The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is regularly played out on US college campuses in the form of intimidation and bullying of Jewish/pro-Israeli students and disruption of their events. Across the nation, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and various chapters of the Muslim Students Association have made it clear that they will not tolerate pro-Israel expressions. Indeed, disruption is a designated tactic of SJP as evidenced by the disclosure of a document that surfaced in 2014 from the State University of New York at Binghamton chapter.
In the past couple of weeks, Stanford University has been rocked by social media postings by an SJP member promising to physically fight “Zionists” on campus. When his posting became public, Hamzeh Daoud re-wrote the post to remove any indication that he planned to engage Zionist students physically. The damage was done, however.
The Stanford College Republicans took up the issue arguing that threats of physical violence had no place on campus and that there should be consequences. The fact that Daoud held some sort of university employment as a resident assistant led many to argue that he should be removed or resign from that position. That earned them the enmity of the campus newspaper, the Stanford Daily, which portrayed Daoud -and his pro-Palestinian cause- in a sympathetic light while condemning the College Republicans. Typical university stuff.
This week, it was announced that Daoud had resigned from his resident assistant position at Stanford. Whether the university has taken any other action against him is covered by privacy laws.
This is not the first case of a threat of physical or even deadly violence we have seen on campus as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At San Francisco State University, the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) first produced posters declaring support for the idea of killing “settlers” (Israelis) while their president fantasized about killing Israeli soldiers using a knife as a visual prop. SFSU is still dealing with the fallout over those two incidents, a controversy that centers around the GUPS mentor, Professor Rabab Abdulhadi and Les Wong, the weak-kneed president of SFSU.
It is precisely, the weakness of university administrators across the nation that allows this dangerous climate to exist. Time and time again, they refuse to take meaningful action against campus thugs who disrupt events and threaten violence against others. When the day comes that one of their Jewish students is murdered on campus, they will all have blood on their hands.