December 19, 2018

Signs of Anti-Semitism In University of Michigan Divestment Resolution

In November 2017, University of Michigan’s student government passed a resolution calling on the university to divest from companies that conduct business in Israel. A new report now highlights the anti-Semitism that permeates the organizations and individuals responsible for its passage.

The pro-Israel watchdog Canary Mission explained in their report that the resolution was mainly pushed by an organization called Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), which describes itself as a “Palestinian solidarity group” through their #UMDivest campaign.

Throughout their campaign, SAFE repeatedly denied that the resolution had anything to do with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, even though they used four BDS activists to help push through the resolution. One of the activists that spoke at a hearing about the resolution, Sabry Wazwaz, “has a history of tweeting anti-Jewish imagery, conspiracy theories and imagery equating Israel with Nazi Germany,” per the report.

“At the meeting, Wazwaz compared Palestinians in Israel to Jews killed by the Nazi regime,” the report states. “He had just three months earlier tweeted: ‘#ZionismIsNazism.’”

The report also noted that SAFE frequently denied charges of anti-Semitism, citing their condemnation of neo-Nazi Richard Spencer. However, a Jewish student said at the hearing that she had “heard SAFE supporters laughing behind me as my peer talked about his fear of wearing a kippa around campus.”

The report concludes by highlight SAFE activists who have engaged in the demonization of Israel, such as activist Arwa Gayar accusing Israel of “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing.”

SAFE has not responded to the Journal’s request for comment.

The full report can be read here.