Renu Khator, President, University of Houston
Renu Khator ascended to the presidency of the University of Houston in 2008. She also serves as the chancellor of the four-campus University of Houston System. During her tenure as UH president, the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine has become increasingly radicalized and outspoken about its hatred of Jews, composed of a membership who flagrantly praise Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on social media, disseminate Hamas propaganda, defend Hamas’s recent terrorist attacks on Israel’s borders and chant the genocidal slogan “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free,” a Hamas call to eliminate the entirety of Israel as a Jewish state, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. UH SJP and MSA co-hosted an event featuring Sheikh Omar Suleiman who has publicly supported a “3rd Intifada” and SJP has also hosted anti-Israel poet Remi Kanazi who promotes the Hamas-backed BDS movement against Israel, while disrupting speeches by pro-Israel author David Horowitz and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. Additionally, numerous articles and opinion pieces published in the campus paper, The Daily Cougar, promoted the false Hamas propaganda claim that Israel’s defense of its Gaza border against Hamas’s attempts to attack it under cover of the “Great Return March” constituted a “massacre.”
UH SJP’s increasing radicalism and allegiance to Hamas was rewarded by SJP National which decided to hold their 2017 National Conference at the University. This conference is a highly restricted event not open to the public or media that spreads hatred of the Jews and teaches Hamas propaganda techniques to SJP chapters who attend from across America. President Khator made no objection to the choice of her university as a venue for SJP’s terror-promoting symposium and has not attempted to contain SJP’s malevolent rhetoric and actions in any way.
On May 22, 2018, SJP protestors at the University of Houston interrupted a speech by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley with anti-Israel chants and shouts that she is responsible for genocide. Students chanted, “Nikki, Nikki can’t you see? You are on a killing spree” and “Haley, Haley you can’t hide, you sign off on genocide.” The SJP members also chanted, “When people are occupied, resistance is justified,” a call to support anti-Israel terrorism, and “Killing children is a crime, free, free Palestine,” an accusation of blood libel against Israel. The protestors were escorted outside but were not otherwise disciplined.
On May 15, 2018, SJP activists from the University of Houston placed large protest signs stating "Free Palestine" and "Hands off Jerusalem" on bridges crossing U.S. Highway 59, which takes travelers through Houston. When asked by the media about the impetus for the signs, SJP member Mohammad Abdel-Aziz stated: "Tuesday was the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, which translates to 'catastrophe” …70 years ago in 1948, over 750,000 Palestinians were pushed out of their home, more than 500 villages were destroyed, including my hometown, Saffuriyya." Hamas and other groups seeking the destruction of Israel use the term “Nakba” to refer to Israel’s founding.
In April 2018, the University of Houston’s campus paper, The Daily Cougar, published an opinion piece by a student history major who characterized Israel’s defense against Palestinian protestors who were marching along the Gaza border of Israel as part of a “Great Return March” as a “massacre.” In fact, the marchers at the Gaza border were composed primarily of Hamas militants who are openly attacking Israel’s border. The author also stated that “In 1948, between 750,000 to one million Palestinians were ethnically cleansed by the Israeli military in what has been called al-Nakba — the catastrophe,” conveniently leaving out that these refugees left voluntarily, assuming that they would easily be able to return after five neighboring Arab countries attacked Israel on the day of its founding, intending to destroy the nascent Jewish state. Instead, Israel triumphed in its War of Independence.
On November 30, 2017, UH SJP together with the campus Palestine American Cultural Center hosted an event featuring Ilan Pappé who spoke on the “Centennial of the Balfour Declaration.” Pappé has authored several books which demonize Israel including "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" and "The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories." He currently serves as the Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter. During his address, Pappé expressed support for the genocidal BDS movement against Israel and delegitimized Israel by claiming that the Jewish settlers “regard[ed] themselves as indigenous” and attempted to “de-indigenize so to speak the native population.” He also labeled Zionism a “racist” ideology.
