Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP for short, are famous for using false information to empathetically pull students in to fight for the Palestinian cause. With a narrative such as theirs, who wouldn’t want justice for all? Who wouldn’t want everyone to be treated equally and humanely? Unfortunately, the truth is, they simply lack the facts.
The most recent campaign of many SJP clubs on campus has been to place mock eviction notices on students doors, an atrocity that not only occurred on my campus at Clark University, but across the nation. However, at Clark, SJP members had the decency to pass out the fliers rather than put them unwittingly under the doors of students, as was the case at NYU and Northeastern.
In the case of the former, SJP members anonymously placed 2000 eviction notices under the doors of the single dorm with a Shabbat elevator (Palladium Hall), an elevator that stops on every floor for use by Jewish students, leading many to believe this was a deliberate attempt to intimidate Jewish students. NYU has committed themselves to determining whether or not these fliers were direct anti-Semitic attacks by SJP on Jewish students or if they were simply a “coincidence”
John Beckman, a spokesperson for NYU addressed the community stating: “NYU encourages free speech and the free exchange of ideas, but our hope is that the discourse — including debate on controversial issues — will be conducted maturely and in a way meant to elicit thoughtful discussion rather than simply provoke,” Beckman said. “A flyer titled ‘eviction notice’ anonymously slipped under doors at night is not an invitation to thoughtful, open discussion; it is disappointingly inconsistent with standards we expect to prevail in a scholarly community.”
Northeastern erupted in an even greater uproar, a result that was not unexpected by SJP considering their anti-Semitic practices on campus. SJP at Northeastern is well known for “harbouring anti-Semitic attitudes” over the past several years, and has been intimidating Jewish students through rallies, protests, and demonstrations dedicated to attacking the Jewish State and its pro-Israel supporters. For the Northeastern campus, the final straw, after a long period of inappropriate actions by SJP members, was the distribution of the mock eviction notices formerly tried and reprimanded at the Claremont Consortium, University of Michiagan, Yale, Ohio State, and Florida Atlantic Universities.
The eviction notices distributed stated: “Dorm-rooms will be demolished in three days…to ethnically cleanse…the population and create space for settlements”. This ignores the reality of the need for evictions: security purposes. However, SJP is focused solely on emotional appeal, not fact.
These are just two of many intense reactions felt by Jewish and pro-Israel students by the hate mongering organization. Fortunately, at Clark, SJP members are decent human beings, individuals I personally respect, dedicated to understanding, though flawed in their arguments. I can fully respect members as individuals, and disagree with their actions and policies. That being said, I have no respect for an organization that allows for and encourages the intimidation of Jewish students based solely on their ethnicity, an organization that claims to be unbiased and humanistic. And I have no respect for an organization that directly targets the existence of Israel as a whole.
SJP should think before they act; they should know the difference between intimidation and debate. It’s fairly straightforward.
Seth Greenwald is an intern at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting from American (CAMERA) and a sophomore at Clark University. Seth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org