Non-profit

National Students for Justice in Palestine

Website:

www.nationalsjp.org/

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Project of:

WESPAC Foundation

National Students for Justice in Palestine is a pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel advocacy group which creates student activism on college campuses. Its efforts include protesting Jewish speakers, supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and supporting student groups which back the BDS movement. [1] [2] Students for Justice in Palestine claims to be an independent, grassroots organization. [3] However, the left-of-center Jewish watchdog group Anti-Defamation League has alleged the group has received significant support from the radical Palestinian organization American Muslims for Palestine and that it was co-founded by American Muslims for Palestine’s founder and board chairman, Hatem Al Bazian. The League also reports that Students for Justice is a “primary” organizer of anti-Israel boycotts and other activities on U.S. college campuses. [4] [5] A 2019 report by the Study of Global AntiSemitism and Policy showed that the organization frequently supports alleged and convicted terrorists. [6] The group’s leadership and financials are not publicly disclosed.

Positions

National Students for Justice in Palestine had its first gathering in 2010, though the Anti-Defamation League reports that its roots began a decade earlier. [7] As of 2018, it claimed to have over 200 chapters. It claims to oppose anti-Semitism and describes Palestinians as being under an “occupation” since Israel’s creation in 1948. [8]

The group compares Israel to the Nazi German regime and its treatment of Palestinian minorities to the Jim Crow-era United States’ treatment of black Americans. [9] It also organizes an annual “Israel Apartheid Week” named after the racist South African government of the 20th century. The March 2020 conference language accused Israel of engaging in domestic and international repression towards, and supporting genocide of, minorities. [10]

Students for Justice’s 2019 annual conference endorsed the existence of a Palestinian state outside “a Zionist framework.” The conference material also endorsed U.S. Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Both Members of Congress have expressed varying levels of support for the BDS movement and have been accused of anti-Semitism. [11] [12]

Students for Justice in Palestine and its campus chapters periodically issue statements about other issues in American politics. A statement endorsing Black Lives Matter claimed there are efforts to create “erasure to Black communities in the US and around the world.” [13] The group has condemned President Donald Trump’s ban on immigration from a number of Muslim-majority nations and Trump’s 2019 Executive Order which extended protections in the 1964 Civil Rights Act to ethnic Jews. [14] [15]

Controversies

One of the group’s most controversial methods of activism is giving “eviction notices” to college students. These notices are posted by campus chapters without permission on students’ doors in on-campus and off-campus housing. [16] They falsely proclaim that demolition of homes will take place within days, and at Emory University the flyers claimed that Israel destroys Palestinian homes “to ethnically cleanse the region of its Arab inhabitants and maintain an exclusively ‘Jewish’ character of the state.” [17] The New York University Chapter of Students for Palestine was suspended for this activity in 2014. [18] Organizers of a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter which was denied club status as Fordham University sued to gain official status. The group was rejected because of concerns about anti-Semitism. [19] A judge ruled in 2019 that the private Catholic institution must allow the group to exist equally to other student groups, including the opportunity to receive university money and use university space. [20]

Affiliations

National Students for Justice in Palestine claims to be a grassroots organization with loose internal structure. [21] However, the Anti-Defamation League reports that the group is closely affiliated with the American Muslims for Palestine, including coordination and founding by American Muslims for Palestine founder and board chairman Hatem Al Bazian. [22] The Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy reports that American Muslims for Palestine and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network facilitated the first national convention of Students for Justice in Palestine chapters in 2010. [23]

Students for Justice is also assisted by the left-leaning, New York-based WESPAC Foundation, formally known as the Westchester People’s Action Committee Foundation. Based and focused around Westchester, New York, the Foundation is the student group’s fiscal sponsor. [24] In 2016, WESPAC’s support for Students for Justice in Palestine included fundraising, back-office support, and managing funds for the national conference. A spokesperson for WESPAC said the relationship had been ongoing since 2011 or 2012. [25] WESPAC supports the BDS movement. [26]

Hatem Al Bazian

Hatem Al Bazian is the founder and president of both American Muslims for Palestine and Americans for Justice in Palestine. He also founded National Students for Justice in Palestine when he established the group’s first chapter at the University of California, Berkeley in 2001. [27]

Earlier in his career, Bazian was a fundraiser for a pro-Palestinian organization called KindHearts, which had its assets frozen by the federal government amid allegations that it provided “support for terrorism behind the façade of charitable giving,” specifically for allegedly providing aid to the terrorist organization Hamas. [28] KindHearts resisted the allegations, eventually closing its doors while the federal government paid its legal fees and removed the group from its terrorist list. [29]

In 2019, Bazian accused Israel of having an “apartheid” view of Israelites, a reference to the racist South African government of the 20th century. [30] A December 2018 post on his personal site blamed Israel for various assaults in Lebanon and Gaza, not mentioning that Islamist terrorist groups engaged in military action which predated several of the attacks. [31]

Bazian has involved in academia since at least 2002. He co-founded the first accredited Muslim liberal arts college in the U.S. [32] He is a senior lecturer at the taxpayer-funded University of California, Berkeley. [33] He lectures on race, Palestinian issues, Arab-related studies, and colonial-related studies. [34]

