A Toxic Campus Environment

Peace between Israel and Palestine presupposes that Israel is there. Peace between the Israeli people and the Palestinian people presupposes that both peoples have a right to self-determination and agree to the peace. Does anyone really believe that racist monsters like us would agree to give up our state because of a boycott?

— Uri Avneri Leftist Israeli Politician

BDS does not advance the cause of Middle East peace, but does create unwanted and unnecessary turmoil on campus. At a time when real campus dialogue is needed more than ever, BDS is more of a barrier than a catalyst to such discussions.

The Jewish connection to Israel is hard for many people to understand. For many, the connection isn’t primarily based on religion, but rather on identity. Jews enjoyed independence in their homeland for more than 400 years before being driven out by foreign conquerors.

For 2000 years, the Jewish people faced persecution and were stateless. The cycle of powerlessness and persecution is a major theme of Jewish history, Jewish holidays, and Jewish thought. Finally, in November 1947, the international community, acting through the United Nations, voted to recognize the Jewish claim to the land of Israel and called for the establishment of a Jewish state.

On May 14, 1948, Israel issued its Declaration of Independence, which declared that the new state would be “based on freedom, justice and peace,” would “ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex,” and would “guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.” It also called for “peace and cooperation with the Arabs of Israel, the neighboring countries and their peoples.”

Zionist Jews can handle criticism of Israeli policy, just as they are open to hearing criticism of American policy. Demonization, double standards, and delegitimization are a different story. Those who label Israel as a Nazi state, an apartheid state, or a colonial state are clearly trying to use these hurtful analogies to demonize Israel. These are not criticisms that are aimed at improving the lives of Israelis or Palestinians, but are rather attempts to convince people to ostracize, punish, and impugn the Jewish state in its entirety. Likewise, questioning the Jewish connection to Israel or the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their homeland are attacks on the identities of all Jews.

Dividing the Campus

Honest discussion about Israeli and Palestinian narratives is needed on college campuses. Divestment advocates seek to circumvent a real debate by promoting the Palestinian narrative and delegitimizing Israel’s story. BDS proponents preempt dialogue by adopting an inherently anti-Israel position as their starting point. Instead of asking questions such as: “How did things get this way?” or “What should we do?” BDS supporters adopt the premise that Israel is guilty of misbehavior and therefore must be punished without taking into account historical context, alternative views, or Israel’s side of the story.

If a BDS initiative is adopted, there is no incentive to hold any real discussion. The campus has already declared Israel guilty and alienated many Jewish and all pro-Israel students who are now falsely tarred as supporters of apartheid, colonialism, and racism.

“A Culture of Intimidation”

For a movement supposedly dedicated to human rights and freedom, it has become a recurring pattern for BDS proponents to bring “a culture of intimidation” onto campus with them. It has often been reported at colleges and universities in which divestment resolutions have been discussed that there is a feeling of tension among the students. After many of the past campus divestment debates, Jewish students have left the room crying. They feel incredibly hurt when their peers become part of a movement that seeks to delegitimize their own identity. The ideas may be abstract, but the emotional alienation that many Jewish students feel from BDS is real. As time has passed, and the movement  becomes more and more radical, BDS proponents have been known to outright threaten, harass, intimidate and attack students or professors who disagree with them, as well as anyone else who gets in their way, as this page catalogs.

The University of Windsor made headlines in the Spring of 2014 for being the first Canadian university to vote for divestment from Israel. In the days after the vote, however, it appeared that pro-divestment intimidation had played a role. A student executive’s office was broken into and his property was vandalized with an anti-Israel message.

“A lot of students have expressed their concern. They don’t want to be caught in a situation where they feel that they are, somehow as a result of UWSA, no longer welcome on campus…It’s not only Jewish students. Many students have expressed concerns about what is happening on campus… The deceitful BDS movement has no place on Canadian campuses. In fact, it is against everything our universities stand for and creates an environment of intimidation for Jewish students and Jewish staff.” –University of Windsor President Alan Wildeman

Many University of Windsor students told the Windsor Star the BDS campaign had “created a great deal of hostility on our campus,” “you can cut the tension around here with a knife,” and that “it’s a tremendously toxic climate, and it’s a climate where I [a Jewish student] feel I’m targeted.”

