disconnected. An email sent to GUPS by the Journal did not receive a response.

 According to Mohammad Hammad’s Facebook page , the 21-year-old was born in Ramallah in the West Bank and is studying international relations at SFSU. The Journal was not able to reach him for comment.

 On Dec. 3, Ellen Griffin, SFSU’s associate vice president of communications, wrote in an email to the Journal that the university had investigated the incident and confirmed that Hammad was the person in the photograph.

According to a statement by Lee Wong, president of SFSU, the university’s police “conducted a threat assessment” and determined that SFSU’s students are safe.

 “We will continue to explore all aspects of the incident and take additional actions that may be warranted,” Wong’s statement read.
 Incidentally on his LinkedIn profile, Mohammad writes:

I am an International Relations student minoring in Political Science and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. I plan on getting into the global political field of work and do what I can to better the ongoing situation in Palestine.

I suppose stabbing Israeli soldiers just isn't going to sound as promising on a resume.

GUPS issues a petition instead of an apology

In response to documentation of their threats, intimidation and glorification of violence, the General Union of Palestinian Students  shrilly claimed victim hood in this petition to SFSU President Wong.  
They have conveniently neglected the actual facts of the incident, instead extolling their "integrity" and their "principled position".  With a moral inversion that would shame Orwell, those that have threatened now  "fear for their own safety"

As of Dec.4, there are only 2 organizations endorsing this petition.

President Leslie Wong: Condemn baseless attack against GUPS and AMED

 Dear President Wong,
We are writing in response to the email sent to you and others by Tammi Benjamin, AMCHA initiative. We are appalled at this blatant attack against the integrity and principled position that GUPS AMED has maintained throughout their history. We are horrified by the baseless attack and allegations of anti-Semitism that have been leveled against GUPS, AMED, and the Cesar Chavez Student Center, the organizers of the 6th annual anniversary of the Palestinian Cultural Mural honoring the late Professor Edward Said.
We are proud to continue the rich legacy of justice-centered student activism at SFSU. GUPS has historically stood for justice in/for Palestine and has linked our struggle with that of all people’s struggles for self-determination, justice and peace.
We are concerned over our own safety and the safety of our friends, allies, and all those standing in solidarity with our movement, especially when their photos and names have been posted online as if to make them a moving target for violence.
This belligerent smear campaign meant to slander the Palestinian movement on campus has directly created a hostile environment that makes it impossible for us to express our views and exercise our academic freedom.
We call upon you, President Wong, to:

  • Condemn this smear campaign
  • Uphold our academic freedom as a core value of SFSU
  • Ensure our safety and the safety of all

List of Endorsers and Signatories:
Student Kouncil of InterTribal Nations (SKINS)
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan (MEChA de San Pancho)

There may be a bit of "petition padding" going on as well.  Kinneret Israel has signed twice, as both a Berkeley and as a San Francisco resident.  There may be other incidents of duplicate signatures, or fake names. it hardly matters, since the very foundation of the petition is crumbling beneath the weight of its own lies.


GUPS President Mohammad Hammad Flails Wildly

On Nov. 21, Mohammad Hammad, the president of the General Union of Palestinian Students of San Francisco University revealed the GUPS plan for striking back.  Their secret weapon appears to be an on-line petition.

They will "attack the messenger", in an attempt to reflect attention from themselves. Tammi Benjamin of the AMCHA initiative is their intended scapegoat.  Mohammad referred to Tammi Benjamin, a courageous human rights activist, as a "bigoted piece of filth".
He writes:

Okay
So
As some of you may know, my group and I have been dealing with a lot of shit at school lately, and I keep saying that I’ll provide you all with an update, so HERE it finally is.
On November 7th, The General Union of Palestine Students [GUPS] hosted an event on campus meant to commemorate the inauguration of the first Palestinian mural in the US, which was done at San Francisco State University 6 years ago. The event was broken up into two parts: a morning rally meant to garner some interest, and the actual mural event later on in the evening.

During the morning event, hosted by GUPS, several friendly groups came out to table in support. One of these groups, the Student Kouncil of Intertribal Nations [SKINS], had a table set up dedicated to stenciling various slogans and images on backpacks, binders, folders, or whatever else anyone may have been interested in. Among these stencils was one that read “my heroes have always killed colonizers”, a slogan created by an indigenous artist.
A pleasant lady by the name of Tammi Benjamin, head of the AMCHA Initiative, has decided to take this slogan out of context and deliberately contort the situation, slamming our organization for “extreme antisemitism”, claiming that the sign “implicitly calls for the murder of Jews”.
Needless to say, that is absolute bullshit.
The problem?
Tammi Benjamin, although completely delusional, has a rather large sphere of influence, and has quite a bit of power backing her.
She is now working to shut down our organization, which it should be noted, is the LAST remaining chapter of GUPS on the planet, as all others have come under similar fire and been shut down over the last several decades. As both the last remaining chapter and one of the oldest chapters, we can NOT let the General Union of Palestine Students die.
She is using everything at her disposal to pressure campus officials to “investigate” and “discipline” those involved, as well as condemn us for our “blatant support of terror” and “antisemitism”, and has brought in city officials, as well as a plethora of other pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian hate-groups.
The issue continues to grow larger and larger, and this is going to be a battle that we’re in for the long haul, despite having all the facts and truth on OUR side.
Now, what YOU can all do to help, is we’ve started an online petition calling on President Leslie Wong of San Francisco State University to condemn this baseless attack and slander campaign launched by Tammi and the AMCHA initiative, and we’re calling upon any and every supporter, from any part of the world, to sign and help spread the message.
The petition can be found HERE, and please do whatever you can to help spread the message and get this as many signatures as you all can.
As president of the last remaining chapter of GUPS, I will not see our organization fall to the likes of such a bigoted piece of filth, and we’re here to take the battle back to her.

AMCHA Follow Up with President Wong

SFSU President Responds to AMCHA
by Issuing Statement Condemning Campus Event
Glorifying the Murder of Jews


In direct response to a letter from AMCHA co-founders as well as letters from many AMCHA supporters, yesterday SFSU President posted a statement on his official University website, in which he condemned an on-campus event glorifying murder and acknowledged that there is “no place at SF State for celebrating violence or promoting intolerance, bigotry, anti-Semitism or any other form of hate-mongering.” President Wong also stated that the University will continue its investigation of this reprehensible event.  (You can see President Wong's Statement HERE).

In response to his President Wong's  statement, AMCHA co-founders have sent the following letter to President Wong commending him for taking these important first steps and urging him to appropriately discipline the responsible parties:



Dear President Wong,

We commend you for your statement condemning an on-campus event which glorified murder, and for your acknowledgement that there is “no place at SF State for celebrating violence or promoting intolerance, bigotry, anti-Semitism or any other form of hate-mongering.” We also commend you for initiating an investigation of what we believe is clearly an antisemitic event.

We hope that at the end of your investigation, all those responsible for this incident — whether students, faculty, or staff — will be disciplined for their behavior, which violates the tenets of civil discourse and may be unlawful.

We and other concerned members and supporters of the Jewish community are eager to know what steps you will take to ensure that such behavior is appropriately addressed and does not re-occur at San Francisco State University.

Sincerely,

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Co-founder, AMCHA Initiative

Leila Beckwith

Co-founder, AMCHA Initiative