One Jewish student present reported to the Review that SJP activists were aggressively handing out pieces of paper explaining their opposition to Israel, chucking them under booths and tables and forcing them into the hands of other students present. When a police officer told one of the protesters to stop, he reportedly told the officer to “f*** off you motherf***er.”
The literature SJP members were handing out reads: “Israel Day is not simply an innocuous celebration of culture. It aims to galvanize political support for Israel and therefore normalize its human rights violations.” It goes on to explain the “Racism of Zionism” and that “Israeli Independence = the Destruction of Palestine.”
“Those who have remained in Palestine live under a brutal and racist Israeli military occupation, whose continuing settler-colonial policies seek to completely dispossess Palestinians of any right to live in peace and security in their own country, simply because they are not Jewish,” the paper reads. “As students of the United States, we must also recognize that our own society was established through the same violent removal (genocide) of the land’s indigenous people.”
There is no discussion of the fear that the people of Israel live in because of the rockets that reign down on Israel from Palestinian terrorists in constant efforts to kill Israelis, or Israel’s extreme efforts to minimize casualties while Hamas continues to use their people as human shields against any missiles that come their way.
A Jewish student told the Review that the sight of the SJP protesters marching in columns towards the celebration was “terrifying.”
Despite the disruption of the protesters, pro-Israeli students proceeded to celebrate, promoting charitable causes and educating visitors about Israeli and Palestinian history.
This type of anti-Israel propaganda is common at Cornell. The Review covered Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad’s recent speech at Cornell in which he argued that “Israel has no right to be a Jewish state.” This professor argued at a speech in 2002 that Israel had no right to exist at all.
The anti-Israel sentiment at Cornell is found on many other campuses across the country. Palestinian students at MIT expressed their opposition to the celebration of Israel’s independence, reporting that the celebration made them “feel unsafe,” and requesting the university remove the event from its SpringFest calendar. MIT considered doing so, but ultimately chose not to.
After standing on the Annabel Taylor lawn for about 45 minutes, the protesters gathered and marched back to the entrance of Willard Straight Hall, where they stood with their banner and signs for about two minutes while photos were taken, and then proceeded to go inside to get popcorn.