Following in the University of Windsor’s footsteps, The National University of Ireland at Galway also voted to boycott Israel in a student referendum. And just like at the University of Windsor, it quickly became clear that intimidation played a role in the BDS victory. Anti-boycott posters were torn down in the days leading up to the vote, and a video surfaced showing pro-boycott students disrupting an anti-boycott meeting and shouting that “Zionists” should “get the **** off our campus.” Reportedly the pro-boycott students celebrated their victory by shouting “Where’s Mark Zuckerberg now? Where’s Albert Einstein?”

When Carleton University’s Students Association voted against a one-side resolution singling out Israel, the pro-boycott students “exploded” and immediately began using intimidation tactics such as chanting and yelling, and some students reported feeling “trapped and threatened.” Read more here.

Jewish students at the University of California system have shared many stories of being intimidated and attacked, often in an explicitly anti-Semitic manner, including in a BDS context. Professors have also been harassed and intimidated.

Recently, at UC Davis, pro-divestment students heckled Jewish students during a divestment hearing and after the resolution was passed chanted “Allahu Akbar” at them. The next day a Jewish fraternity was vandalized with swastikas and a member of the UC Davis Student Senate, Azka Fayyaz, posted on her Facebook page a photo of the session and the caption “Hamas & Sharia law have taken over UC Davis…Israel will fall Inshallah.”

At UC Irvine, a site of many conflicts between BDS supporters and pro-Israel students, police were called after anti-Israel students crashed and shut down a film screening. They chanted for an “intifada” and that “all white people need to die.” Chancellor Howard Gillman said he was considering disciplinary action after claiming that protesters “crossed the line of civility” and “harassment, incitement and and defamatory speech are not protected.”

Pro-divestment students at Northeastern University have become infamous for radical behavior, even by BDS standards. On Valentine’s Day 2013, one hundred students lay siege to an Israeli restaurant, harassing the couples trying to eat there. In 2012 two students defaced and menorah and the SJP led a pro-Hamas rally in which there were many calls for Israel’s destruction. They also mocked students who felt threatened by their behavior. Due to this and other intimidating behavior, they have recently been suspended by the University. Not willing to back down, they led a march of hundreds of students that included calls such as “Long Live the Intifada” and accusations that the President of Northeastern was a “Zionist goon.”

Since it’s founding in 2009 the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of Maryland at College Park have been flagrantly hostile toward pro-Israel students. They brought in speakers that denied Israel’s right to exist, declared the “only good Zionist is a dead Zionist,” and that Judaism is a “ruthless and supremacist faith.” According to Professor Tammi Benjamin:

A number of MSA and SJP members have been responsible for physically harassing and assaulting Jewish students, vandalizing Jewish communal property, disrupting pro-Israel speakers, and aggressively confronting Jewish students at pro-Israel events… Some MSA and SJP chapters consistently sponsor speakers, films, and exhibits that engage in discourse or use language considered anti-Semitic by the U.S. State Department. Some MSA and SJP chapters have associated with individuals and organizations that are linked to terrorist activity and call for violence against Jews. As a result of the hostile environment created by these chapters and their members, Jewish students have reported feeling physically unsafe, harassed, and intimidated while on campus, and some have even reported leaving the university, avoiding certain parts of campus, and hiding symbols of their Jewishness.”

At the UMD-Baltimore campus a pro-Israel student was forcibly ejected from a SJP planning meeting, resulting in that group not being formed on that campus.

Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) called for a BDS resolution at the University of Michigan in the Spring of 2014, and used threats and intimidation to enforce it. Click here for more details.

When Wesleyan University passed a resolution calling for divestment from Israel, pro-divestment students engaged in an intimidating manner during the debate. Rebecca Markell ’14 reported:

“Every time I spoke, I was laughed at, shushed, and mocked (by other attendees, not WSA members)…When WSA members attempted to keep order and respect, their request was ignored and the negative attitude continued to pervade the room. After the vote passed, supporters of the resolution screamed out in victory and continued to audibly do so after leaving the room, disrupting the meeting to the point where WSA members had to reprimand them for their disrespect.”

In the Spring of 2014 a divestment resolution at UCLA brought an ugly campus environment that persisted even after it had been rejected by the student council. The resolution was voted on in secret because some of the student senators “feared for their safety.” Others had been threatened on social media. Upon learning that they had lost, pro-divestment students brought out a new weapon: singling out two student leaders who they believed had voted against the resolution. They started by defaming them on social media, then dragged them before UCLA’s J Board under the pretense that because they had traveled to Israel their alleged voting against BDS was a “conflict of interest.” Anti-divestment students started circulating a petition calling for an improvement in UCLA’s community, citing the mistreatment of pro-Israel students:

“There have been several instances in which members of the pro-Israel community have been attacked and slandered as “Islamophobic, genocide deniers, and human-rights violators.” These offensive and dehumanizing attacks represent a vile and unwarranted verbal assault on not only the organized Jewish community at UCLA, but all pro-Israel students.”

