The Israel Group: Santa Clara DA Should Investigate Stanford Student for Possible Hate Crime
UPDATE: Sean Wibby, the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office Public Communications Officer, said in a statement sent to the Journal, “We encourage the Stanford Department of Public Safety to investigate. We will review any evidence and consider any recommended criminal charges that they bring to us.”
The Israel Group sent a letter to the Santa Clara District Attorney (DA)’s office urging them to look into Stanford student Hamzeh Daoud’s Facebook post threatening to “physically fight” Zionists as a possible hate crime.
The letter, authored by The Israel Group Founder and President Jack Saltzberg, argues that Daoud’s post violates California Penal Code 422(a), which states that “any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out.”
Saltzberg also argues that threatening violence against Zionists constitutes as a hate crime, given the importance of Zionism to Jewish religion. Saltzberg added that with Daoud slated to be a Residential Assistant (RA) at a Stanford dormitory in the fall, his Facebook post deserves further scrutiny.
“Many Jewish supporters of Israel feel threatened in university campuses because of individuals such as Hamzeh Daoud,” Saltzberg wrote. “While the First Amendment protects speech, even when it is hateful, the First Amendment does not protect threats of violence.”
The Santa Clara DA’s office has yet to respond to the Journal’s request for comment.