Anthony Monaco, President, Tufts University
While led by President Anthony Monaco, Tufts University has ignored rules violations committed by the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine while immediately tearing down posters exposing SJP’s links to the anti-Israel terror group Hamas. Under Monaco’s charge, Tufts University hosted the SJP National Conference in 2014 at which students were instructed how and when to take “direct action” against supporters of Israel.
Tufts SJP has condoned anti-Israel terrorism on numerous occasion in public statements and events and holds an annual “Israeli Apartheid” hate week during which the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel is promoted and Hamas propaganda spreading falsehoods about Israel is displayed. Tufts SJP also attempted to delegitimize supporters of Israel by labeling the pro-Israel campus group Students Supporting Israel “literally a hate group.” Monaco and his administration have done little to show their support for Jewish students in the wake of SJP’s onslaught of lies and offered only a tepid defense to a petition signed by faculty and students criticizing the decision to send a Tufts security officer to a counterterrorism conference in Israel.
In April 2018, SJP at Tufts hosted its annual “Israeli Apartheid Week,” a series of events dedicated to spreading Hamas propaganda about Israel and false claims that demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state. The week included events promoting the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel and the display of a mock border wall plastered with Hamas-derived propaganda such as defining the First Intifada—a series of violent terrorist attacks against Israel—as a “Palestinian uprising against the occupation” and a condemnation of U.S. aid to Israel accompanied by an image of money bags turning into rockets which destroy a presumed Palestinian home.
In March 2018, a letter drafted by Tufts Associate Professor of Anthropology Amahl Bishara which strongly criticized the decision to send Tufts’ director of public and environmental safety to Israel for a training seminar on counter-terrorism was circulated among faculty and students. The letter was signed by 39 faculty and staff members, 111 students and 47 alumni. The letter demonized Israel claiming: “Adoption of Israeli approaches to security would endanger our students, staff, and faculty…it is not the time for Tufts Police to be taught by institutions like these that routinely disregard civil and human rights. Furthermore, these joint trainings lend ideological and financial support for Israel’s repression of Palestinians.” The University responded, not to defend Israel from these false charges, but to defend the seminar itself as “a valuable source of information that will enhance the university’s readiness to address emergency situations.”
In August 2017, as the school year was starting, leftist student activists at Tufts shared a handbook titled the “Tufts University Disorientation Guide” on two official class Facebook pages which delegitimized Israel and defamed the campus Jewish organization, Hillel, by describing it as “an organization that supports a white supremacist state” which “exploit[s] black voices for their own pro-Israel agenda.” University officials ultimately removed the handbook from the official class pages, but not before it was seen and read by many incoming Jewish students. No action other than removing the handbook was taken against the students who posted it without authorization.
In April 2017, the Tufts student government ignored requests from over 50 individuals belonging to the Jewish community on campus and went forward with a vote promoting the Hamas-supported and funded BDS movement against Israel on the night before Passover started. The resolution—which falsely demonized Israel as “an apartheid regime” and issued a call for the right of return of Palestinians, effectively destroying Israel as a Jewish state—passed by a vote of 17-6-8.
In November 2016, large stickers demonizing Israel and Israeli and Jewish leaders were placed on the Tufts campus as part of a Palestinian Advocacy Project campaign. The stickers recounted purported quotes from Israeli and Jewish leaders which were taken drastically out of context to infer Jewish attacks on the Palestinians. For instance, one stickers depicted Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan with the text “Palestinians ‘are beasts, they are not human.’” Another sticker depicted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu alongside the quote, “beat them up not once, but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it’s unbearable. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on how to deal with Palestinians.”
In October 2016, the Tufts administration responded to posters placed on campus by the David Horowitz Freedom Center which exposed SJP’s links to Hamas and anti-Israel terrorism by emailing a statement to the entire student body claiming that the posters violated the University’s community standards. The Tufts community standards explicitly state “Freedom of expression and inquiry are fundamental to the academic enterprise”--nothing in the Freedom Center’s posters violated those standards. In this instance, the Tufts administration displayed rampant hypocrisy for immediately tearing down posters exposing SJP’s ties to terrorism while allowing SJP to disregard campus regulations to attack Jewish students and Israel.
In June 2016, Tufts SJP added its name to a letter from SJP National protesting a decision by the San Francisco State University administration to investigate the actions of a pro-Palestinian group known as the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) who disrupted a speech by the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, on April 6th by shouting exhortations to terrorist violence. SFSU students involved in the protest entered the auditorium carrying Palestinian flags and wearing checkered kaffiyehs which are associated with anti-Israel terrorism. The demonstrators then proceeded to shout “Intifada,” a call for terrorism against Israel, and chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” a slogan advocating for the destruction of Israel.
The letter signed by Tufts SJP stated: “We condemn SFSU President’s pledge to open a ‘full investigation’ into the protest and condemn the President’s pledge to prevent peaceful student dissent in the future. Such actions create a chilling effect undermining activism and freedom of speech for students advocating for justice and freedom in Palestine.”