One year later, after a BDS resolution was passed, a Jewish student was accused of having a “conflict of interest” when she applied for a position on UCLA’s J-Board. This made national headlines.

Also at UCLA, the student president was recently forced to resign after a year long smear campaign carried out by a pro-BDS group after he refused to fund one of their events. Their tactics included a plethora of threatening legal documents, administrative pushes, and media allegations. At one point the pro-BDS group unlawfully leaked a confidential document. The victim of this campaign is currently preparing to sue the school for discrimination.

During a debate over divestment at McMaster University in Canada, faculty member Dr. David Shore said that “the image of Jewish students marching out of their student union’s general assembly to derision and mocking deeply saddens me.” Dr. Shore went on to say that he viewed BDS and the submitted motion as an example of new anti-Semitism and that “students felt harassed and intimidated” at the assembly in which divestment was discussed. President Patrick Deane said that the University had received complaints of “harassment, as well as complaints of intimidating and disrespectful behaviour,” on both sides of the issue.

After a BDS resolution was defeated at the University of Washington, pro-divestment students engaged in intimidating behavior both on and off line. Read more about it here.

When DePaul University saw a BDS referendum resolution, intimidation and harassment came along with it. Jewish students there reported feeling targeted and marginalized, and students were verbally assaulted by pro-divestment students and on social media. Even students who had no connection to the issue described the pro-BDS students as “crazy” and “extreme.” There were also reports of pro-divestment students marching through a student dormitory at an early hour, screaming slogans through microphones and generally being disruptive. Other students were not told about the referendum at all. Nicholas G. Hahn III wrote an article in the Chicago Tribune with more details about not only this case, but what he calls “a disturbing thread of anti-Semitism running through several of its campus controversies in recent years.”

San Diego State University has had tensions between pro-Israel and anti-Israel students for quite some time, and the fall of 2014 reported harassment of anti-divestment students. Pro-divestment students have engaged in tactics that were “visibly dividing students into opposing sides.” Even their own allies called them out on their “aggressive behavior” and their attitude of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us,” as well as their “demonizing [of] Israel and her citizens.”

“SJP make me feel uncomfortable. As a student on the SDSU campus, the hostile way SJP promotes its position targets who I am as a person,” sophomore Sydney Abel said. “SJP looks to point out the Jewish community on campus and targets Jewish students, saying that their homeland is illegitimate. As a person who has recently found their spirituality, Israel is more than a country. It is a place that I can call home even if I am thousands of miles away.”
Pro-divestment students told anti-divestment students that “SJP officers do not socialize with sympathizers of a brutal apartheid state.’” 
In the winter of 2014, at Cornell University, the local SJP had a demonstration calling for divestment from Israeli companies. When pro-Israel students arrived to put forward an alternative point of view, the SJP became very aggressive towards them: screaming insults, vandalizing their signs, provoking violence, etc. There was even a report of an assault on a pro-Israel student. You can read more details here.

Concordia University in Canada has become infamous for extreme and violent anti-Israel activity. In 2002 anti-Israel students rioted in an incident that was collected in the documentary Confrontation at Concordia. More recently, in the usual controversy surrounding a divestment resolution anti-divestment students have been insulted, bullied, harassed, and defamed on social media, including pictures of the students designed to shame them into silence. Soon anti-Zionism spread into anti-Semitism, as graffiti appeared in bathroom stalls with such statements as “Jews are f***ed up people” and “Jews are not people.” Jewish students on campus who were not affiliated with the anti-divestment campaign were humiliated and harassed as well.

King’s College London has also earned a reputation for being extremely hostile toward Jewish and pro-Israel students, especially when BDS resolutions are under debate. Anti-divestment students are booed or insulted into silence. ‘Frankly, I do not feel welcome at my own university…I know a lot of students who are scared to be identified as a Jew on our campus and refuse to wear their kippah due to anti-Semitic remarks being made’, testified one student. In one instance, anti-Israel activists laid siege to a talk being delivered by an Israeli speaker: screaming slogans and pounding on the doors and windows. They even set off a fire alarm and smashed a window. Police had to be called to protect the building and the students, one protester was later found guilty of assault after she struck a Jewish student in the arm. College leadership made a public statement denouncing the actions of the students.

