Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) are taking their disdain for the Jewish Sate to the next level. Having conducted anti-Israel demonstrations on college campuses across North America; intimidating Jewish students as well as sponsoring some of the most vehement anti-Semitic voices in America, SJP is now adding breaking the law to their resume.
The education watchdog group AMCHA initiative uncovered an internal SJP document revealing a plan to disrupt all pro-Israel events, behavior that is illegal under all U.S. states’ laws. The document, approved by the membership of Binghamton University (SUNY)’s SJP group, states that if over six SJP members are present at a given “Zionist Normalization” event, the members should disrupt the event, as there might be views expressed at the given event with which SJP does not agree. However, according to New York State law Sec. 240.20 of the New York Penal Law, “disturb(ing) any lawful assembly or meeting of persons” is outlawed.
AMCHA initiative co-founder, Tammi Benjamin, told the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity:
This document reveals the lengths to which SJP members will go in order to shut down any and all pro-Israel opinion or discussion on their campus, even to the point of illegally disrupting an event and violating Jewish and pro-Israel students’ freedom of expression and assembly. It also provides hard evidence that the delegitimization and demonization of pro-Israel Jewish students, and the bullying and intimidation tactics used against them by SJP members on campuses across the country, are part of a unified SJP strategy to silence all pro-Israel perspectives.
The response by Jewish education and advocacy groups was swift–on October 28, fifteen of these groups wrote to university presidents of more than 100 schools warning them of SJP’s plans and their legal ramifications. In the letter, the students argued, “The document is extremely troubling in that it outlines a clear strategy for targeting, ostracizing, harassing and silencing students. It advocates behavior consistent with ‘anti-Zionist normalization’ campaigns being waged by SJP groups across the country, whose explicit purpose, according to the Anti-Defamation League, is to delegitimize all pro-Israel perspectives and actively suppress their expression on college campuses.”
In one section of the leaked document, SJP prohibits leaders and members from collaborating or cooperating with Jewish and pro-Israel student groups, as well as anyone who has “aided and abetted Zionist student organizations”.
The letter to the university presidents states, “Although a student organization is certainly free to choose its partners for collaboration and cooperation, the SJP group’s a priori rejection of any interaction with Jewish and pro-Israel student groups – or with any other group that is deemed to have ‘collaborated’ with them – bespeaks of prejudice, bigotry, and a lack of tolerance and civility, behavior that should not be tolerated from a student group on any campus.”
The letter to the Presidents ends urging them to “monitor the behavior” of their SJP groups, as their tactics may not only breach university policies, but U.S. state laws as well.
Eliana Rudee is a contributor to the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. She is a graduate of Scripps College, where she studied International Relations and Jewish Studies. Follow her @ellierudee.