University of Chicago Champions Hamas-Driven BDS Movement

An amendment supporting the continued self-determination of the Jewish people and the existence of Israel was proposed and rejected.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center continued its ongoing poster campaign at the University of Chicago last night, denouncing the Chicago chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine for their support of anti-Israel terrorism and their role in driving the campus’s widespread endorsement of the genocidal and Hamas-driven Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. 

One of the posters distributed on the Chicago campus depicts U. Chicago Law student Osama Alkhawaja who is identified on the poster as “SJP Activist, BDS Activist, Supporter of Hamas Terrorists.”  Osama Alkhawaja earned his Bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University where he served as president of Students for Justice in Palestine and as vice president of the Muslim Students Association. 

In April 2016, Osama Alkhawaja was one of seven SDSU students whose names appeared on Freedom Center posters targeting the Hamas-sponsored BDS movement which stated that those students had “allied themselves with Palestinian terrorists to perpetrate BDS and Jew Hatred” on campus. When SDSU President Elliot Hirshman defended the posters as free speech, Osama Alkhawaja led the SDSU chapters of SJP and the MSA in an angry protest, holding Hirshman hostage in a police cruiser for two hours until he was forced to apologize to students for hurting their feelings by not condemning the posters more harshly, and later leading a call for his resignation. 

The University of Chicago is home to a highly active BDS campus movement, U of C Divest, which has gained the support of over 20 student organizations on the campus and succeeded last spring in passing a BDS resolution in Chicago’s student government. During the debate over the measure, an amendment supporting the continued self-determination of the Jewish people and the existence of Israel was proposed and rejected. 

U. Chicago’s SJP chapter has brought numerous anti-Israel speakers to campus including BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti who condoned anti-Israel terrorism in his address to students. Chicago SJP also interrupted an Israeli Independence Day celebration with a commemoration of the “Nakba,” an Arabic word used by Hamas to describe the creation of Israel as a “catastrophe,” and has held numerous other events attempting to delegitimize Israel and make the argument that “resistance” against the Jewish state (a euphemism for terrorism) is justified.

The Freedom Center’s poster operation hung posters across the campus which exposed the organization Students for Justice in Palestine as a campus front for Hamas terrorists and the Hamas intermediary American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). AMP was revealed in recent congressional testimony to be funneling terrorist dollars to Students for Justice in Palestine to support the Hamas-sponsored, anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in America. Images of the posters hung at the University of Chicago and at other campuses across the nation may be viewed here.
The posters are part of a larger Freedom Center campaign titled Stop the Jew Hatred on Campus which seeks to confront the agents of campus anti-Semitism and expose the financial and organizational relationship between the terror group Hamas and Hamas support groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine. As part of the campaign, the Freedom Center has placed posters on nine other campuses including San Diego State University, Brooklyn College, San Francisco State University, and the University of California campuses of Berkeley, Irvine and Los Angeles. The campaign also recently released a report on the “Top Ten Schools Supporting Terrorists” which may be found on the campaign website, The University of Chicago is among the campuses listed in the Top Ten report. The section of the report demonstrating the University of Chicago’s support of anti-Israel terrorists follows below. 

Supporting Evidence:

June 02, 2016: U. Chicago-SJP shared a post on its Facebook page from the Boycott Tel Aviv Pride campaign urging people to boycott gay pride events in Tel Aviv because “any cultural event organized with money from the Israeli state should be boycotted… Gay tourism financial revenues do not only stimulate Israel’s economy, they are considered a direct investment in Israel’s war machine.” No other Middle Eastern state tolerates gays let alone features gay pride parades. The SJP leftists are willing to sacrifice their traditional support for gays in the service of the Hamas terror campaign to destroy the Jewish state.

May 23-28, 2016: SJP held “Palestinian Nakba Week” on campus. The “Nakba” is an Arabic term meaning “catastrophe” which Hamas uses to refer to the day of Israel’s founding and to spread the lie that Israel was created on land belonging to the Arabs. Israel was created by the United Nations on land that had belonged to the Turks – who are not Arabs – for 400 years previously. Events during the week included a talk on “Disrupting Israeli Apartheid: Civil Disobedience in Palestine” and “Nakba 101: A discussion.”

May 15, 2016: U. Chicago SJP posted a video purporting to show facts about the creation of Israel on its Facebook page, while drawing the conclusion that Israel has no right to exist. The video hews to the false Hamas narrative that Israel colonized Palestine, displacing its existing citizens. In truth, there was no nation of Palestine at the time of Israel’s creation, and the land on which Israel was created belonged to the Turks who are not Arabs for 400 years previously. The video claims that Israel “occupied the rest of historic Palestine during the Six Day War,” but fails to mention that Israel was the victim of a war of unprovoked aggression by five Arab dictatorships whose expressed goal was to “push the Jews into the sea.” It also fails to mention that for fifty years the Arabs have refused to sign a peace with Israel, recognizing its right to exist.