On March 30, 2018, UH SJP shared a post on social media characterizing the “Great Return March,” as resulting in:
6 Martyrs and more than 550 injuries with different injuries and inhaling tear gas.
The martyrs are:
1- Mohammed kamal Al-Najjar
2- Waheed Nasrallah Abu Sammour
3- Mahmoud Abu Mamar
4- Mohammed Abu Mamar
5-Ahmad Ibrahim Owda
6- Jehad Fareena
In fact, the “Great Return March” was a terrorist attack by Hamas militant on Israel’s Gaza border. Hamas has openly stated that it will pay large sums to the families of “martyrs” and those who are injured in the attacks.
On November 2, 2017, a speech by conservative author David Horowitz on campus was interrupted for several minutes by protestors who chanted “Zionists off our campus” and “Free, Free, Free Palestine.” The protestors eventually left the room but continued to chant outside. One protester also shouted, “F*** Zionists, F*** all you Zionists.”
In October 2017, U. Houston SJP hosted the 2017 SJP National Conference—a highly secretive event that spreads hatred of Israel and teaches Hamas propaganda tactics to SJP members from campuses across the nation—on their campus. SJP National is part of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist network and receives funding from Hamas through an intermediary Hamas front group, American Muslims for Palestine.
One speaker at the conference, well-known anti-Israel poet Remi Kenazi, called for the “right of return” for Palestinians, a policy that would have the practical effect of destroying the state of Israel. Kanazi also demonized and delegitimized Israel, stating: “It’s not just the occupation, stupid. It’s the right of return, a calling for all Palestinians….It’s the transformation from a racist, exclusionist, supremacist state to a nation for all of its citizens…Israel you’re a proxy for empire…yes, your’e singled out..Did I hurt your feelings? You are either with oppression or against it….your system of oppression is coming to an end.”
A number of organizers and panelists for the National SJP (NSJP) conference have been discovered by the Canary Mission an organization dedicated to exposing hatred, to have shared genocidal, anti-Semitic, and pro-Nazi comments on social media. These include Samer Alhato, an NSJP Workshop Leader, who has shared “@BarackObama shut up about gay marriage and go kill all the Jews” and “I support Hamas and I send then money every month.” NSJP Organizer and Panelist Mohammed Nabulsi has openly endorsed terrorism and Hamas, stating “[W]e must look to and support Palestinian resistance groups and civil organizations…such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad.” And NSJP Organizer Brant Roberts has stated “F**k that sh*t! I support what the PFLP & PLO have done in their cause to free the Palestinians.” Similarly, NSJP Organizer Sarah Abdulmooti shared “Israel really needs to die and I pray it happens in my lifetime.”
During an “Israel Apartheid Week 2017” that was hosted on campus in March, Students for Justice in Palestine erected a mock “Israeli Apartheid Wall” plastered with Hamas propaganda denying the legitimacy of the Jewish state. One panel of the wall contained the slogan, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free” a call for the total destruction of Israel—which lies between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the same goal which Hamas endorses in its charter. Another panel of the wall contains an image of the series of Hamas propaganda maps purporting to show the Jewish colonization of Arab Palestine, a nation that has never existed. A third panel states, “If you want to find a safe place in Gaza, do not stand near a child,” implying that Israel deliberately targets Palestinian children with its weapons. In fact it is Hamas that places its rocket launchers in civilian areas and uses Palestinian children as human shields for its terrorist activities. A fourth panel accuses Israel of targeting mosques, schools, and slums in an effort to kill civilians and declares “It is not war, it is murder.” These declarations are Hamas propaganda lies. In fact, Hamas takes pains to use civilian dwellings and areas to launch rocket fire against Israel so that when Israel retaliates, they can point to the resulting civilian casualties as evidence of Israel’s inhumanity.
An event co-hosted by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and SJP during Israeli Apartheid Week 2017 featured UH African-American Studies Chair and Communist Party member Dr. Gerald Horne who spoke on “The Black Radical Tradition and Palestine.” Horne endorsed the genocidal and Hamas-promoted and funded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, stating “Just as we enlist more black organizations into the BDS movement, boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement…it would…give a direct boost to BDS if we had the Palestinian forces and their allies internationally speak out more on police terrorism.” When a group of Zionist students attempted to speak during the question-and-answer session, and to students outside the lecture hall, pro-Palestinian students surrounded them and chanted slogans such as “free, free, Palestine, occupation is a crime!” until they were forced to leave and abandon the attempt at dialogue. An article about the event proudly declared that “Zionists were driven away.”