The School of Oriental And African Studies in London, UK has long been a breeding ground for intimidation of pro-Israel and Jewish students. Most recently there were reports of heckling and verbal abuse in the run up to a vote regarding an academic boycott resolution, with one student being told to “**** off to Israel.”

Paz Solis said: “I don’t even dare to go in the junior common room because it’s full of their propaganda. Yesterday I was starving and I could have gone to the shop to get a kosher sandwich, but I preferred waiting another two hours to go home.” “You don’t know who you are going to encounter or if they are going to start having a go at you. They are very confrontational and in your face. You just don’t feel comfortable,” she added.

In Australia, La Trobe University of Melbourne in particular has become a site for extremism surrounding boycott campaigns. After one such failed attempt at divestment, posters were placed around the campus that singled out three students who opposed it, claiming that they were “supporting genocide of Palestinians.” At a recent anti-Israel rally, participants were instructed to abuse Jewish students. One member of the Socialist student group went after a Jewish student, called her a “genocidal pig”, “a Zionist piece of s**t” and told her to “f**k off.” This resulted in the Socialist Alternative club being banned from the university.

Also in Australia, during a divestment debate at the University of Sydney, a Jewish student was referred to as a “genocidal maniac.” Before this university security had been called to remove pro-divestment students who had been abusing Jewish Student Union representatives while they were tabling for their organization.

When the University of Texas rejected a BDS resolution pro-divestment supporters rallied outside the council room. Police officers were called in to observe the situation.

Before and after a BDS resolution passed at McGill University in Canada, anti-divestment students reported being the target of harassing and intimidation messages on social media. One student was followed and verbally harassed by divestment supporters.

Later on at McGill, a pro-BDS student government representative named Igor Sadikov tweeted the phrase “punch a Zionist today.” Anti-BDS students called for his resignation. Later, a Jewish student named Noah Lew was targeted by BDS supporters for removal from his position on the student government:

“My Jewish identity was now public, and a target was placed squarely upon me by the McGill BDS movement,” Lew wrote in a Facebook post that has been widely circulated. “I have no doubt from the information circulated about me and campaign run against me prior to this vote that this was about my Jewish identity, and nothing more. I was blocked from being able to participate in my student government because I am Jewish, because I have been affiliated with Jewish organizations, and because I believe in the right to Jewish self-determination.”

During a BDS resolution discussion at Ohio State University, one BDS supporter announced his intention to carry out violent acts on campus if the resolution didn’t pass. The resolution ultimately failed.

In March 2016 Vassar College voted on a divestment resolution, and Jewish students there reported being “bullied” by BDS supporters. They reported being bullied into silence, being called “racists” for disagreeing with BDS, and were laughed at for challenging the BDS resolution. This has been part of a trend as depicted in the Wall Street Journal article “Majoring in Anti-Semitism at Vassar.

During the same month, a BDS resolution at Ohio State University turned ugly. A student senator reported that divestment supporters had made “offensive, anti-Semitic and charged comments toward Jewish students.” While the senators debated the resolution, a BDS supporter tweeted that if the motion didn’t pass he would “come for the life” of everyone who had a hand in stopping it. He was investigated by police but wasn’t charged.

In the fall of 2017, at University of Wisconsin at Madison was forced to endure multiple divestment votes at the insistence of BDS supporters. During one of the attempts, the Association of Students was criticized for holding the vote on Passover. This caused the student judiciary to block the bill from passing and ordered the Association’s Chair to apologize to the Jewish community.

Further Examples of Intimidation

BDS intimidation isn’t limited to debate surrounding divestment resolutions, however. There have been many cases in which pro-BDS students felt that a cultural boycott of Israel must be achieved by any means necessary and took steps to implement it by force.

In the spring of 2013, Yossi Reshef, a pianist whose only connection to Israel is that he was born there, was stopped from playing at the University of the Witwatersrand by screaming, vuvuzela-blowing protesters. Members of his audience were traumatized and manhandled. Ten student protesters were found guilty of misconduct for disruption or incitement, and were expelled from the University for one year.

Unfortunately this did not stick, because BDS struck again that fall with a protest against Daniel Zamir, an Israeli saxophonist. This time the protesters made international headlines when they chanted “Shoot the Jew” outside of the concert hall. Muhammad Desai, the BDS coordinator, tried to play down the incident and claimed the chants had been misinterpreted. Unfortunately for him, his fellow BDS advocates immediately distanced themselves from the protesters’ behavior and even criticized him personally.

