Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is an anti-Israel group whose goal is to paint Israel as a bloodthirsty apartheid state, which it does while intimidating both students and faculty on college campuses across the U.S. and Canada.
SJP and other groups stand behind the preposterous call to boycott and divest from Israel and organize the annual “Israel Apartheid Week” on college campuses, all while declaring that the Jewish state practices a policy of genocide towards Palestinians.
But the SJP chapter at UCLA recently got a taste of its own medicine. This Sunday, fliers depicting Hamas’ brutal executions of Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel were posted across the UCLA campus. One poster depicted a Gazan with a bag over his head and Hamas executioners by his side. Another poster showed the body of a Palestinian “collaborator” being dragged through the streets of Gaza while chained to the back of a motorcycle.
Each of these posters was labeled with “Students for Justice in Palestine” and the hashtag #JewHaters.
In response to the posters, SJP played the role of innocent victim, targeted because of its religion and not its actions, releasing a statement that the posters were motivated by “Islamophobic and anti-Arab tropes to paint Palestinians as terrorists and to misrepresent Students for Justice in Palestine as anti-Semitic.” Why would anyone feel that SJP is anti-Semitic?
I must admit, I was very happy that some Jewish or pro-Jewish students finally tried to unmask SJP, a group that supports terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as the annihilation of the Jewish people. Perhaps the best defense in the PR war being waged in the media and on college campuses against Israel is a strong offense.
Instead of defending Israel’s record against the ongoing chorus of lies, false accusations, and smear campaigns, perhaps it will be more effective to expose these anti-Semitic groups and the terrorist organization they support.
If you want proof that this tactic works, just look at the pathetic and clearly worried response of SJP to the fliers posted at UCLA: “Coupled with the recent uprise in Islamophobia on a national scale, we are concerned for the safety of our fellow students and student organizers.” Shouldn’t SJP also be concerned for the safety of Jewish students, after their own tactics have led to an unprecedented level of anti-Semitic attacks on college campuses?
If we, the pro-Israel community, continue to play defense, groups like SJP will always have the upper hand, as the conversation will be about Israel’s morality. And with the world’s widespread ignorance about the Jewish state, it is easier for our opponents to convince people that Israel is oppressive than it is for us to prove otherwise.
But by making the debate about our opponents’ terror and brutality, we shift the focus away from Israel and place the spotlight on a culture that abhors peace, glorifies terrorists, and draws the Jewish state into bloody confrontations it does not want.
I hope we see more of these tactics from the pro-Israel community. The truth must come to light, and that will only happen when those of us on the side of truth are willing to expose the lies and reality of our enemies. - Ami Farkas