May 12, 2016: U. Chicago SJP disrupted a celebration of Israeli Independence Day on campus by holding a protest of the “Palestinian Nakba,” a term meaning “catastrophe” that is used by Hamas to deplore the creation of Israel, and spread the lie that Israel was created on Arab land. SJP’s description of the event read: “SJP at the University of Chicago today marked the 68th anniversary of the beginning of the Palestinian Nakba by protesting Israeli Independence Day, which was organized by a Zionist student group with most of the free goodies passed out donated by Stand With Us and Birthright.

“Under the Israeli Independence tent, American students discussed their ‘Birthright’ to Israel while on the other side Palestinian students shared their families’ stories of being forced from their homes and turned into stateless refugees.” Virtually all of the Arab refugees fled of their own free will, while nearly one million stayed. Moreover, the Palestinian refugees are stateless because no Arab state will grant them citizenship, while the terrorist regimes in the West Bank and Gaza refuse to re-settle them.

Protest signs displayed by SJP parroted Hamas war propaganda. One read “Come enjoy ‘Israeli’ food and settler colonialism,” and “Displacing lives since ’48, there’s nothing here to celebrate,” while another condemned Israel for “Ethnic cleansing” and “Cultural appropriation” – lies designed to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish state.

April 12, 2016: The student government at the University of Chicago passed a resolution calling on the University to divest from companies which aid or profit from Israel’s“violation of human rights and international law in Palestine.” The motion passed by a vote of 8-4 with 3 abstentions and was supported by 20 leftwing student organizations on campus and organized by a coalition calling itself U of C Divest.  During the debate over the measure, an amendment supporting the continued self-determination of the Jewish people and the existence of Israel was proposed and rejected.

April 07, 2016: In preparation for a vote on a BDS resolution, the U of Chicago Divest Coalition published an open letter in The Chicago Maroon, a campus newspaper, labeling Israel an apartheid state and urging the university community to endorse the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS campaign to strangle the Jewish state. The letter – a tissue of lies - claimed: “Palestinians today face a comprehensive system of occupation, dispossession, and segregation—in short, apartheid. Their cities are bombed, resources stolen, children kidnapped, and movement restricted…  Our resolution, while targeted, supports the full demands of the BDS call: an end to the occupation, equality for all people in Palestine/Israel, and the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.”

March 28, 2016: The U of C Divest coalition held a large rally on campus featuring a 70 foot Palestinian flag with students displaying banners and chanting propaganda slogans to support the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS movement. The chants included: “Brick by brick, wall by wall, Israeli apartheid has to fall,” “Free free Palestine, viva viva Palestina,” and “Hey hey, ho ho, Israeli apartheid’s got to go.” Banners displayed on campus read: “End Apartheid,” “Free Palestine,” and “Divest Now.” Israel is not only the most tolerant society in the Middle East. It is the only tolerant society in the Middle East.

February 18, 2016: Angry protestors interrupted and threatened a Palestinian human rights activist, Bassam Eid, who came to speak on U. Chicago’s campus about the oppression of Palestinians by the theocratic terrorist regimes in the West Bank and Gaza. SJP activists were upset that Eid’s remarks were critical of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and failed to condemn Israel for its alleged “occupation” of Palestine. In the video of Eid’s speech a young man can be seen screaming in Arabic: “I’m going to destroy this place!” and “I’m going to kill this motherf*****!” and “Wait until you go to your car!” Eid later declared himself to be “terrified” by the ordeal.

October 29, 2015: UC-SJP hosted BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti for a speech on “BDS and the Ethical Obligation to End Complicity in Oppression.” During his address, Barghouti labeled Israel “a regime of oppression” and a “savage unrepairable society” that conducts “ethnic cleansing.” Barghouti also praised terrorism against Israel’s Jews, stating that “resistance” is a legitimate response to “the violence of an oppressive system.” Several UC organizations and departments co-sponsored Barghouti’s address including the Global Voices Program – University of Chicago International House, the Pozen Center for Human Rights, the Department of Political Science, and the Department of International Studies.

October 28, 2015: UC-SJP held a panel titled “Jerusalem in Crisis: Insider Perspectives on the Violence in Palestine-Israel” as part of the “UChicago Israeli Apartheid Week.” Speakers at the event were two graduate student members of SJP. One of the speakers praised anti-Israel terrorism, stating: “Palestinian violent resistance against the violent Israeli military is always justified; it is the equivalent of biting the hand that is trying to choke you to death.”

October 14, 2015: U. Chicago SJP held a Palestinian Day of Action, in concurrence with an international Day of Action to promote the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS campaign against Israel. The event included plastering the campus with posters falsely accusing the Israeli military of murdering Palestinian children.

February 27, 2015: Anti-Semitic comments threatening the genocide of the Jews were posted on the social media site Yik Yak in the University of Chicago area. Some of the comments attacked individual students, while others threatened the Jewish people as a whole. One comment read, “Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew.” This is Nazism, and all too characteristic of SJP propaganda.