Molding the Next Generation of Anti-Semites
Hatred on Campus
Incoming freshman Ariel Kaplan and his parents had no idea what they were walking into when they arrived on the campus of the University of California (UC), Berkeley, several years ago. As they strolled to an orientation seminar, they were confronted by students chanting slogans for Israel’s destruction and carrying signs that spewed hatred for all to see: “Israel Fascist!” “Israel Racist!” “Free Palestine!” “Holocaust in Palestine!”
“My dad tried to engage them in conversation,” Ariel said. “I think he thought he could change their minds.” Instead, his father was shouted down with demeaning, hateful, and vulgar language.
The rally, sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), was Ariel’s welcome to UC Berkeley, the university he had chosen to attend because it is liberal, even radical, elite, and public. He felt it had a “mystique” about it.
Yet there was nothing mystical about SJP. The incident helped birth Ariel’s passion for Israel advocacy. It also gave him a firsthand look at anti-Semitism and what he calls its “venomous, vile hatred of the idea of Israel.” The Anti-Defamation League called SJP “the primary organizer of anti-Israel events on campus.”1
Unfortunately, Ariel’s experience is not unique. SJP is part of a comprehensive Islamic plan to change the face of America by molding its young people to hate Jews, hate Israel, and embrace Islam. Apparently it’s working because polls show that, while 66 percent of Americans are pro-Israel, merely 32 percent of college students are—and that number is only expected to decline.2
The Long Arm of the Muslim Brotherhood
SJP is one of two major Islamic organizations on American campuses today. The other, the Muslim Students Association (MSA), was created more than 50 years ago by the Muslim Brotherhood. It has so many affiliated and unaffiliated college chapters that it is virtually everywhere. And it has ties to al-Qaeda and Hamas.3
Former FBI special agent John Guandolo told CBN News, “The MSA serves as a recruitment tool to bring Muslims into the Brotherhood.”4 Even worse, terrorism expert Patrick Poole told CBN, “The Muslim Students Association has been a virtual terror factory. Time after time after time again, we see these terrorists—and not just fringe members: these are MSA leaders, MSA presidents, MSA national presidents—who’ve been implicated, charged and convicted in terrorist plots.”5
UC Berkeley is only one of the MSA’s many chapters. Its website, msanational.org, lists more than 200 “affiliated chapters” in North America, including Harvard; Yale; University of Chicago; University of Pennsylvania; Brandeis in Waltham, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston; McGill in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Ohio State; Smith in Northampton, Massachusetts; most State University of New York (SUNY) campuses; the University of Florida; Middlebury College in Vermont; Georgetown University in Washington, DC; Texas Christian University; and the list goes on.
There are also hundreds of non-affiliated chapters, as well as chapters in high schools and technical schools. Some operate under different names. The website explains how to set up a chapter and receive tax-exempt status.
According to The Investigative Project on Terrorism,
The Muslim Students Association (MSA) is the most visible and influential Islamic student organization in North America….MSA has gained legitimacy on American campuses as a benevolent collegiate faith club; however, under this moderate veneer MSA advances a different agenda among impressionable college students. Through conferences and events, publications, websites and other activities, MSA has disseminated and promoted militant Islamic ideologies.6
Daniel Greenfield, with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, reported in his book Muslim Hate Groups on Campus that the MSA “has also raised money for terrorist support groups such as Global Relief Foundation, an al-Qaeda front, and the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas front.”7
The MSA magazine, Al-Talib (Arabic for “the student”), the largest Muslim student news magazine in America,8 praised Osama bin Laden as a “freedom fighter.”9
While the MSA tries to maintain the appearance of being a cultural and religious organization, Students for Justice in Palestine takes a more overtly radical approach and freely calls for the obliteration of Israel.
Founded at Berkeley in 2001, SJP has spread widely. An Anti-Defamation League report says in 2010–11, new SJP chapters emerged at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, outside Boston; Ohio University; and the University of Vermont. “There are now SJP chapters on more than 75 campuses across the country,” the report said.10
Originally describing itself as a coalition, SJP was constructed by experienced Islamist and Marxist activists for the sole purpose of waging a campus war against the Jewish state. The year 2000 marked the beginning of the Second Intifada against Israel, the Intifada of the suicide bombers. This Intifada also coincided with a growth in the power of Hamas and an intensification of the political left’s animus against Israel and the Jews. It was the backdrop against which SJP was born.11
SJP has ties with the MSA and its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, and has the same types of associations as the MSA. “In practice,” wrote Greenfield, “Students for Justice in Palestine has no priorities higher than those of the MSA, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood.”12
When he enrolled at UC Berkeley, Ariel had no idea he would face such animosity toward Jewish people and Israel. So he became involved in Israel advocacy (See “Ariel and Israel Advocacy”). Humanly speaking, he faces an uphill battle against a well-oiled, well-funded Muslim machine. Can Israel advocacy help stem the tide of anti-Semitism sweeping the world today? One can hope. Jesus’ words come to mind: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mt. 19:26).
- “Emerging Anti-Israel Trends and Tactics on Campus,” Anti-Defamation League, October 11, 2011 <adl.org/main_ Anti_Israel/campus_anti_israel_trends_activity.htm>.
- Cited by numerous speakers at the Christians United for Israel 2012 Summit in Washington, DC, July 2012.
- Daniel Greenfield, Muslim Hate Groups on Campus (Sherman Oaks, CA: David Horowitz Freedom Center, 2011) <frontpagemag.com/upload/pamphlets/mhgc.pdf>, 3–7.
- Erick Stakelbeck, “Muslim Student Group a Gateway to Jihad?” CBN News, August 29, 2011 <cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/March/Muslim-Student-Group-a-Gateway-to-Jihad>.
- “Muslim Students Association,” The Investigative Project on Terrorism <investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/84.pdf>, 1.
- Greenfield, 7.
- “About Us,” Al-Talib <al-talib.org/about-us>.
- Greenfield, 8.
- “Emerging Anti-Israel Trends and Tactics on Campus.”
- Greenfield, 33.
- Ibid., 40.