Yesterday, the University of California, Los Angeles's student newspaper The Daily Bruin published an anti-Semitic cartoon drawn by Felipe Bris Abejón, a second-year political science student.
The cartoon depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that he would break the "thou shalt not kill" commandment after "stealing" supposed Palestinian lands. Ignoring the fact that Abejón did not know that "thou shalt not kill" is the Sixth Commandment and "thou shalt not steal" is the Eighth Commandment, his cartoon utilizes blood libel, an old anti-Semitic polemic that claims that Jews kill non-Jewish babies to bake matzoh, as well as using the Jewish faith to slam the Israeli Prime Minister.
This is the cartoon in question.
Following backlash on social media and elsewhere, UCLA's Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter published an article condemning the cartoon. The authors claimed that not only was Abejón not a member of SJP, but also that SJP has never intended to demonize the Jewish community.
Here's an excerpt of what they wrote:
It has come to the attention of Students for Justice in Palestine that the Daily Bruin published a political cartoon that conveyed anti-Semitic tropes in a portrayal of the current Israeli prime minister.
We first and foremost ask the Daily Bruin to clarify that the illustrator of the cartoon has no affiliation with SJP.
Although SJP has repeatedly condemned the policy of the Israeli government with regards to its oppression of Palestinians, it is not and has never been our intention to demonize the Jewish community.
The authors lied on both of those claims. In an article published in The Daily Bruin on November 25, 2015, Abejón responded to a flyer campaign by David Horowitz that connected SJP to radical Islamic terrorism, claiming that the organization "strives to create a conversation around and raise awareness about the occupation of Palestine." The by-line of the article states that Abejón was the chapter's education and resources director.
Furthermore, SJP at UCLA has a long history of anti-Semitic activity on their campus. Nearly two years ago, four SJP-affiliated students questioned a Jewish student's potential to have an "unbiased view" to serve on the undergraduate's judicial board due to her involvement with Hillel and a mostly Jewish sorority. A UCLA law student and the Graduate Student Association president left the university following months of harassment from anti-Israel activists for choosing to remain neutral on a BDS question.
When UCLA first introduced a BDS resolution three years ago, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro went back to his alma mater to condemn the resolution as a despicable act of Jew-hatred.
Student for Justice in Palestine's UCLA chapter is not the only one that crosses the line from "anti-Zionism" and acts completely anti-Semitic. As Daniel Mael wrote in The Tower:
Instead of promoting justice, SJP and/or its members spend almost all of their energy demonizing Israel, advocating for its eventual destruction, showing an unfortunate affinity for pro-terrorist figures, bullying and intimidating pro-Israel and Jewish students with vicious and sometimes anti-Semitic rhetoric, and even at times engaging in physical violence. While SJP may pay lip-service to peaceful aims, their rhetoric and actions make it hard to avoid the conclusion that a culture of hatred permeates nearly everything the group does—making the college experience increasingly uncomfortable, at times even dangerous, for Jewish or pro-Israel students. Perhaps equally disturbing is the limited response from university authorities that have an obligation to prevent such attacks and protect Jewish students.
And the risk to Jewish and pro-Israel students appears to be growing. Indeed, unless college administrators take a more active role in preventing it, SJP has a good chance of achieving its goal of turning venomous hatred of Israel and bullying of Jews and non-Jewish supporters—with all the violence and fear that inevitably accompany it—into a legitimate and accepted tactic on North American campuses.
Abejón's cartoon is indicative of SJP's continuous failure to separate the Jewish faith from the State of Israel and Zionism. Even though it tries to use anti-Semitic groups like Jewish Voice for Peace to take Jewish traditions out of Eretz Israel, it always resorts to the lowest forms of bigotry that deliberately attack Jewish students on campus. While these hypocrites claim to care about "safe spaces" and creating more inclusive communities, SJP does not believe that pro-Israel Jewish students or anyone who has the audacity to oppose their apologetics regarding Hamas and other Jew-hating terrorist groups should be incorporated in that vision.
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