December 10, 2019

StandWithUs Petition Calls for University of Minnesota to Denounce SJP Conference

Photo courtesy of StandWithUs.

StandWithUs launched a petition calling on the University of Minnesota to condemn the National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) conference taking place on their Twin Cities campus from Nov. 1-3.

The petition features a letter to University President Joan T.A. Gabel stating that “SJP has a long record of spreading hate, supporting violence, and violating the free speech rights of people they disagree with on campus.”

It also pointed out that the Nov. 2018 NSJP conference at UCLA “explicitly promoted the destruction of Zionism, celebrated disruptions of speakers who support Israel’s right to exist, and glorified terrorism against Israeli civilians.”

Therefore, the petition argues, Gabel should condemn the conference as well as “celebrating and growing your cooperation with these [Jews and Israelis] and the organizations that represent them on campus.”

StandWithUs argued in a Sept. 26 press release that organizations with ties to terror groups like “Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, [and] the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine” provide funding and support to SJP. SJP also glorifies terrorists like Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan and PFLP terrorist Rasmea Odeh, the latter of whom spent 10 years in an Israeli prison for her role in a 1969 Jerusalem bombing that killed two Israeli students, per the press release.

Additionally, SJP frequently promulgates rhetoric that “falls under the [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] definition of anti-Semitism,” which “includes denying Israel’s right to exist, demonizing Israelis, and attacking Israel using classic anti-Semitic tropes,” the press release argues.

We are standing up for free speech, academic freedom, diversity, and inclusion on campus,” StandWithUs Co-Founder and CEO Roz Rothstein said in a statement. “National SJP targets Jewish students simply for supporting Israel’s existence, and seeks to isolate and eliminate the world’s only Jewish state. University administrations should denounce SJP’s hate and prevent its chapters from violating student rights.”

The University of Minnesota did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment.

NSJP’s 2019 conference, titled “Beyond Struggle: From Roots to Branches Towards Liberation,” calls for “the fullness of Palestinian liberation” and argues that “the Palestinian struggle against Zionism, extends beyond the confines of 1967, and well before the Nakba (the Catastrophe) of 1947-1948.”

A spokesperson for the University of Minnesota told the Journal shortly after NSJP’s Sept. 16 announcement that their conference would be held there, “Any registered student group is allowed to reserve space on campus, provided they comply with relevant policies. The University of Minnesota encourages students and student groups to exercise their freedom of expression and a broad spectrum of ideas. We do not make decisions based on content.”