ASU students: Don’t let anti-Israel radicals make fools of you

Arizona State University (ASU) is under assault from anti-Israel radicals intent on demonizing Israel and the ASU Jewish community. The members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at ASU are not content with being radical anti-Semites themselves. They have now set out to poison other student organizations against Israel through propaganda and lies. Their purpose is to convince these organizations to officially endorse the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign (BDS). ASU cannot let this happen. SJP is simply using these other student groups as pawns in their attempt to sow discord and spread hatred for Israel and the Jewish people.

Allowing BDS to spread on ASU’s campus would be extremely detrimental to campus culture and for the community as a whole. SJP may claim that BDS is part of a fight for human rights and improved conditions for Palestinians, but the truth is they want to co-opt the voices of ASU’s student groups for their own political agenda. ASU students must reject this hateful ploy out of hand.

BDS goes against everything ASU stands for. ASU’s own charter says the school is, “measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed.” BDS is built on the demonization and exclusion of Jews.

BDS on campus will only serve to isolate Jews from their peers, deepening divisions on campus, and damaging the inclusion ASU claims to value. BDS exists to boycott Israel and cause economic and personal devastation to those who encounter it. Jewish and Israeli students deserve to walk their campus freely without fear of discrimination and rampant anti-Semitism.

What SJP doesn’t want you to know is that BDS does nothing to help the Palestinian cause. Tens of thousands of Palestinians work at Jewish-owned businesses in Israel. Boycotting those businesses will only harm the very people SJP claims to be fighting for. The only tangible impact of BDS seems to be on Jewish students on campus, who are subjected to threats and intimidation because of their ancestral ties to Israel.

Unfortunately, 11 organizations have already offered endorsements for this sickening campaign, but SJP is still short of their goal — to gain 50 endorsements in two months. It is outrageous and disgusting to think that SJP is lobbying their fellow students to spread this horrible anti-Israel and anti-Semitic initiative.

SJP does not care who they have to manipulate or exploit to reach their goal. ASU students need to push back on their false narrative and encourage the campus community to stand together against hate, not fall victim to it.

If it was not clear before now, BDS has no place on a college campus. This anti-Semitic campaign will only divide the campus community and spread hate. I hope that these student groups realize what the SJP is really trying to accomplish, and how they can prevent it from happening. ASU must reject this campaign to ensure a positive university climate and a safe space on campus for all students.

About the Author
Bassem Eid (born 5 February 1958) is a Palestinian living in Israel who has an extensive career as a Palestinian human rights activist. His initial focus was on human rights violations committed by Israeli armed forces, but for many years has broadened his research to include human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Palestinian armed forces on their own people. He founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group in 1996, although it ceased operations in 2011. He now works as a political analyst for Israeli TV and radio.
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