One person texted me an image of a poster calling activists “#Jewhaters” that was found at DePaul University in Chicago.
Another activist, Maggie Sager, wrote on Twitter that the posters have been found at five campuses in total: Drake University, DePaul, UMass Amherst, University of California, Irvine and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Original post: Posters calling Palestine solidarity activists anti-Semitic were posted on the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus yesterday at multiple locations.
The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter publicized the posters late yesterday. Members of the chapter say the posters were put up in multiple locations, including inside apartment complexes.
The image on the posters is striking. It is a copy of a widely circulated image of Hamas members holding a person they suspected of collaborating with the Israeli army during the last assault on the Gaza Strip. The words “Students for Justice in Palestine” are at the top of the image, while the word “#Jewhaters” is at the bottom of the posters.
“These posters are a clear example of hate speech directed against Students for Justice in Palestine, as well as supporters of Palestinian freedom and equality,” the UCLA SJP chapter said in a statement. “They rely on Islamophobic and anti-Arab tropes to paint Palestinians as terrorists and to misrepresent Students for Justice in Palestine as anti-Semitic.”
The statement says the UCLA administration is aware of the issue and plans to respond. And Omar Zahzah, a member of the SJP chapter, said in an e-mail that “within hours after the images were spotted, the pro-Israel group on our campus, Bruins for Israel, emailed us to let us know that they also found the flyers hateful and that they were taking them down and calling on all of their allies to do the same.”
Sam Hoff, a writer for UCLA’s student newspaper, reported that “UCLA Facilities Management was notified of the signs and cleaned them up.”
In November, the UCLA student government passed an SJP-backed bill calling on the UC Regents to divest from corporations that do business with Israel’s army. Many other UC campuses have done the same, making California an epicenter of the nationwide battle over Israel on college campuses.
Earlier this month, the University of California Student Association also passed a resolution recommending divestment.
The SJP statement on the posters connected the images to the anti-Muslim sentiment voiced at the UCSA hearing:
We must point out that these posters are only the most recent manifestation of a larger, egregious pattern of anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, and anti-Muslim bigotry that has gone unchecked throughout the UC system. Earlier this month, a Muslim student wearing a hijab was singled out during the public comment portion of a University of California Student Association meeting for wearing religious clothing, following a pattern where the freedom of expression for Muslim women become routine targets on campus. UCSA members were deliberating divestment when the incident occurred. Outside the meeting, multiple witnesses observed protesters yelling slurs such as, “This campus is a breeding ground for terrorists” and “Terrorists don’t belong on UCLA’s campus.” Students in support of Palestinian rights, particularly Muslim women, were harassed, filmed against their will, and repeatedly called “terrorist”, all to administrative inaction.