Photo by Danielle Corcione
By: James Yeun
During the 2015-2016 academic year, my campus Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) launched a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. By February, the Wall Street Journal had published articles — such as this — accusing our college of supporting anti-Semitism. Zionist alumni inflamed the situation by supporting a witch hunt against Rutgers University gender studies professor Jasbir Puar for giving a lecture at Vassar on the Palestinian struggle. Soon every single person that was involved with SJP had their pictures and personal information placed on a Zionist website called Canary Mission.
I was personally targeted by Zionist and right-wing media. A photo of me wearing a hoodie depicting Leila Khaled — a famous female Palestinian resistance fighter — with the phrase “Resistance is not terrorism” began to circulate. I received threats of violence and a constant barrage of racial and homophobic slurs.
Additionally, several of our members faced anonymous hate as well. Many more faced personal battles at home and at their places of worship.
The administration told me to contact the police, or else they couldn’t take action. After I did and was told by the police that they could do nothing, we asked the administration to denounce Zionist attacks. They refused, saying that they needed to remain neutral.
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