In April 2016, Tufts SJP praised Columbia University SJP for disrupting a talk by the Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barakat. According to an account posted by Columbia SJP, “We organized an action to shed light on his promotion of VIOLENCE, APARTHEID and ETHNIC CLEANSING of Palestinians.”
In March 2016, Tufts SJP held “Israeli Apartheid Week” on campus. During a demonstration, students distributed a publication called “Zintifada,” labeled on its website as “an independent publication of Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine,” which supported Palestinian terrorism and violence against Israel, stating that “violence is acted upon by the powerless by the powerful. Let us not only recognize the right of the oppressed to defy, but let us also stand as allies in their struggle.”
In March 2016, Tufts SJP attempted to delegitimize supporters of Israel by labeling the pro-Israel campus group Students Supporting Israel “literally a hate group.” Such behavior is consistent with Hamas’s dictate to reject the “normalization” of relations with Israel and its supporters.
On December 07, 2015, Tufts SJP held an event called “Palestinian Human Rights Now.” The Facebook graphic for the event featured an image of rockets with dollar signs dropping off a conveyer belt and the captions “US Taxpayers funded 670 million weapons for Israel between 2000 and 2009” and “During these years the Israeli military killed at least 2,960 unarmed Palestinians.” The poster made no mention of the numerous unprovoked rocket attacks by the Palestinians on Israel. There have been no unprovoked rocket attacks by Israel against Palestinians.
On October 28, 2015, SJP members disrupted a “Taste of Israel” event held by the campus organization Friends of Israel by distributing flyers attacking Israel and labeling it an “apartheid” state. One flyer read: “Taste of Israeli Occupation” while another stated “Don’t dip into Israel apartheid.”
In August 2015, two student organizations at Tufts, the Spoken Word Alliance at Tufts and Tufts Pan-African Alliance, added their signatures and support to the 2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine. The statement endorses the Hamas-inspired BDS movement, demonizes and delegitimizes Israel, uses Hamas language to refer to the Israeli defensive action Operation Protective Edge as “last summer’s Gaza massacre,” and supports Hamas terrorism against Israel claiming that “US and Israeli officials and media criminalize our existence, portray violence against us as ‘isolated incidents,’ and call our resistance ‘illegitimate’ or ‘terrorism.’”
During March 1-6, 2015, Tufts held Israeli Apartheid Week 2015 on campus. Events for the week included a panel on the “History, Tactics and Future of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” and a “Conversation with Tufts Professors on Palestine” during which activists accused Israel of “apartheid,” “colonialism” and “racism” - accusations meant to delegitimize and demonize the Jewish state.
During March 2015, Tufts SJP hung a banner promoting the film “The Lab” in the main campus dining hall with the caption “Israeli weapons tried and tested on Palestinians.” This statement and film support the “blood libel” propagated by Hamas that Israel deliberately murders Palestinians, when it is in fact responding to a seventy year unprovoked aggression by Arabs on the Jewish state.
On April 27, 2014, Tufts SJP staged a “die-in” on campus to protest an “Israeli Independence BBQ” which they claimed was held “on Nakba Day when hundreds of thousands were expelled or murdered 66 years ago.” The “Nakba” is an Arabic term meaning “catastrophe” which Hamas and its allies use to refer to the day of Israel’s founding. These are lies. Israel was attacked by five Arab states on the day of its creation, and the Arabs who fled did so at the behest of the Arab armies who promised them they could return when Israel was destroyed. Tufts SJP neglected to mention that on the day of Israel’s founding it was attacked by five Arab nations and that resulting deaths occurred in self-defense of the fledgling nation.
During October 24-26, 2014, Tufts SJP hosted the Students for Justice in Palestine National Conference on campus. Panels held as part of the conference were designed to teach SJP activists how to take “direct action” to counter pro-Israel groups on campus. The conference program stated, “Presently, SJPs throughout the nation are pushing the limits of Palestine Solidarity, and understanding how civil disobedience works can strengthen any campaign’s pressure and salience… Understanding this tactic is crucial to a stronger and more versatile SJP that seeks to publicly challenge university administrations and student governments.”
A member of the national SJP steering committee which organized the conference, Ahmad Aburas, has publicly declared his support for Hamas on social media. One of the conference’s keynote speakers, Mohammad Desai, is the National Coordinator of BDS South Africa, and has defended South African BDS activists who chanted “shoot the Jew” at a pro-BDS protest.
On March 05, 2014, as part of Israeli Apartheid Week demonstrations held on campus, Tufts SJP distributed mock eviction notices to student dorms which stated that “Eviction and demolition notices are routinely given to Palestinian families living under oppressive Israeli occupation for no reason other than their ethnic background.” In fact eviction notices are given to the families and supporters of terrorists who have actually carried out attacks on innocent civilians. Tufts SJP also constructed a mock apartheid wall and staged a mock eviction during which students were held blindfolded at gunpoint.