References

  1. National Students for Justice in Palestine, BDS Victories. Accessed February 14, 2020. https://www.nationalsjp.org/bds-victories.html. ^
  2. Anti-Defamation League, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Accessed February 14, 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/students-for-justice-in-palestine-sjp#_edn1 ^
  3. National Students for Justice in Palestine, About. Accessed February 14, 2020. https://www.nationalsjp.org/about-nsjp.html ^
  4. Anti-Defamation League, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Accessed February 14, 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/students-for-justice-in-palestine-sjp#_edn1 ^
  5. American Muslims for Palestine, Staff and National Board. Accessed February 14, 2020.https://www.ampalestine.org/about-amp/staff ^
  6. Talia Kaplan, “Pro-Palestinian college group is ‘main driver of Jew-hatred on campus,’ study suggests,” October 30, 2019. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.foxnews.com/us/pro-palestinian-nsjp-student-group-isgap-study ^
  7. Anti-Defamation League, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Accessed February 14, 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/students-for-justice-in-palestine-sjp#_edn1 ^
  8. National Students for Justice in Palestine, About. Accessed February 14, 2020. https://www.nationalsjp.org/about-nsjp.html ^
  9. Elizabeth Redden, “Pro-Palestinian group banned on political grounds,” January 18, 2017. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/01/18/fordham-denies-student-palestinian-rights-group-approval-being-too-polarizing ^
  10. Apartheid Week, Main Website Page. Accessed February 15, 2020. http://apartheidweek.org/ ^
  11. National Students for Justice in Palestine, 2019 Conference. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.nationalsjp.org/2019-conference.html ^
  12. Sahil Handa, “Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Miftah, and the problem of anti-Semitism within the movement for Palestinians’ right to self-determination,” August 25, 2019. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.businessinsider.com/rashida-tlaib-ilhan-omar-miftah-anti-semitism-israel-palestine-bds-2019-8 ^
  13. National Students for Justice in Palestine, Letter in Support of the Movement for Black Lives. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.nationalsjp.org/m4bl-solidarity.html ^
  14. National Students for Justice in Palestine, SJP Condemns Trump’s Executive Order. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.nationalsjp.org/sjpunitedstatement.html ^
  15. National Students for Justice in Palestine, 2018 Conference. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.nationalsjp.org/2018-conference1.html ^
  16. Adam Sabes, “Emory SJP calls for schools to ‘discipline’ Jewish student orgs after they react to ‘anti-Semitic’ flyers,” April 11, 2019. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=12097 ^
  17. Dave Schechter, “Emory University caught in Israel-Palestinian flap,” April 05, 2019. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://atlantajewishtimes.timesofisrael.com/emory-university-caught-in-israel-palestinian-flap/ ^
  18. Miharu Sugie, “Mock eviction notices lead to suspension of NU’s students for Justice in Palestine,” March 14, 2014. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://huntnewsnu.com/32073/campus/mock-eviction-notices-lead-to-suspension-of-nus-students-for-justice-in-palestine/ ^
  19. Dina Sayedahmed, “Students await judgment in suit over Fordham University banning of pro-Palestine club,” January 07, 2018. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://theintercept.com/2018/01/07/palestine-israel-fordham-sjp-lawsuit-bds/ ^
  20. Jon Levine, “Fordham forced to recognize ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ club,” December 14, 2019. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://nypost.com/2019/12/14/fordham-forced-to-recognize-students-for-justice-in-palestine-club/ ^
  21. National Students for Justice in Palestine, About. Accessed February 14, 2020. https://www.nationalsjp.org/about-nsjp.html ^
  22. Anti-Defamation League, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Accessed February 14, 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/students-for-justice-in-palestine-sjp#_edn1 ^
  23. Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, “Antisemitism, violent extremism and the threat to North American universities,” October 2019. Accessed February 14, 2020. https://isgap.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/NSJP-2019-ISGAP-Report-Long-Version.pdf ^
  24. Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine, Send a Student to the SJP National Conference this Year. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://sjp.stanford.edu/2013/09/send-a-student-to-the-sjp-national-conference-this-year/ ^
  25. Ira Stoll, “‘Mysterious’ Westchester Foundation collecting the cash for this weekend’s national Campus BDS Convention,” November 03, 2016. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/11/03/mysterious-westchester-foundation-collects-cash-for-this-weekends-national-campus-bds-convention/ ^
  26. WESPAC Foundation, Militarism and Foreign Policy. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://wespac.org/category/s7-communities-focuses/c42-middle-east/ ^
  27. Anti-Defamation League, Profile: American Muslims for Palestine. Accessed February 14, 2020. https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/assets/pdf/israel-international/american-muslims-for-palestine-2013-03-29-v1.pdf ^
  28. U.S. Department of the Treasury, “Treasury freezes assets of organization tied to Hamas,” February 19, 2006. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js4058.aspx ^
  29. Charity & Security Network, KindHearts Case Timeline. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://charityandsecurity.org/litigation/kindhearts_timeline/ ^
  30. Hatem Bazian, “Trump and Netanyahu and the One State: An Apartheid Zionist One,” April 02, 2019. Accessed February 15, 2020. http://www.hatembazian.com/content/trump-and-netanyahu-and-the-one-state-an-apartheid-zionist-one/ ^
  31. Hatem Bazian, “Israel, BDS and Congresswomen-elect Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib,” December 10, 2018. Accessed February 15, 2020. http://www.hatembazian.com/content/israel-bds-and-congresswomen-elect-ilhan-omar-and-rashida-tlaib/ ^
  32. Center for Race & Gender, University of California, Berkeley, Hatem Bazian, Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://www.crg.berkeley.edu/hatem-bazian/ ^
  33. Twitter, Dr. Hatem Bazian profile, Accessed February 15, 2020. https://twitter.com/HatemBazian?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor ^
  34. The Department of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley, Hatem Bazian. Accessed February 15, 2020. https://ethnicstudies.berkeley.edu/people/hatem-bazian/ ^
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