|SJP BACKGROUNDER ON US CAMPUSES|
THE STUDENTS FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE
By Lee Kaplan
*Note: This report is formatted to be e as a pdf. file on a computer. As such, hyperlinks are used to take the reader to sources in place of footnotes. For those wishing to read it in a printed format, an Index at the end lists all the hyperlinks (sources and information) and where they can be found for verification and research, as well as additional reading materials.
The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) today exists as a consortium of campus “clubs” throughout the American and Canadian college systems which work to oppose the existence of Israel and to promote Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Jewish state. There are at least 80 chapters of these clubs on campuses throughout the US and Canada. The SJP goes under other assorted names on some campuses. Names such as Palestine Solidarity Committee or Students for Palestinian Equal Rights are also common. In Canada, some SJP chapters have adopted the name Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), or Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), while others use similar sounding names but advocate for the Palestinian “revolution” or resistance against the Israeli and US governments when they are perceived as allies together against “Palestinian” irredentist goals. The SJP could be said to operate on the campuses in a classic Rico Statute style of infiltration as a method of promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement throughout the USA and Canada via a “grass roots movement.”.
The SJP actually grew on these campuses, thanks to Hatem Bazian, out of another organization, the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) that was first founded on the San Francisco State University campus in 1973. The GUPS is actually an old pro-terrorist student organization officially begun in Egypt in 1959.It claimed at one point to have had as many as 150 chapters across Europe and the Middle East, and currently has a chapter in Gaza. Early GUPS members or leaders have included Yasser Arafat, Hanan Ashwari, Faisal Husseini and Saeb Erekat among several other well-known Palestinian politicians, writers, journalists and militants who ultimately were involved in terrorism or worldwide political influence from the Middle East. The GUPS is in existence today at San Francisco State University where it wields considerable political influence and has been accused of promoting an atmosphere of anti-Semitism on the Bay Area campus. The GUPS at SFSU could be said to be another differently named affiliate of the SJP, even though it predates the founding of the SJP.
Arafat, Ashwari, Husseini and Erekat.
The actual campus organization Students for Justice in Palestine was started at UC Berkeley in the year 2000 by a former undergraduate GUPS member at SFSU named Hatem Bazian, who founded the first UC Berkeley chapter of the GUPS, retitled Students for Justice in Palestine, as he pursued his graduate studies toward a PhD.. Bazian was head of the Muslim Students Association on the UC Berkeley campus at the time that openly supports Hamas, and he called for an Intifada in America at one rally, though he claimed he was speaking only figuratively. Nevertheless, he has praised terrorist groups and accused Jews of running the University .
Both the SFSU and Berkeley campus organizations received support and guidance from Prof. Jess Ghannam, a Professor of Psychiatry at UC Medical Center in San Francisco. Ghannam is a leader of the American Arab-Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) that he helped to co-found. Ghannam also co-founded Al Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition which also played roles in organizing the GUPS and SJP and continues to provide logisitical support to the SJP. Al Awda advocates for the unconditional return of all Arabs inside Israel whose ancestors allegedly lost property there in 1948 and endorses violence to do so. Ghannam , in association with the ADC helped to found the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in Northern California also, which SJP is an integral part of, recruiting Arab students and American radicals to go to the Occupied Territories in the Middle East to act as human shields for Palestinian terrorist groups. Ghannam worked his way onto the faculty at SFSU as an adjunct professor of Ethnic Studies where he promoted the Palestinian narrative. The ADC provided the early pro-revolutionary reading material for potential ISM volunteers to read during “training” and the SJP helped recruit volunteers and engage in anti-Israel propaganda on campus at Berkeley. Early demonstrations on both campuses, according to the University of California Berkeley campus police department, entailed busloads of demonstrators being brought from the two campuses to each other to increase their numbers at demonstrations.
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