The extent and ferocity of Jew hatred at our nation’s academic institutions was put on full display last spring at a three-day conference on Gaza which was held at UNC-Chapel Hill. Numerous speakers at the conference praised and promoted the Hamas initiated-and-funded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel and an official conference entertainer even amused the audience with what he titled “my anti-Semitism song.” That the conference was sponsored by over a dozen official university academic departments highlights the vast scope of UNC’s Jew Hatred problem.
UNC-Chapel Hill also fosters an active chapter of the Hamas-linked hate group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) which in recent years has sponsored events promoting BDS, propagandizing for Hamas, and demonizing and delegitimizing Israel. UNC SJP also spoke out in defense of radical freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar, in the wake of Omar’s indefensible and anti-Semitic comments about how congressional support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins.”
Instances of Jew Hatred:
In April 2019, anti-Semitic posters were discovered to have been placed on bookshelves and tables in the Davis Library on UNC’s campus. The flyers referred to “an evil Jewish plot” and urged readers to “do everything you can to fight the silent covert Jewish attempt to enslave and kill good Americans." Rabbi Zalman Bluming, Executive Director at Chabad of UNC and Duke, noted that, “It is particularly disconcerting that this reprehensible incident occurred as Jews are preparing to celebrate the Passover Holiday which represents freedom and unity.”
In March 2019, UNC’s Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies cosponsored an infamous three-day conference with over a dozen university academic departments as well as the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies titled "Conflict Over Gaza." The conference provided numerous demonstrations of anti-Semitism and pro-terrorist sentiment including a UNC student audience member who praised the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah as the “Palestinian Avengers.” Several speakers including anti-Semite Linda Sarsour and author Laila El-Haddad praised the Hamas-initiated-and-funded BDS campaign against Israel and demonized and delegitimized the Jewish state. Perhaps most egregiously, the conference featured an entertainer Tamer Nafar who addressed the audience from the stage stating, “This is my antisemitism song... don't think of Rihanna when you sing it, don't think of Beyonce, think of Mel Gibson [audience laughter]. Go that antisemitic... let's try it together 'cause I need your help. I cannot be antisemitic alone. [Sings refrain] Oh! I'm in love with a Jew, I fell in love with a Jews [Audience repeats refrain multiple times]... Her skin is white and mine is brown. She was going up, up, I was going down down.[Audience repeats refrain]. You [audience members] look beautifully anti-Semitic.” Since $5000 in federal grant monies were allocated toward the conference, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has launched an investigation into whether UNC and Duke violated the conditions of that grant by holding an event showcasing explicit anti-Semitism.
On February 22, 2019, well known anti-Semite and former Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour presented the keynote address at the UNC Minority Health Conference. Sarsour took advantage of the opportunity to promote the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel.
On February 18, 2019, SJP at UNC posted a message of support for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in the wake of the Congresswoman’s much-derided comments which promoted anti-Semitic tropes including the idea that Jews use their financial influence to gain governmental support for Israel. “We stand in solidarity with Ilhan Omar,” SJP posted, alongside a longer statement attempting to defend Omar’s claims.
In April 2018, the UNC chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine erected a mock “apartheid wall” on campus. Slogans painted on the wall promoted the Hamas-funded and genocidal BDS movement against Israel and also portrayed the infamous series of false Hamas propaganda maps which purport to show the Jewish colonization and takeover of Israel.
In an April 2018 letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Tar Heel, UNC Students for Justice in Palestine demonized Israel and promoted the BDS movement by arguing that American police forces should cease all exchanges of ideas and tactical training with the Israeli military. “Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank has essentially been a 50-year experiment of how to come up with the most effective way to suppress, humiliate, and deprive a native population from living a dignified life,” the letter claimed.
In March 2016, UNC SJP hosted Laila Al-Arian, daughter of Sami Al-Arian, a former professor at the University of South Florida who was indicted and pled guilty in 2006 of conspiring to aid the terrorist organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The event also involved a screening of the film, “USA vs Al-Arian.” The film was promoted by SJP this way: “Is Al-Arian a threat to national security or is his First Amendment right to free speech at the heart of this case? At this time of heightened anti-Muslim rhetoric and sentiment, the film USA vs. Al-Arian is a sober reminder of the vulnerability of Arab Americans and Muslims living in the US and all of our civil rights.”
In March 2016, UNC SJP re-posted a link from anti-Israel activist Noura Erakat which celebrated the GS4’s decision to divest from Israel, thereby supporting the Hamas backed and funded BDS movement.
In December 2015, UNC SJP shared a video on social media about Israel’s security fence, which reduced Jewish deaths from terrorist attacks by more than 1,000 in its first year. The video labeled the security fence an “Apartheid Wall” and falsely claimed that its key purpose is not security but rather to occupy more Palestinian land.
On November 18, 2015, UNC SJP hosted a screening of the anti-Israel film “Occupation 101” which falsely claims that Israel is occupying Palestinian land. According to the Amcha Initiative, “The film contains several anti-Semitic themes, including that Israel is guilty of ‘ethnic cleansing;’ that Israel’s actions against the Palestinians are a form of colonialist aggression; and that Jews in America wield excessive power over American foreign policy.”
In October 2015, UNC SJP held a “Vigil for Palestine” on campus. The Facebook invitation for the event demonized and delegitimized Israel, accusing the Jewish state of a “violent military occupation” and claiming that “The recent spike in violence exposes the ugly reality of the occupation,” without making any mention of the Palestinian acts of aggression and terrorism provoking the Israeli response.
On March 10, 2015, UNC SJP promoted “Buycott” and BDS apps on its Facebook page. These apps make it easier for consumers to boycott Israeli products, and support the Hamas promoted and funded BDS movement against Israel.
In February 2015, disgraced former University of Illinois Professor Steven Salaita, who was fired for making anti-Semitic tweets, spoke at UNC on “Academic Freedom and the Corporate University.” During his address, Salaita demonized Israel, accusing it of war crimes and mass slaughter and also delegitimized Israel, accusing it of settler-colonialism. Salaita’s speech was sponsored by several UNC academic departments and also by SJP and by the group Faculty for Palestine.
On January 29, 2015, SJP at UNC-CH staged a mass walkout of about 70 students from a pro-Israel event hosted by Christians United for Israel which featured speaker Dumisani Washington. SJP’s refusal to engage and ask questions at a pro-Israel event echoes Hamas’s policy of anti-normalization under which they will not negotiate or agree to civil relations with groups supporting the state of Israel.