Saturday, May 6, 2017

San Francisco State University Toxic Climate for Jewish Students: the mainstream media catches on (part 2)

Recently a series of articles and op-eds has appeared in the J- the Jewish News of Northern California documenting the toxic campus climate for Jewish students at San Francisco State University.

Written by 2 long term professors at San Francisco State University, Marc Dollinger and Fred Astren, this article condemns the " inability or unwillingness of the university administration to speak out and act in the face of the marginalization of Jewish students". 

Jewish studies professors: S.F. State marginalizes Jews

The most troubling instance of marginalization of Jews occurred in February when members of an on-campus organizing committee, whose co-sponsors included student and faculty groups, excluded S.F. Hillel from participation in a “Know Your Rights” event, whose program was intended to assist students from marginalized communities navigate the current national political environment. In previous years, the intentional exclusion of Jewish students based upon their group status would have been properly met with an immediate administration repudiation and a call to action. The trust and goodwill of open two-way channels of communications would have facilitated an appropriate response. Instead, the S.F. State administration has made no public comment, thereby continuing in a silence that acquiesces to Jewish marginalization on campus.

In a recent email to S.F. State Hillel students concerned about their physical safety and place on campus, Wong followed an affirmation that “safety is my top priority as president” with the qualification that “one person cannot change the culture of an institution as large as San Francisco State.”

To the contrary, we believe that if there is one person who has the voice to speak out against the marginalization of Jews on campus, the ability to initiate needed change, and the obligation to lead, it is President Wong.

Marc Dollinger is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University. Fred Astren is chair of the Jewish studies department.

Read it all here

San Francisco State University Toxic Climate for Jewish Students: the mainstream media catches on

Recently a series of articles and op-eds has appeared in the J- the Jewish News of  Northern California documenting the toxic campus climate for Jewish students at San Francisco State University.

From Ollie Benn, the executive director of San Francisco Hillel, who believes that the university must acknowledge the problem, make a strong statement against it, and then make an better effort to incorporate Hillel and the Jewish community into the campus

S.F. Hillel director: SFSU must reject intolerance against Jewish students

First, the university must acknowledge the problem. Large systems do not effectively change without their leadership using language giving recognition to wrongs.

In the 1990s, an S.F. State commission found that Jewish students had experienced “bigotry, stereotyping, intolerance and insensitivity” from institutions across campus and that anti-Israel activity had “repeatedly” crossed the line into anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, events of the past year follow that historic pattern. The university cannot change without first taking the healing step of recognizing that systemic problems have re-emerged.

Second, the university must make a strong statement rejecting systemic intolerance against Jews. The recent “Know Your Rights Fair” debacle should have played out quite differently. Students will always push the envelope, and sometimes make wrongful or even malicious decisions. But once the Palestinian student group decided to shut Hillel out of the event (which, ironically, was to discuss the marginalization of domestic minorities), the organizing committee, composed of sponsoring students, faculty and administration, should have stepped in and rejected this move.

As extensive reporting now makes clear, this is part of a troubling pattern at S.F. State. We are sure a university as committed to equality as S.F. State will no longer allow the abrogation of Jewish students’ rights to speak, listen and participate in campus life. A strong public statement rejecting systemic intolerance against Jews should not be difficult to adopt: In March 2016, the regents of the University of California unanimously passed a statement of Principles Against Intolerance; UC Irvine recently adapted and implemented those principles for its own campus; and CSU, Long Beach has committed to becoming a model of “Inclusive Excellence.”

S.F. State should follow suit. It must reject the festering culture of “anti-normalization,” instead affirming that the core values of a university include respectful debate and dialogue, and the ability to hear the opinions of others.

Third, S.F. State must better integrate Hillel into the fabric of university life. Across the country, Hillels have entered into partnerships with their universities on everything from career services to dialogue groups to housing issues to social justice causes to interfaith prayer to mental health training.....

Read it all here

Thursday, October 20, 2016

In conclusion: SFSU's Mohammad G. Hammad did WHAT?

What are the consequences of an sustained, unhinged,  threatening  attack widely broadcast on social media?

