Zionists trying to shut down Temple SJP
In an incident that allegedly occurred during Temple Fest, a day where student organizations set up tables to tell fellow students about their activities, members of Temple University Students for Justice in Palestine were harassed by a pro-Zionist student. During the exchange, the Zionist student alleges that he was slapped and called anti-Semitic names. Temple University has investigated the situation and will report its findings to the District Attorney. This whole incident is part of a larger campaign by pro-Israel groups to chill free speech and put a damper on Palestine Solidarity activism.
In another incident at Temple, a pro-Israel student sent threatening and harassing emails to several faculty members who had signed a petition in solidarity with fired University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign instructor Steven Salaita. Salaita had been fired for his tweets opposing the Israeli bombing of Gaza.
Additionally, Ohio University Student Senate President, Megan Marzec and Yale chaplain Fr. Bruce Shipman have been targeted for harassment by Zionists. A Jewish student at Northeastern University received death threats because of activism in the university’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Critics of Israeli policies are often accused of anti-Semitism. The purpose is nothing less than a McCarthy-style attempt to criminalize free speech and activism.
Building solidarity with the Palestinian people, including a stepped up Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is a central duty for progressives in the US. Lifting the embargo on Gaza, freeing Palestinian political prisoners, stopping illegal settlements and getting much needed humanitarian aid to victims of Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza are all urgent tasks.
Additionally, defense of democratic rights on campus and elsewhere is crucial. Attempts to inhibit free speech and free association must be opposed by all means necessary. An injury to one is an injury to all!