November 18, 2013
Subject: antisemitic event at SFSU
Dear President Wong,
We are the co-founders of AMCHA Initiative, an organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about and combatting campus antisemtism.
We are writing to you regarding an event that took place at SFSU last Thursday as part of the General Union of Palestine Students’ 6th Annual Palestinian Mural Celebration entitled “We Speak for Ourselves; Honoring our Forebearers”.
During the afternoon, as part of the day’s programming, there were tables set up in Malcolm X Plaza for art projects. On the tables were cans of spray paint and stencils. One stencil was an image of Leila Khaled, a member of the U.S. State Department-designated terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP was responsible for several plane hijackings, suicide bombings that killed several Jews, and the assassination of a Jewish member of the Israeli Knesset.
Another stencil bore the words “MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS KILLED COLONIZERS“. In the context of the day’s events honoring the Palestinian Mural’s subject Edward Said, who notoriously accused the Jewish state of being “colonialist”, the stencil clearly refers to the killing of Jews.
These stencils were used to make signs carried by students in the plaza. (You can see pictures of a stencil and sign below).
Rhetoric that glorifies and honors the murderers of Jews is antisemitic.
GUPS received several thousand dollars to mount this program from the Associated Students, Inc. and the Cesar Chavez Student Center, as well as the co-sponsorship of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative in the College of Ethnic Studies.
We would like to ask you the following questions:
1) Is it acceptable behavior for GUPS, a University sanctioned and funded student organization, to run an antisemitic on-campus activity that encourages students to glorify the murder of Jews?
2) Is it acceptable behavior for AMED, an official academic unit, to sponsor an event that includes an antisemitic on-campus activity that encourages students to glorify the murder of Jews?
Your reply is of interest to many in the Jewish community.
Please note that Jewish community leaders from across the state have been copied on this email.
We look forward to your reply in the near future.
Co-founder, AMCHA Initiative
Co-founder, AMCHA Initiative
CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White
CSU Board of Trustees
CSU Interim General Counsel Andrew Jones
Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, Senior Scholar, AMED
Kenneth Monteiro, Dean of College of Ethnic Studies
Andrenike Hamilton, President SFSU Associated Students, Inc.
Guy Dalpe, Managing Director Cesar Chavez Student Center
California State Senator Leland Y. Yee (San Francisco)
California State Senator Mark Leno (San Francisco)
California Assembly Member Philip Y. Ting (San Francisco)
California Senator Carol Liu, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education
California Assembly Member Joan Buchanan, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee
California Jewish community leaders
Wide circulation in the Jewish community