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Network Behind Eruption of Anti-Israel College Campus Protests Revealed in New Report

The “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” at Columbia University, located in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Photo: Reuters Connect

Anti-Zionist protests striking US colleges and universities across the country have been the result of “tightly coordinated” efforts backed by the financial power and logistical support of groups linked to terrorist organizations and some of America’s most prestigious philanthropic foundations, according to a new report.

In the wake of the Hamas terror group’s Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel, the “exponential rise in antisemitic violence, incitement, intimidation, and harassment on and around campuses in the United States is not the product of spontaneous protests of individuals. Rather, they are tightly coordinated and well-funded by a network of radical and often antisemitic nongovernmental organizations,” stated the report by NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institute. “Under the guise of human rights and justice, these NGOs work to undermine the economic, military, and other ties between the US and Israel, and to besiege and divide the US Jewish community.”

NGO Monitor noted that all of the groups in question supported and justified the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7 and that many are linked to designated Palestinian terror organizations.

“A common feature of all these NGOs is non-transparent funding and structure,” added the report, which was released amid an explosion of anti-Israel demonstrations on college campuses amid surging antisemitism since Oct. 7.

Since last week, college students have been amassing in the hundreds at a growing number of schools, taking over sections of campuses by setting up “encampments” and refusing to leave unless administrators condemn Israel and adopt the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to isolate the Jewish state from the international community as a step toward its eventual elimination. Endorsing the BDS movement would entail universities shuttering academic programs linked to Israel, banning Israeli academics from campus, and divesting endowments of any holdings connected to Israel.

Footage of the protests has shown demonstrators chanting in support of Hamas, calling for the destruction of Israel, and even threatening to harm members of the Jewish community on campus.

“The extremely troubling attacks at some of the most esteemed academic institutions, with protesters openly intimidating Jews on campus and endorsing murder and rape, are deeply concerning,” NGO Monitor president Gerald Steinberg said in a statement accompanying the new report. “Given the gravity of the situation, US authorities must initiate a public and transparent investigation into the groups responsible for antisemitism on university campuses.”

He added, “A central focus must be the secret funding that enables these NGOs and the question as to whether foreign states and terrorist entities are involved in bringing incitement to Ivy League schools and beyond.”

Beyond focusing on Israel and Gaza, the campus demonstrations have been theaters for the airing of antisemitic demagoguery not heard with such apparent mainstream acceptance in the Western world since the rise of the Nazis in Weimar Germany, a series of events which saw students emerge to express solidarity with Adolf Hitler’s vision of a world without Jews. The current students — drawn from organizations such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Within Our Lifetime (WOL), and others — have been filmed calling for not only the killing of Israelis and Jews but also the dissolution of the US government and acts of terror on American soil.

These organizations have maintained both influential and radical friends, NGO Monitor explained in its new report released on Thursday, noting that JVP — a fringe anti-Israel group that has often joined forces to coordinate events with SJP — has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Other donors to JVP include the Open Society Policy Center and the Kaphan Foundation, among others.

As for SJP, one of its founders, Hatem Bazian, is also a co-founder of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), an advocacy group that, according to a landmark report last year by the National Association of Scholars (NAS), “retains ties to terrorist groups operating in the Palestinian Territories.” AMP is a growing power player in the US Democratic Party and has led several legislative initiatives aimed at eroding Democratic support for Israel.

NGO Monitor also named in its report Within Our Lifetime, a New York City-based group headed by a former City University of New York (CUNY) student who once threatened to set a Jewish student’s Israel Defense Forces (IDF) sweater on fire while he wore it. Since Oct. 7, WOL has openly cheered Hamas’ atrocities as the “right to resist zionist [sic] settle violence” and “Resistance in all its forms. By any means necessary” — an apparent endorsement of Hamas’ abductions and sexual violence against Israeli women. The group’s funding is a source of mystery; the public cannot freely donate to it because a link to its donation platform, “Donorbox,” is broken, but it is widely believed that the Westchester Peace Action Committee (WESPAC), a nonprofit based in New York, is WOL’s principal funder.

Another group named in the new report, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), supports a network of allied groups, including AMP, JVP, and WESPAC. USCPR has received immense financial support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which has awarded it at least $355,000 since 2018.

Many of the same groups backing the ongoing protests have also been integral in the growth of the BDS movement. Indeed, a growing alignment of large philanthropic organizations with BDS has been fueling the movement’s growth on American college campuses, as was revealed in the NAS report from last year.