Nothing, apparently, if your name is Mohammad G. Hammad and you attend San Francisco State University

Mohammad has been bragging on his facebook page that he is now a graduate of San Francisco State University, with a degree in....wait for it.... International relations

Sunday, April 19, 2015

San Francisco State Partners with Violently Anti-Jewish Arab University

Its not over at San Francisco State

Via Israel Thrives:

San Francisco State University is among the most racist universities in the United States.

It is therefore fitting that it would partner with what is probably the most racist university in the world - An-Najah National University in the Palestinian Authority controlled town of Nablus.

How bad is An-Najah? Michael L fills in the blanks:

The ADL has this to say about An-Najah National University:
An-Najah University, in the West Bank city of Nablus, has been a flashpoint in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians since at least 1980, when violent anti-Israel protests led the Israeli military to close the school intermittently. Today the student council of An-Najah is known for its advocacy of anti-Israel violence and its recruitment of Palestinian college students into terrorist groups. The council, almost completely controlled by factions loyal to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah, glorifies suicide bombings and propagandizes for jihad against Israel. Hamas has described An-Najah as a"greenhouse for martyrs." 
Matthew Levitt, the director of the Washington Institute's Stein Program on Terrorism, Intelligence, and Policy, has this to say:
Al-Najah is the largest university in the territories and "the terrorist recruitment, indoctrination and radicalization of students for which al-Najah is known typically take place via various student groups," among them the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc. "Of the thirteen members of Al-Najah's 2004 student council, eight," he says - "including the chairperson - belong to Hamas's Islamic Bloc." 
After the kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers last year the graduating students of An-Najah University held up the three fingered salute in solidarity with the kidnappers:
three fingers

Jew hiding behind tree cartoonThe Facebook page of the National University’s Islamic student group of An-Najah University in ‎Nablus, a school funded by USAID, called for murder of Jews posting this picture ‎of a religious Jews hiding in fear and the Islamic source from the Hadith that the PA interprets as ‎anticipating the genocide of Jews.

Tree: “O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a ‎Jew behind me – come kill him.”‎

Note: The Islamic belief that Jews will be killed ‎by Muslims as a precursor to the Resurrection ‎appears in the Hadith (sayings and practices ‎attributed to Islam's Prophet Muhammad).This ‎Islamic tradition asserts that as the killing of ‎Jews progresses, Jews will hide behind ‎stones and trees, but they will expose the ‎Jews and call out: "Oh Muslim, servant of ‎Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill ‎him." Only one tree, called the Gharqad, will ‎hide the Jews from the Muslims. ‎
And it was at An-Najah University that they created a "grotesque shrine" to the Sbarro pizza parlor massacre.

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Mel Alexenberg tells us:
A group of An-Najah art students constructed a replica of the Sbarro pizzeria, site of the massacre.

Visitors pushed to see realistically sculpted body parts and pizza slices strewn throughout an environment set for a performance artwork.

Wearing a terrorist’s military uniform and black mask, the performance artist entered the mock pizzeria under a sign reading “Kosher Sbarro” and set off a simulated explosion to the cheers of the crowd. Upon entering and leaving, the visitors enthusiastically wiped their feet on Israeli and American flags used as doormats.

That is the school SFSU has chosen to partner with. Israel Thrives has written extensively about his Alma Mater in the past

"I Love This Blade..." (December 6, 2013)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

San Francisco State: Tolerating the intolerable

Our friend Mike L.recently originally published  a series of posts at Israel Thrives regarding San Francisco State University

As a graduate he expresses his concern that his alma mater aids and abets anti-Semitism.

He writes

"My concern is that my alma mater finances hatred toward Jews and thus helps to bring that hatred to public prominence in the United States..."

1) SFSU funds student organizations, such as the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), that call for the murder of Jews, whom they call "colonizers."
2) In the last academic year, Muhammad Hammad, the former president of GUPS held up a blade, took a "selfie," and then published it on a social media site and talked about his desire to kill Jews.

3) The adviser to GUPS, professor Rabab Abdulhadi, a malicious anti-Israel anti-Jewish political activist who specializes in some semi-academic discipline called "race and resistance studies," took a university funded trip to the Middle East for the purpose of meeting with various terrorists and their supporters including plane hijacker, Leila Khaled, whom they exalt as a "freedom fighter."

Go to Israel thrives and  read  San Francisco State University Funds Hatred Toward Jews and
SFSU and the Abdulhadi Embarrasment # 1  

Mike reminds of that San Francisco State has a long and checkered history of tolerating the intolerable.

Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday, December 14, 2004, Cinnamon Stillwell tells us this:

How did such a threatening environment become associated with a campus located in one of the most liberal and tolerant cities in the nation? The truth is that SFSU has a reputation for intolerance that goes back at least 10 years. In this case, Republican students, clearly a minority at SFSU, were the targets. But in the past, such animosity was directed mostly at Jewish students or those seen as supporting Israel. Jews at SFSU have been spat on, called names and physically attacked, as well as censured by the administration for defending themselves, even as their attackers went unpunished.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

San Francisco State GUPS attempts to disrupt Jewish students celebration

The General Union of Palestinian Students at San Francisco State University have never denounced or distanced themselves from  the genocidal ranting of their president, Mohammad Hammad.  They have attempted to keep a low profile on campus, and according to some sources, postponed a bid at a Divestment referendum until Mohammad's threats were a distant memory.   Yet faced with Jewish students in joyous celebration , the lack of self control that characterized GUPS over the years was out in full force. Until there are consequences for the General Union of Palestinian students- until they are called out and disciplined for their misbehavior- how can we expect San Francisco State to provide a safe campus climate for Jewish students?

From the director Of SFSU Hillel, Alon Shalev

As you might have heard, last week we had a tough Yom Ha'atzmaut at SF State. On Tuesday,the General Union of Palestinians Students held a rally for Naqba (Disaster) Day urging students to come and disrupt our Israel Independence Day. Then on Thursday we held our celebrations.

The first two hours were great: we hosted a shuk (Israeli Market with food,spices, games, and give-aways) and a live performance from local band Sol Tevel. Hundreds stopped to sample the bourekas, rugelach and bamba, pick up information, and dance to Israeli music.

During the final hour, a large group of pro-Palestinians entered the campus quad and held a counter-rally. They were extremely vocal and their chants extreme. As hundreds gathered to watch the spectacle, it became very tense.

Our students were amazing. They continued their singing and dancing throughout. However, many told us afterward about how intimidating it had been. A few left in tears. Ironically, at the end, several discussions broke out between our students and pro-Palestinians. They were hard conversations, but conducted with civility.

On Friday, we invited students to come before our Yom Ha'atzmaut Shabbat to discuss what happened. Usually, a dozen students attend the pre-Shabbat conversations, but this time over 40 students attended. I heard many talk of intimidation and disappointment, but also determination to continue and share the beauty of Israel and all its achievements.

Our JAFI Israel Fellow, Sima Toledano, facilitated the conversation and did an amazing job. She also phoned every student she could remember was on the Quad to see if they were okay.

 After Shabbat service, we partied and ate schnitzel. The house was packed with students setting up tables outside, downstairs and even in the garage! This was the opportunity they were denied on Thursday - the chance to celebrate, to retell stories of their experiences in Israel. Many of this year's Birthright students, who leave in two weeks for Israel, attended both on the Quad and at the Hillel House, and were swept up in the moment.
Alon concludes:

....this week also highlighted why Jewish students need a safe space to be Jewish and explore their relationship with Israel.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Nightmare is Over at San Francisco State University

The nightmare for Israeli students, Jewish students and pro-Israel students at San Francisco State University is finally coming to an end.  Mohammad G. Hammad,  President of the General Union of Palestinians students  (GUPS) at SFSU is no longer a student

Thank you to all of you.  Because of your calls to San Francisco State University and multiple inquiries from reporters yesterday, university administrators have stated that Mohammad Hammad is no longer enrolled at SFSU and is no longer living on campus.  

In addition, today we spoke with the SF Police Department Office of Special Investigation, and the sergeant informed us that Hammad is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI. 

We remain concerned that the terrorist ideology espoused by Hammad is embraced by other members of the student organization he ran, GUPS, and we will continue to closely monitor the investigation and the GUPS group. 

Thank you again for everything you did to help ensure the safety of Jewish students at SFSU. 

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and Leila Beckwith
AMCHA Initiative Co-founders

Mohammad's reaction?

At least Hammad is self aware enough to realize that being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI is a rather "serious turn".

Of course, the real thanks are due to the team at AMCHA, who have tirelessly pursued this until its ultimate conclusion.