Filmmaker Ami Horowitz went to the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to attend UNC’s joint conference with Duke University on the “Conflict over Gaza” (held March 22-24), an event that was awarded $235,000 in grant money. Told he wasn’t allowed to film by conference organizers, Horowitz brought a hidden mic and a concealed camera to document what really went on at the conference. What he found left him declaring that the two universities and the 38 departments and schools that co-sponsored the event “should all be ashamed.”
Horowitz explains at the beginning of the video that he decided to go to the event in order to “get a sense of the perspectives of the people attending the conference.” What he discovered was not only a lot of “bashing Israel” and “whitewashing” Hamas, but an alarming degree of “open anti-Semitism.”
“This was a major conference, with hundreds of students, professors, and administrators, who spent a weekend bashing Israel and whitewashing the terrorist organization Hamas,” says Horowitz. “If it only stopped there.”
Horowitz’ first interview is outside the event with a female professor conference attendee who says of a series of attacks on Jews and synagogues in New York by African American teens, “Blacks have a lot of, also, reason to be angry at Jews.”
Wearing a hidden mic (North Carolina is a one-party consent state), Horowitz enters the conference to see if he can get some candid responses from attendees. “With very little prodding, the veneer of being anti-Israel in an effort to hide their hatred of Jews was easily scratched away and devolved into open anti-Semitism,” says Horowitz.
His first question is about the oldest of anti-Semitic tropes, as recently pushed by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar: “Does Jewish money control U.S. government policy?”
“Oh absolutely!” says one attendee. “You guys,” she begins before catching herself. “Not you guys — Jewish lobbyists are very rich.”
“This is historically known,” says one male attendee, another adding, “By everyone.” “With you on that one,” says a woman, agreeing that Jewish money supposedly controls U.S. policy. “They’re influencing our politics,” says yet another attendee. “You know, and their money rules the world,” says another.
One female conference attendee, who says she can tell Horowitz is Jewish, applauds him for “questioning [his] own background.”
A male conference-goer alleges to Horowitz that Jews “sterilized” Ethiopian Jews who came to Israel as refugees. Apparently taken aback by the “crazy” conspiracy theory, Horowitz asks the guy to repeat himself to make sure he heard that right.
One of the more stunning moments from the conference Horowitz captured on camera is the “featured entertainment for the event,” controversial Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar, who comes on stage to perform what he touts as his “anti-Semitic song”: “Mama, I Fell In Love With A Jew.”
The rapper tells the audience before he leads them in the lyrics to “think of Mel Gibson” when they sing along. “Go that anti-Semitic,” he says to laughs from the audience. “Let’s try it together because I need your help,” says the performer. “I cannot be anti-Semitic alone.”
“Oh, I’m in love with a Jew,” he sings in a mocking refrain, then points the mic at the crowd, which sings along. “You look beautifully anti-Semitic,” he says after they enthusiastically repeat the line a few times. (Lyrics from another song by Nafar include: “Democracy? Why? It reminds me of the Nazis / You've raped the Arab soul / And it became pregnant, giving birth to a child called terror attack / And then you call us terrorists.”)
At one point, Horowitz is asked by a security guard to leave because “the director does not want your interviews to be conducted.” A woman standing next to the guard says, “We don’t understand what your intentions are.”
“Just days after the conference, swastikas were found on campus,” Horowitz concludes. “Thirty-eight of the largest departments and schools at the University of Carolina sponsored this event. It also got a federal grant of nearly a quarter of a million dollars. They should all be ashamed.”