When a professor at Vasser College named Jill Schneiderman dared to host a trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories to study water issues, pro-divestment students pulled out all the stops to try and prevent it, raising tensions on campus as a result. They picketed Schneiderman’s classroom, giving out leaflets and encouraging students to drop the class because “the indigenous people of Palestine” wanted them to. Students in Schneiderman’s class were intimidated and the protesters said they were being “unfairly targeted.”  This led to a meeting in which even according to a pro-divestment report the atmosphere immediately became charged and ugly. The report said that the meeting “was truly unsettling,” that “torrents of anger ripped through the gathering” and that “rage against Israel was the theme.” It also said that “the spirit of that young progressive space was that Israel is a blot on civilization, and boycott is right and necessary. If a student had gotten up and said, I love Israel, he or she would have been mocked and scorned into silence.” Associate Professor Zachary Braiterman compared it to the Cultural Revolution in China, called it “cardboard civility,” and said that “this kind of hostility is going to rip out the guts of a university to no good effect.” Professor Schneiderman wrote in her blog that she had been “knocked off-center by a belligerent academic community dedicated to vilifying anyone who dares set foot in Israel.” The an op-ed in the New York Daily News called the pro-divestment students “a handful of hoodlums” and questioned whether academic freedom and respectful debate had a place at Vasser. The trip proceeded anyway.

Pro-Israel students at New York University have been dealing with intimidation and harassment for some time, prompting the New York Daily News to ask if the school “had a Jewish problem.”

A Students for Justice in Palestine group at Loyola University was suspended in the Fall of 2014 after they formed a mob around a group of Jewish students tabling for a Birthright Israel program and began verbally assaulting them. Then then proceeded to brag about their behavior on social media. The organization was suspended temporarily until they could prove to the administration that they would comply with Loyola’s expected standards of behavior.

There aren’t many Jewish students at John Jay University in New York City, and those who present have been targeted by “pro-Palestinian” students in hateful and intimidating ways. During a protest, SJP speakers began shouting insults at the members of John Jay’s Hillel Club:

“They kept on just shouting, shouting, they were really aggressive. … They literally pointed at us,” [a student] said. “I felt pretty singled out.”

Kornfeld described the incident similarly. “We were all in one corner, and they started moving in,” he said. “Yael was holding an ‘Israelis Want Peace Sign’ and they came within a foot with us. They kept closing in.”

Another SJP member went on a rant about “Zionists” and “Jews.” The university’s administration has refused to take action.

During a panel discussion about BDS at UC Berkeley, in response to many borderline anti-Semitic remarks by BDS activst Lara Kiswani, a Jewish student said that the event was making her uncomfortable because she wanted to dialogue with those who disagreed with her, and that she “really just feel[s] a strong sense of hatred coming from the voices and the language.” To this, Kiswani responded, “I think Palestinians have hatred for those that are dropping bombs on them. Palestinians have hatred for those who are, you know, controlling what they can or cannot do here in the United States, right? That’s who I hate. And I think as long as you choose to be on [the side opposing BDS], I’m going to continue to hate you.” The Jewish student left the room in tears.

In the winter of 2015 pro-divestment students from Stanford University, seeking to hijack a “Black Lives Matter” protest in the name of “call[ing] on Stanford to divest from human rights violations in the occupation and related state violence in the US.” This protest involved blocking the San Mateo Hayward Bridge, which caused traffic to stop for hours, caused multiple traffic accidents, and prevented a three year old girl from taking a need trip to a hospital. Stanford was threatened with a lawsuit.

In December, 2014, at the University of Pittsburgh, masked protesters wielding signs that said “Fight Back” and electronic noisemakers attempted to shut down a presentation by a former medic in the IDF.:

“It was really jarring,” Haley Chizever, a JNF Campus Fellow at Pitt and a student organizer of the event, said of the protesters’ intrusion. “It was sudden. This large group of masked people came in with noisemakers and a large white sheet [used as a protest sign]. It was kind of scary; it was very out of nowhere.”

One of the protesters was given a citation for trespassing and was removed. The local SJP claimed not to know who the disrupting students were, but said their actions were justified because they were “bringing the Palestinian narrative to a shamelessly one sided event.”

In the winter of 2015 at the University of Sydney Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan, was giving a lecture. He also speaks about Israel’s efforts to minimize civilian casualties, and so protesters attempted to stop him from speaking through the use of intimidation and the “heckler’s veto.” They had to be removed by force from the security guards on site. The incident made national headlines when Professor Jake Lynch, a well known critic of Israel, waved a bill in the face of a 75 year old woman.

