Stanford Jewish Student Association Board Speaks Out Against ‘Distressing’ Flyers

May 10, 2019
Photo from Pixabay.

Stanford’s Jewish Student Association Board spoke out against the anti-Semitic flyers that recently appeared on the university campus as “distressing” in a Stanford Daily Op-ed May 10.

The flyers, which were found on May 3, featured cartoons from satirist Eli Valley that depicted American Jews supporting Israel as dinosaurs as well Daily Wire editor-in-chief and Journal columnist Ben Shapiro defending Pharaoh at a Passover seder. Valley is speaking at a Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) event Friday.

The board wrote in their Op-ed, “Many students were alarmed to find these images, which portray Jews offensively and grossly mischaracterize Jewish values, in their residential environments,” adding that “such images foster misunderstanding, prejudice and violence.”

Stanford SJP and JVP took down the flyers and issued an apology May 6, however they wrote in their apology that the full context of Valley’s work shows that the cartoons, and Valley himself, are not anti-Semitic. The board wrote that Valley’s “work is antithetical to thoughtful reflection on Jewish identity and normalizes damaging stereotypes about the Jewish people, the Jewish culture and the Jewish religion. His work crosses the line from pointed political criticism to offensive denigration of Jews; sometimes, he even evokes the blood libel and other anti-Semitic depictions that have been used for centuries to justify hatred of and violence toward millions of Jews.”

The board went on to state that they want attendees to Valley’s event to understand the board’s “disgust with his work, and to bear in mind the distressing impact that his cartoons have caused for many members of the Jewish community. We urge the Stanford student body to contextualize offensive portrayals of Jews within a long and devastating history of anti-Semitic stereotypes.”

The Friday event will feature Valley speaking about his work, followed by an exhibition of work. Valley tweeted that the publicity surrounding the event has resulted in it being limited to students and faculty at Stanford and that anyone from the outside who is interested in coming should contact him directly to be put on the guest list. He has insisted that his work is satirical, not anti-Semitic.

Judea Pearl, chancellor professor of computer science at UCLA, National Academy of Sciences member and Daniel Pearl Foundation president, told the Journal in an email, “Stanford will go down [the] path of UC Irvine unless its moral leadership can bring themselves to recognize Zionism as central to the collective identity of many of their students.” Pearl’s late son, Daniel Pearl, graduated from Stanford in 1985.

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