How the extremist attitudes of SJP shine light on campus antisemitism

December 20, 2023

By Tim Worstall

Students for Justice in Palestine is one of the more radical pro-Palestine organizations on American college campuses. So radical that despite our work exposing antisemitism at HarvardColumbia and so on, we have not really targeted SJP, since it’s evident that they’re extreme and unlikely to be swayed.

It’s also true that we really believe in free speech. Folks do have the right to say what they want. Our only further point about that is that everyone else has the equal right to say things back. Up to and including, as some Harvard students have learned, being informed that as a result of what they’re saying, they’re no longer welcome at the Wall Street firms they planned to join upon graduation.

That the system has problems is true. Each individual possesses that free speech, even as the system has to protect all rights, not just those of the loudest students.

But an illustration of how bad the system is, and how much that system needs purging. It’s clear that SJP stands behind terrorism, as this thread shows.

Yes, they stand with Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist (for bombing a supermarket). They even protested her conviction for lying on her U.S. immigration papers. 

Or this: “Today we commemorate the life and legacy of Abu Ali Mustafa, leader and visionary of the PFLP. On this day in 2001, the Zionist entity assassinated Mustafa using two American-made Boeing Apache helicopters. The Zionist entity continues to target prominent Palestinian thinkers, political leaders, and militants in similar cowardly operations. We honor Mustafa’s life and legacy; his vision of a free Palestine will be fulfilled. “The PFLP was very definitely a terrorist organization. Or Leila Khaled.

As we say, we defend the right of such students to spout such vile idiocies – and also of everyone else to react to them. But now comes the kicker. From the New Yorker:

“According to Hatem Bazian, one of the group’s founders, the first S.J.P. chapter was started by roughly ten people at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993.”

OK, student founds student organization, fair enough. But Bazian is now a professor at the University of California at Berkeley:

Hatem Bazian

Continuing Lecturer

Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies

Arab and Arab American Studies, Colonialism and Post-Colonial Studies, Comparative Liberation Theologies, Critical Race Theory, Muslim American Studies, Palestine Studies

The New Yorker again:

“A rising generation of scholars identifies with a new subfield, settler-colonial studies, and a new journal was created to explore this framework, which posits that powerful nations resettle new peoples in conquered territories to permanently alter their character and make use of their resources. These ideas have gained significant traction in the academic disciplines that have expressed the most support for Palestine: associations for American studies, critical ethnic studies, Indigenous studies, and several others have voted to support the B.D.S.—or Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—movement, which aims to end international support for Israel.”

That’s what the problem is. The extremists – terrorist supporters perhaps – of the last generation have been put in charge of teaching the next generation of students. So, it’s no wonder this generation of students has some pretty weird ideas, including supporting terrorists.

And that’s the problem that needs to be solved. As the Rabbi who resigned from Harvard’s diversity efforts put it:

“Battling that combination of ideologies is the work of more than a committee or a single university. It is not going to be changed by hiring or firing a single person, or posting on X, or yelling at people who don’t post as you wish when you wish, as though posting is the summation of one’s moral character. This is the task of educating a generation, and also a vast unlearning.”

It’s the system itself, the system as a whole, that needs scouring.


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