SPME joined 12 other groups in issuing a statement condemning the antisemitic attack against a pro-Israel Jewish student at Temple University. The student was punched in the face and called “baby-killer, racist, Zionist pig” and “kike” as he stood next to a table run by the Students for Justice in Palestine. The groups called on Temple University to publicly condemn this attack and to carefully monitor SJP because of its history of intimidation, harassment, and incitement against pro-Israel students on campus.
We are deeply troubled by the physical assault against a Jewish student at Temple University. Daniel Vessal, a CAMERA Fellow and member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, was punched in the face and knocked down and called “baby-killer, racist, Zionist pig” by individuals at the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) table that was part of “Templefest,” an organizational exhibition on August 20, 2014.
A university campus should be the setting for thoughtful discussion and intellectual debate. Such an atmosphere should be encouraged by all responsible student groups.
Unfortunately, Students for Justice in Palestine is not such a group. It has a proven track record of intimidation, harassment, and incitement merging into anti-Semitism against Israel and its supporters on campus.
This is unacceptable and must be exposed and condemned by all those who value free speech, civil discourse, and cultural understanding among the diverse members of the university community, including students, faculty, and administrators.
We are concerned that the campaigns and materials that are promoted and produced by SJP subvert the normal and proper campus environment and may inspire violence, particularly during Israel’s struggle against Hamas, an Islamist terror organization whose genocidal charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and war against all Jews.
Groups like SJP should be closely monitored by campus authorities to ensure that they abide by the basic university rules for open academic discussion and intellectual debate. Otherwise, there is no place for them on campus.
We commend Hillel for its statement on the deplorable episode at Temple and encourage all groups and individuals to join in calling on Temple University to publicly condemn the recent assault committed at the SJP table on campus as well as to publicly condemn intimidation of any individual or group based on their identities or viewpoints.
Americans for Peace and Tolerance
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Proclaiming Justice to The Nations, Inc.
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME)
Simon Wiesenthal Center Campus Outreach
The Lawfare Project
The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)