Visit the Students for Statehood (SFS) website powered by WordPress, to view pixilated flyers for some twelve calendared rallies in support of the PA statehood bid to the UN. They look as though designed by students. They use basic logos, and there is an embedded hip-hop video.
The organization gained attention last August for their email solicitation to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), self-identifying on their website as “college and university students.” While Palestinian organizations released statements against the UN Statehood bid, SFS took a different approach, advocating to Obama that “we want to get the United Nations to be our referee rather than, rather than the United States.” (sic).
The initial email sent to SJPs across the U.S. was from Diana Shuman, editor at the Palestine Daily Telegraph. Shuman identified SFS as “student run,” to Oday Shahin, an organizer with SJP at Arizona State University. However, after phone calls to students who organize in SJPs at UC Berkeley, Columbia University, Yale and Hampshire College–all of whom had never heard of SFS–and a quick domain search for www.StudentsForStatehood.com, no student organizers could be found.
The SFS website is registered to Rasha Uthman, the then Public Affairs Officer of the PLO Mission, and the PLO affiliation was not disclosed, “the PLO was almost running the entire organization,” Shahin notes, adding “she also refused to disclose the members of the board.” Shuman contends, that concealing this was a “fiasco,” and made SFS “a shamed entity” continuing, “especially for the one-state-ers such as myself.” According to Shahin, the PLO Mission was already unsuccessful with students based on a previous campus visit by a PLO representative.
As for the September 4 rallies organized by former PLO Mission intern Yazan Mustafa, Shuman notes, “some of the rally’s had zero attendees,” and in Chicago, a campus group cancelled the rally and retracted support to SFS.
Following the outing of the PLO Mission affiliation of SFS, Shuman has publically spoken out against the PA bid at a Maen Areikat event, and Uthman has resigned from her post, leaving the PLO without support–from the PLO.