While the event referenced below was not a Tikvah event, we want to express solidarity with the Jewish students who were attacked by members of Students for Justice in Palestine after the Jewish students made a civil request for illegally draped Palestinian flags to be taken down. The Zionist Freedom Alliance statement is below. Dozens and dozens of eyewitnesses, some of which are Tikvah members and others who are not, attest to this statement.
Members of Students for Justice in Palestine Attack Jews at UC Berkeley Hip-Hop Concert
(Berkeley, CA- November 13, 2008)
We, the Zionist Freedom Alliance student group at Cal, are deeply concerned by the latest in a series of attacks on Jewish and pro-Israel students at UC Berkeley perpetrated by members of Students for Justice in Palestine. On the night of November 13, 2008 at around 6:00 PM, members of Students for Justice in Palestine disrupted our hip-hop concert that celebrated the Jewish connection to the land of Israel. Then they attacked students who asked them to stop their disruption.
Three members of the Students for Justice in Palestine illegally draped large Palestinian flags behind the stage of the concert, which was part of Israel Liberation Week. Yehuda De Sa (one of the performers), Cal alumnus Gabe Weiner, and current ASUC Senator John Moghtader walked to the balcony from which the flags were hanging and asked the students to remove the flags as they misrepresented the concert's message. The SJP members immediately became hostile at this request and current SJP leader Husam Zakharia instigated a physical altercation by striking Weiner on the head. As Weiner and the performer tried to defend themselves, Moghtader stood away from the scuffle and then made a successful effort to break up the fight.
Members of Students for Justice in Palestine shouted anti-Semitic epithets referencing the Holocaust throughout the ordeal. Zakharia and others from SJP were detained by the police and charged with battery. Citizens' arrests were filed against SJP members who took part in the altercation.
The violence, intimidation, and harassment exhibited by members of Students for Justice in Palestine at the concert is only one act in a pattern of similar behavior that they have exhibited towards Jewish and pro-Israel students on this campus. Last year, multiple charges were filed against SJP and some of its members citing harassment, violence, intimidation, and violation of numerous other campus rules. These charges all went ignored by Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard.
We call on state officials, the President of the University of California, the Chancellor, the Dean of Students, faculty, and the student body to take a unified stand against the continued harassment of Jewish and pro-Israel students on this campus, particularly by members of Students for Justice in Palestine.
The Zionist Freedom Alliance Student Group at Cal