In March 2017, UH SJP released a statement purportedly opposing anti-Semitism which in fact demonstrated several forms of anti-Semitism including denying Jews self-determination and delegitimizing the Jewish state. The statement declared, “We are committed to building a world that values justice and equality, not oppression and apartheid. That commitment also requires us to reject the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism: we oppose Zionism and Israel’s discriminatory policies, and we condemn anti-Semitism.”
During March 2017, UH SJP hosted “BDS 101,” an event dedicated to promoting the genocidal BDS movement against Israel.
In January 2017, UH SJP shared a video from Jewish Voice for Peace on its Facebook page on “What is Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” that purports to show a timeline of Israel’s occupation of Palestine which includes “ethnic cleansing” of 750,000 Palestinians and “conquest, destruction and expulsion which has continued to the present day.” It also accuses Israel of a “brutal military occupation” and a system of “racial discrimination” that amounts to “apartheid.”
In February 2016, UH SJP hosted the anti-Israel hatefest “Israeli Apartheid Week” on campus. Advertisements for the events endorsed the genocidal and Hamas-funded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. The event also featured an event with BDS-supporting poet Remi Kanazi.
In March 2015, UH SJP co-hosted an event with BDS Houston featuring anti-Israel poet Remi Kanazi. During the event, Kanazi promoted the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel, stating “F—k Zionists, Boycott Israel,” and claimed that Israel is carrying out “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians.
In February 2015, UH SJP announced that they were launching a campaign to push for the passage of a BDS resolution against Israel on their campus. The BDS movement is supported financially and organizationally by Hamas.
UH SJP has shared several Facebook posts in support of convicted anti-Israel terrorist Rasmeah Odeh who was convicted by an Israeli military court in 1970 for her involvement in two fatal terrorist bombings.
In August 2014, UH SJP and MSA co-hosted an event featuring Sheikh Omar Suleiman who has publicly supported a “3rd Intifada” to destroy Israel and has spread Hamas propaganda lies and blood libels about the Jewish state.
The Canary Mission, an organization dedicated to identifying Jew hatred at colleges and universities, found that 13 individuals who are either attending or are recent graduates of the University of Houston posted dozens of times on social media expressing support and praise for Hitler, mocking the Holocaust, threatening violence against Jews, and expressing Jew hatred. Several of these individuals were members of SJP or MSA at the University of Houston, while others were loosely affiliated with these chapters.
These tweets and social media postings included:
“Yahoodis [Jews] are just so disgusting.”
“Sooner of later the Yahood [Jews] wont exist.”
“FalasteenibladnawilYahoodiklabna [Palestine is our country and the Jews are our dog].”
“Palestine will be the 2nd place of the Holocaust for the Yahood [Jews].”
“Hitler loved Arabs specifically Palestinians, he even said ‘we need to get the Jews out of Palestine they don’t belong there’”
“Yall don’t understand I wanna beat a zionist bitch up so bad.”
“A Jewish rabbi has admitted to using human child meat as a filler in McDonalds meat. They allegedly drug teens and kill them, for their meat.” Radwan then doubled down, adding: “THE TRUTH ABOUT MCDONALDS & MISSING CHILDREN.”
“Baba: Jews have a big nose because breathing air is free Lmfaoooo”
“F**K THE JEWS F**K EM ALL KILL ALL THE JEWS ATTA BOY HITLER.”
“Teacher: hitler tried to exterminate the Jewish people Me: I wish he did Kid next to me: wtf is wrong with you… .”
“I am gonna throw rocks at yahood [Jews] this summer and no one is stopping me.”
“Holy crap man ma bedi a2oolha bas Hitler lazem a5ad kel el yahood [Hitler should have killed them all] when he had the chance shuklab [that dog].”
“‘@DictatorHitler: Versace Versace f**k bitches bake Jews that’s the life of a Nazi’”