According to NAS’s findings, JVP as of last year had received $480,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, whose endowment was valued at $1.27 billion, since 2017, and the Tides Research Fund, a sponsor of Black Lives Matter, has given the group at least $75,000 since 2019. Between 2014 and 2015 alone, JVP brought in over half a million dollars in grants. Additionally, Palestine Legal, a lawfare group founded in 2012 to support campus BDS groups like SJP, is the beneficiary of generous funding from Tides Foundation, a pioneer of activist investment that has given over $1.5 million to anti-Israel initiatives, according to figures included in the report.

“Saturation of anti-Israel, pro-BDS sentiment on college campuses is a long term danger to US support for Israel by its simple normalization of demonizing the Jewish state,” NAS said at the time. “Beyond the problem of antsemitism, the importance of academia to the BDS movement’s growth and viability demonstrates the steady erosion of its political neutrality that has taken place over the past two decades.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction

Toronto Police have arrested and charged a man for assault over an incident May 9 near the protest encampment at the University of Toronto’s King’s College Circle on its downtown campus.  Toronto Police Services (TPS) say they responded at 3:45 p.m. that day to a call for assault in the area of the road around […]

The post Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

Terrorists in Gaza have been using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets they were preparing to shoot at Israelis, new video circulating on social media reveals, underscoring the challenges of delivering aid to Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-ruled enclave without it being stolen.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — which is the armed wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasused bags from Turkey and UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for the Palestinians — to prop up the rockets, according to the video.

At least three of the bags say they contain “wheat flour,” and the bag from Turkey specifically says it is supposed to go “to the Palestinian people.” It is unclear whether the bags had previously been opened to extract the food and then refilled with sand, for example, or if it still contained the food that was intended to feed Palestinian civilians.

“Any chance the media would cover this, yet another violation of international humanitarian law?” pro-Israel commentator Hen Mazzig wrote on X/Twitter while sharing the video.

Rafah, Gaza: Hamas is using UN humanitarian aid bags as rocket launchers today.

Any chance the media would cover this, yet another, violation of International Humanitarian Law?

— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) May 29, 2024

Almost every day for the past seven months, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have been shooting rockets into Israel from civilian areas, which is a war crime. Tens of thousands of Israelis are internally displaced and unable to return to their homes as a result.

There is mounting evidence that Hamas has also operated in civilian clothing and in civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. However, these violations of international law are rarely noted by much of the media.

The latest video of terrorists using humanitarian aid for military purposes underscores the issue of making sure such aid gets to Palestinian civilians. 

The US built a pier to deliver 2,000,000 meals daily to Palestinian civilians, but after a few weeks of operation, the Pentagon said none of the aid unloaded from the pier had made it to those who needed it. On one occasion, about 70 percent of the aid has been stolen while en route to a UN warehouse. In other cases, it just never showed up.

Israeli estimates suggest approximately 60 percent of the aid that has gone into Gaza has been stolen — either by Hamas or other groups and individuals. Oftentimes, that aid is then sold to the population at high prices, making it difficult to impossible for most Gazans to gain access to it. 

According to Ehud Yaari, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has made more than $500 million in profit from selling humanitarian aid since Oct. 7.

The terror group began the war last October by massacring 1,200 people in Israel and taking more than 250 people hostage, about half of whom have still not been released.

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Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas

Demonstrators take part in an anti-Israel demonstration at the Columbia University campus, in New York City, US, Feb. 2, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has endorsed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace antisemitic violence.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

.@Columbia and @BarnardCollege, @ColumbiaSJP is actively promoting terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric on their social media channels. They are sounding more and more like Hamas spokespeople every day. When is the university going to permanently ban this “student group”?

— Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus (@CampusJewHate) May 26, 2024

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has reformed under multiple organizations since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, has been central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The group’s behavior after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the StandWithUs Center for League Justice (SCLJ).

The complaint alleges that after bullying Jewish students and rubbing their noses in the carnage Hamas wrought on their people, the pro-Hamas students were still unsatisfied and resulted to violence. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library, according to the lawsuit. Another attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen.

Following the incidents, pleas for help allegedly went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations. The school’s apparent powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

The explosion of end-of-year protests held by the group forced Columbia officials to shutter the campus in April and institute virtual learning. Later, the group occupied Hamilton Hall, forcing President Minouche Shafik to call on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for help, a decision she hesitated to make. According to The Columbia Spectator, over 108 arrests were made.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Amid the chaos, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety. Ultimately, the university cancelled its main commencement ceremony.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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