Screeching for Jewish Blood at San Francisco State University

I find it fairly remarkable that my alma mater, San Francisco State University (SFSU), funds a student organization that calls for the killing of Jews.

The great irony, of course, is that SFSU is among the foremost universities in the United States dedicated to social justice and human rights, which is part of the reason that I attended as a graduate student in the late 1990s and taught there afterward.

It was Jewish people in the United States, in the twentieth-century, that did as much as anyone to advance causes of social justice and human rights.  We did so for obvious reasons.  The Nazis taught almost everyone that racial or ethnic hatred is simply unacceptable and Jews at SFSU were hell-bent-for-fury to drive that point home in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

The University of California at Berkeley gets the fame, but SFSU has always been more diverse and more radical. This is, after all, a campus that features the Caesar Chavez Student Center directly adjacent to Malcolm X Plaza.

When at a student protest the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) held up signs, on November 7, 2013, reading that, “My heroes have always killed colonizers,” they held up signs calling for the murder of Jews.

I simply do not see how the larger Jewish community can stand for this.

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This is not a matter of a lone racist student calling for violence.

San Francisco State University is paying these people.  The president of GUPS, Mohammad Hammad, was even so bold as to hold up a knife on a social media site discussing his desire to kill Jews in Israel.

I have two questions about this situation.

The first is just what SFSU president Les Wong intends to do?  It is very nice that he has “concerns,” but so far we are not seeing much action from his office.

The second question, and I think that it is the far more important question, is what this signifies for the relationship between the Jewish people and “liberal” politics in the United States and the west, more generally?

When a progressive-left university such as San Francisco State funds a student organization that calls for the murder of Jews then the Jewish people in the United States should know that we have an obvious and very old problem.

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Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.

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7 comments

  1. It seems that SFSU has been “Colonised” by lying racial bigots of a particularly bloodthirsty and violent nature. Is there legal redress that the indigenous Jewish students can take to halt the racial discrimination and libel that these “colonisers” are perpetrating. Students have for too long been subjected to this form of terrorism and bullying

    • Hi Betty,

      it seems as if the university is going to take a pass on actually doing anything.

      San Francisco State University president, Les Wong, as you can read for yourself below, seems to think that calling for the murder of certain types of people is merely a matter of “free speech.”

      http://president.sfsu.edu/

      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

  2. Les Wong is a hypocrite and a gutless fool. Threatening anyone is not free speech, it is assault and the denial of free speech to others. The Arab is behaving as though he were in some Arab realm and the dhimmi Wong is kissing the Arab’s butt. Equally, the Jewish students should have taken their complaint to the police; a knife is not the tool for open debate, but one for cutting it out. Jews are much too refined; they should have gone to the rally with baeball bats and once the mohammedans were hospitalised, the authorities would blame the Jews, but they would have to take action to stop racism and incitement.

  3. I’m all for fighting fire with fire . I don’t think baseball bats are the answer though., it may come to that eventually. I’m sure that we’ve had some great examples of public education from groups such as “Stand for Israel” and ” the American Freedom Defence Initiative” . I’m convinced that too many not very well informed people are seduced by the slogans and the simplistic arguments and these need to be countered at a level of propaganda which is being attempted by those groups and others. There ofcourse will always be the truly evil meaning Jew haters who will never be convinced, but need to be contained by law or force. There is a power in words that we must not cede to the enemy.

    • We certainly must not cede the power of words to the enemy, but by being prepared to use words only we become mere hollow gas bags. The people who break the law by threatening to kill Jews will not see the light by eloquent speeches about freedom for all, tolerance and open-mindedness. They need a 4″x2″ between the eyes or its legal equivalent to open their eyes or if not that, at least to shut their mouthes. If I recall correctly, Shirlee’s father and his mates didn’t engage Mossely’s mob with pretty words, but with fists, the only language that those thugs understood, And when the authorities saw that Mossely provoked civil disturbances, they took action.

  4. By the way there have been some great posters at the Elder of Zion blog which could come be useful as well

  5. I agree with you Paul actions may in many circumstances complement words. We who are at a distance only have words. It is often true that it is the threat of real action that can be the ultimate weapon. Israel’s enemies have learnt that they can’t eliminate Israel by might so they have engaged in a very lengthy and seductive campaign of words and delegitimisation. They have redefined the playing field and moved the goalposts. We have to take back the game and win hearts and minds of this and the next generation who will have to take up the battle and they will only do that if we can get them on side. Before you win the battle you have to be convinced of the righteousness of the cause