Thursday, December 5, 2013

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.

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