Beverly Warren, President, Kent State University
Kent State President Beverly Warren has occupied the university’s top seat since 2014. During her years in office, Kent State’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine has become increasingly radicalized, with members and officers on record as sharing pro-terrorist sentiments and anti-Semitic tropes on social media. The former president of Kent State SJP tweeted “Long live the Intifada, long live the resistance and long like Palestine. #HandsOffJerusalem.” Kent State SJP also holds annual “Israeli Apartheid” hate weeks featuring a mock “apartheid wall” that promotes anti-Israel terrorism and the Hamas-supported BDS movement against Israel and has repeatedly stated its support for the “Great Return March,” a Hamas attack on Israel’s borders.
Kent State was until very recently the academic home of infamous Historian Julio Pino who has been investigated by the FBI for his connection to and possible recruitment for ISIS. Pino is known for shouting “Death to Israel!” at a university lecture in 2011 and for an open letter to academic supporters of Israel in which he stated that he held these academics responsible for “the murder of over 1,400 Palestinian children, women and elderly civilians over the past month” and concluded with the statement, “Jihad until Victory!” Despite Pino’s explicit support for anti-Israel terrorism, it was only in April 2018, after Pino pled guilty to lying to the FBI and was sentenced to five months in jail, that Kent State suspended him and banned him from campus.
Several officers and members of the Kent State chapter of SJP have taken to social media to spread hatred of Israel, incitements to terrorism, and to repeat anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and tropes. The 2018 KSU SJP President Chance Zurub tweeted “Long live the Intifada, long live the resistance and long like Palestine. #HandsOffJerusalem.” He also tweeted, “The only Israeli food that they [Israelis] eat is the blood of the Palestinian people.”
Kent State SJP activist Subhi Husien tweeted: “BDS is important for weakening the Zionist entity but violent revolution will be the only solution to gain liberation.” He has also publicly expressed his support for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an anti-Israel terror group, on Twitter.
Kent State SJP activist Lama Abu Amara also voiced her support for terror on social media, writing in her Twitter profile: “Globalize the Intifada Decolonize Palestine.”
In September 2018, Kent State SJP hosted an event with anti-Israel history professor Ilan Pappe on “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.” Pappe has defined Zionism as “a racist and quite evil philosophy of morality and life."
On April 11, 2018, Kent State SJP hosted speaker Josh Reubner from the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Reubner is a supporter of the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel and has claimed that an “Israel lobby” controls U.S. policy and that the Israeli government examined Hitler’s tactics in the Warsaw Ghetto to inform them how to “attack and kill Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”
In the spring of 2018, Kent State SJP posted numerous articles and videos on its Facebook page accusing Israel of conducting a “massacre” against those Palestinians participating in the so-called “Great Return March.” In fact, the marchers at the Gaza border were composed primarily of Hamas militants who were openly attacking Israel’s border.
In March 2018, KentWired.com, an independent news site for Kent State University, published a student column supporting SJP’s “Israeli Apartheid Week” on campus and demonizing Israel as an “apartheid state,” stating that “If being an apartheid state means systematic oppression, committing inhumane acts and racial domination over one group, the United Nations has ruled that Israel is guilty.”
In February 2018, SJP co-hosted an event with the Black United Students titled, "When I see them, I see us." A student speaker at the event stated, "there’s three pillars to the BDS movement. They are not B D and S. They are end the occupation, end the apartheid, and the right of return.” The BDS movement is funded and supported by anti-Israel terror group Hamas and the so-called “right of return” for Palestinians would mean the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.
In May 2017, Kent State SJP posted a notice on their Facebook page that they would henceforth be refusing to conduct relations with pro-Israel groups: “After much deliberation, we have decided long ago that it is incumbent to follow the anti-normalization stance outlined by PACBI & USACBI. SJP will not participate in any event that morally or politically equates the oppressor and oppressed, and presents the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis as symmetrical. Such events should be boycotted because it normalizes Israel’s colonial domination over Palestinians and ignores the power structures and relations embedded in the oppression.” This anti-normalization policy amounts to a refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and is supported by Hamas.
In March 2017, SJP at Kent State held an event titled "IAW Speaker Event: From South Africa to Palestine" featuring speaker Dr. John Trimble. During his address, Trimble mocked the experience of Jewish students who face anti-Semitism on social media, declaring, “On the one hand the Jewish student union is telling the president of the university, you need to get rid of this person…because he put something on his Facebook admiring Hitler and any time you say something about Hitler that’s like [laughs] you’re ex-communicated whatever so this was interesting experience and I raise this with some of the activists and they say yes it’s really a reality in terms of the Zionist power.” Trimble also promoted the Hamas lie that Israel was built on land stolen from Palestine: “the construction of Israel was based on injustice and apartheid. They took the land from Arabs, from Palestinians..."
As part of Israeli Apartheid Week in March 2017, SJP at Kent State erected a mock “apartheid wall” promoting Hamas propaganda including the Hamas supported and funded BDS movement against Israel and including the pro-terrorist sentiment “To exist is to resist” (resistance is often used as a euphemism by Hamas and its supporters for terrorist aggression against Israel).
In November 2016, the president of SJP at Kent State, Yousof Mousa, wrote an oped for the student run news website arguing that a portrait and quote from former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir should be removed from the wall of a campus building where it accompanies other inspirational quotes from various public figures. The quote does not mention Israel or Palestine. He declared that “Meir had policies and statements that were expressly racist against Africans.”
In January 2016 it was revealed that Kent State Associate Professor of History Julio Pino was under investigation by the FBI for possible involvement with the ISIS and for possibly recruiting students to join the Islamic terrorist group.
In August 2014, Kent State Associate Professor of History Julio Pino published an open letter to “Academic Friends of Israel” in which he declared “I hold you directly responsible for the murder of over 1,400 Palestinian children, women and elderly civilians over the past month… May your names become a curse word on the lips of every justice-loving person on earth, along with ‘Obama’ and ‘Netanyahu.’”
Pino also invoked anti-Semitic tropes of blood libel, stating, “I curse you more than the Israelis, for while The Chosen drain the blood of innocents without apologies you hide behind the mask of academic objectivity, nobility of research and the reward of teaching to foreign youth----in a segregated university, of course.” He concluded his letter with the epithet, “Jihad until victory!”
The university responded with a statement which declared “We condemn the professor’s statement as reprehensible and irresponsible. At Kent State, we value collegiality and mutual respect. Assailing the public with broad statements of culpability violates these principles.” Kent state did not take further disciplinary action against Pino.
In 2011, while attending a speech by Ishmael Khalidi, the former deputy consul general at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, Kent State Associate Professor of History Julio Pino shouted “Death to Israel!”