When an Israeli named Hen Mazzig came to speak at University College London, a mob of anti-Israel activists tried to shut down the event by force despite a heavy police presence. They used violence to stop attendees from coming into the event, including assaulting female audience members. After the event was over the audience was not allowed to leave. Mazzig described the campus as a “war zone.” An investigation found the protesters “intentionally disrupted the rights of others to exercise freedom of speech within the law, and that their behaviour caused stress and anxiety to students and staff at UCL.”

Police had to be called to York University in 2009 when a mob of 100 anti-Israel students lay siege to a group of Jewish students who had been barricaded inside Hillel offices. The students had been “isolated and threatened” by the physically and verbally aggressive demonstrators. The students had been subjected to such slurs as “Die Jew―get the hell off campus.” A year earlier a talk by Natan Sharansky had been disrupted by anti-Israel students who told the people present that “you are bringing a second Holocaust upon yourselves.”

Also in Canada, the University of Toronto’s Israel Hate Week was so racist and full of hatred that reporters and cameras were banned. A Jewish alumnus named Isaac Apter was slapped in the head, yanked from his seat, and yelled at with the warning, “You shut the f-k up!” A second Jewish attendee was similarly assaulted that night by one of the hired security team and told: “Shut the f-k up or I’ll saw your head off.” University administrators said only that they are committed to freedom of speech on campus.

When the Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid came to speak at the University of Chicago, he expected there to be some people who disagreed with him. During his lecture pro-BDS protesters appeared and soon escalated into shouting death threats at Eid, prompting the arrival of police. At one point a protester called on the crowd to “kill this [expletive].” Due to these threats, the lecture was cut short. Eid was also prevented from speaking because of threats at Northwestern University.

Anti-Israel intimidation has even appeared at the high school level. A Jewish student at Carnegie Vanguard High School in Houston, TX recently won a probe against his school’s administration after anti-Israel students engaged in vandalism and intimidation such as tearing down flags, chanting for “intifadas,” and posting anti-Semitic images on social media.

An Israeli filmmaker was scheduled to show an anti-settlement movie at Syracuse University in Spring of 2017, but his invitation was canceled by the department because “my SU colleagues, on hearing about my attempt to secure your presentation, have warned me that the BDS faction on campus will make matters very unpleasant for you and for me if you come.” After a media storm, the professor apologized and is now currently trying to reschedule his visit.

San Francisco State University (SFSU) first became known as a home for intimidating behavior by pro-BDS students when the President of the General Union of Palestinian Students posted pictures of himself on social media brandishing a knife and bragging about how he wanted to kill Israelis. In April 2016 the rest of the GUPS crashed a speech by Nir Barkat, the mayor Jerusalem. The students behaved in a physically intimidating manner toward the attendees, shouting at them to “get the hell of our campus!” According to reports they also made praised Palestinian terrorism. The protest lasted for almost an hour and led to the cancellation of the speech. GUPS’ behavior was condemned by SFSU’s President and prompted SFSU to reexamine its policies in regard to student safety on campus.

The Labour Club at Oxford University has had problems with anti-Semitism brought on by “pro-Palestinian” activism for some time. A co-chair of the club resigned from his position because “A large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews.” Since then more stories have come out such as one OULC member argued that Hamas was justified in its killing of Jewish civilians and claimed all Jews were legitimate targets. A committee member stated that all Jews should be expected to publicly denounce Zionism and the state of Israel, and that the club should not associate with any Jew who fails to do so. It has been alleged that another OULC member organized a group of students to harass a Jewish student and to shout “filthy Zionist” whenever they saw her. The Co-Chair of OUSU’s Campaign for Racial Awareness & Equality (CRAE) mocked Jews concerned about anti-Semitism in a tweet. She later apologized.

Students at SOAS University of London freely admitted their intentions during a protest against Mark Regev in April 2017. One student said, “We should not be giving platforms to hate speech. Freedom of speech is bullsh*t. Democratic liberal western values are being used to excuse colonialism.” A student named Ben Paul described being physically intimidated by anti-Israel students, who had been told to keep to a code of conduct: “Don’t talk to cops,” “don’t talk to media,” and “don’t interact with Zionists,” were the main suggestions. “Consider covering your face to shield your identity from haters,” was another.

It goes without saying that a movement sincerely devoted to peace, justice and human rights would neither need nor desire to force their agenda onto others.