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San Francisco State University is funding political student organizations that call for murder.

As has been well-covered in the Jewish American press, SFSU’s General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) held up signs last year at an event honoring deceased Palestinian-Arab professor, Edward Said, reading, “My heroes have always killed colonizers.” CBS News in the United States also ran a story concerning the violent threats of GUPS president Muhammad Hammad toward Israelis Jews and Jews, more generally.

Edward Said, it should be noted, was photographed throwing rocks at Jews just across the border from Israel, which is what one might generally expect from Columbia University professors who allegedly specialized in literary studies, but who really specialized in demonizing Israel. I assume that they were meant as “symbolic” rocks, but I feel reasonably certain that for the young Jews who they were thrown at they felt real enough.

The SFSU event included nothing less than a call for murder from university funded organizations and it is more than reasonable for alumnus, such as myself, or the parents of students at SFSU, to wonder just who it is that these SFSU students think should be killed?

The individual in the photograph above, it must be noted, is not Mr. Hammad, the recently former president of the organization. He is just one SFSU student in favor of killing “colonizers.”

But SFSU funds GUPS and GUPS calls for murder.

We know this not just from the signs they held up calling for the blood of “colonizers,” by whom they mean Jews, but from the fact that the president of GUPS, Muhammad Hammad, has made news internationally with his public and grandstanding enthusiasm for the murder of Jewish supporters of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

This, it should be noted, represents the process of mainstreaming hatred toward the Jewish people in the west as it is playing out today and as it is playing out at San Francisco State University. The great irony, of course, is that the mainstreaming of hatred toward Jews, and the encouragement of violence toward Jews, is now coming from the racist “anti-racist” left in places like SF State.

Arabs have chased Jews out of the Middle East almost entirely, with the obvious exception of Israel, and are currently chasing Christians out, as well.  Meanwhile, the tiny Jewish minority is departing Europe because as Arab-Muslim immigration into that part of the world increases, the emigration of Jews out of Europe toward the United States or Canada or Australia or Israel does so, as well. The reason for this is because theocratically-based anti-Jewish racism is rife within the larger Arab-Muslim community. In the Arab Middle East violent hatred toward Jews is widespread, toxic, and serves political functions. In Europe it is gaining steam and forcing Jews to move off the continent. In North America, Jews and Muslims probably get along better than anywhere else on the planet, but the signs are now emerging that tolerance for Jews in America is beginning to erode.

And that is the true significance of the SFSU story.

Just as the Jewish minority was driven from over 99 percent of the Middle East, and just as the Jewish remnant is driven from Europe within living memory of the Holocaust, now American Jews are beginning to see a potential taste of things to come.

The threats against the international Jewish population – in the form of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and the related movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) the Jewish state, if not the Jewish people – throughout the west is primarily coming out of left-leaning venues, including various prominent newspapers and blogs, such as the Huffington Post, and the UK Guardian, and Daily Kos, in the United States, but also from left-leaning universities such as San Francisco State University, where I earned a Master’s Degree in American History in 2001, if not the greater Cal State and UCAL systems, in general.

What is needed when hate-filled racist individuals, like Muhammad Hammad, or hate-filled racist organizations like GUPS, call for blood is a greater degree of transparency in the methods of the larger organizations involved. San Francisco State University is only one, and it has an obligation to protect the privacy of its student body, including heinous individuals like Mr. Hammad. Nonetheless, public institutions, like major public universities, also have an obligation to their alums, to the parents of their students, to their donors, and to the general community who they serve.

What we need to know now is just what action SFSU took given the fact that GUPS not only called for the murder of “colonizers,” whomever those people may be, but that the president of GUPS held up a knife before the camera and called for the murder of Jews.

President Wong and the SFSU administration do not owe the Jewish people, or the people of northern California, every detail in their behavior concerning the recent calls for violence emanating from my former campus, but they do, as a matter of general human decency, if not law, owe us some insight into just what they did about the fact that they are funding a student organization that calls for the murder of “colonizers,” by whom they mean Jews.

Not only did they fund the General Union of Palestine Students in the past, but they are likely going to do so in the future.

In other words, San Francisco State University is quite literally funding a student organization that is calling for the murder of the Jewish supporters of Israel, which represents the great majority of the Jewish people.

What we know, due to the diligence of Tammi Rossman-Benjamin at the AMCHA Initiative, is that the president, or former president, of GUPS, Muhammad Hammad, was even more violently inclined than we learned last year. The shear number and descriptions of violent postings by this individual is shocking. This is a young Arab man who publicly yearns for violence against Jewish supporters of Israel, as well as people, including children, that he doesn’t like for any reason whatsoever.

What we also know from Ellen Griffin, Associate Vice President of University Communications, is that Muhammad Hammad is no longer a student at San Francisco State.

{Well, thank goodness for small favors, as my dear old ma used to say.}

But, what we do not know, and what we should know, is just what the office of the president of the university did about this situation?

SFSU president Dr. Wong put out a note last year in which he told us that he opposes calls for political violence among his more radical students.

I do not know how much comfort that should give to any young Jewish woman, or Israeli Jewish woman, on that campus.

But, given the fact that a genocidal organization like GUPS still receives university funding, it is cold comfort, indeed.

So long as racist and violently-inclined organizations like the General Union of Palestine Students continue to receive university funding then liberals and pro-Jewish people and non-racists should question and discus support for San Francisco State University.

SFSU cannot expect the friendship of the Jewish community as it funds incitements to violence toward Jews.

That much should be obvious.


Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.