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Gabi Kirk

Overview

Gabi Kirk promoted various Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaigns on college campuses as the campus liaison at Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) between 2014-2015. She has also expressed support for Palestinian violence against Israelis.

In July 2016, Kirk was listed on Facebook as a leader of IfNotNow (INN). She was a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), formerly known as the Committee for Justice in Palestine (CJP), at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC), which she attended from 2008 to 2012.

Kirk has written various articles demonizing Israel for the All That’s Left: Anti Occupation Collective, and was also an activist with Open Hillel, participating in its 2014 conference, titled “If Not Now, When?"

Open Hillel is an organization that aims to to “eliminate" Hillel International’s Standards of Partnership for Israel Activities, which ban partnerships between Hillel affiliates and groups that deny Israel’s right to exist, delegitimize the Jewish state or support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Kirk has also supported anti-Israel agitator Linda Sarsour, demeaned Jewish traditions and demonized Israel.

As of October 2018, Kirk’s LinkedIn page said she was studying for a PhD in Geography at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) from 2016-2022. She received a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and History in 2012.

Promoting BDS

Kirk was the campus liaison of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) from January 2014 to April 2015. Her LinkedIn page said that in that role, she “supported divestment campaigns at various college campuses."

An April 24, 2015 JWeekly article reported that Kirk “organized college students to pass divestment measures and take part in other forms of protest" and “promoted divestment as she traveled the country opening JVP campus chapters."

On February 2, 2015, Kirk changed her Facebook profile picture to an image promoting BDS campaigns at various U.S. universities.

On November 15, 2014, during UC Davis's Palestine Solidarity Week, Kirk, together with SJP President Marcelle-Alexandra Obeid, hosted a workshop for student environmental activists, titled "Occupation as Degradation: Environmental Issues in Palestine and BDS".

The workshop attempted to establish linkage between environmental issues and the Arab-Israeli conflict, encourage environmental activists to vote “yes" on a University of California BDS bill scheduled for later that year.

Endorsing Palestinian Violence Against Israelis

In a July 8, 2015 article on All That’s Left, Kirk wrote that she had “decided to abandon the idolatry of nonviolence," stating: “the violence or nonviolence of a person or the tactics they choose is less important than the community organizing that surrounds it."

She wrote “there are times when communities are not one hundred percent ‘nonviolent’" such as the Black Lives Matter protests “which included property destruction and looting. But this does not make them any less worthy of rights, or of a community that will connect to bring about those rights." She linked to two articles that defended looting and rioting in Ferguson.

Kirk continued “I have also directly witnessed how non-violent resistance is met with massive, violent backlash from those in power. I have been pepper sprayed, beaten, and had a cop pull his gun on me for protesting on a college campus, during the University of California protests of 2009-2012."

Kirk was referring to an incident where an officer reportedly drew his gun after a crowd of protesters swarmed him causing him to drop his baton. The police chief said one student was arrested after striking the officer with the baton and reported that students had shouted “take his gun!" Protesters also reportedly threw rocks and wooden signs at the officers and pushed officers who were ascending a stairwell.

Promoting BDS

Kirk was the campus liaison of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) from January 2014 to April 2015. Her LinkedIn page said that in that role, she “supported divestment campaigns at various college campuses."

An April 24, 2015 JWeekly article reported that Kirk “organized college students to pass divestment measures and take part in other forms of protest" and “promoted divestment as she traveled the country opening JVP campus chapters."

On February 2, 2015, Kirk changed her Facebook profile picture to an image promoting BDS campaigns at various U.S. universities.

On November 15, 2014, during UC Davis's Palestine Solidarity Week, Kirk, together with SJP President Marcelle-Alexandra Obeid, hosted a workshop for student environmental activists, titled "Occupation as Degradation: Environmental Issues in Palestine and BDS".

The workshop attempted to establish linkage between environmental issues and the Arab-Israeli conflict, encourage environmental activists to vote “yes" on a University of California BDS bill scheduled for later that year.

JVP Activism

Kirk indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a December 17, 2017 JVP “Chanukah party" where funds where funds were collected for the Palestine Action Network.

The Palestine Action Network consists of anti-Israel groups, such as American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) at San Francisco State University (SFSU), the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), Students For Justice In Palestine at UC Berkeley (Cal SJP), Al Awda San Francisco and JVP Bay Area.

In 2016, Kirk indicated on Facebook that she "went"JVP events co-hosted or sponsored by SJP, CODEPINK and Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Kirk indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a July 28, 2015 Young JVP event that would include a discussion on the Palestinian “right of return," as well as “fall organizing goals and opportunities to get involved!"

Kirk indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a July 22, 2015 JVP event, titled “Gaza Not Forgotten: A Jewish Ritual of Mourning and Solidarity’ to recite the Jewish Kaddish prayer for Palestinians killed in Operation Protective Edge (OPE).

Israel commenced Operation Protective Edge (OPE) in July 2014, to stop rocket fire targeting Israeli civilians and to destroy Hamas attack tunnels.


Kirk indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a July 7, 2015 JVP event opposing the University of California’s President support for the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism. The event organizers wrote that defining “demonizing, delegitimizing, and using a double-standard for" Israel as anti-semitic “would limit academic freedom,"

On December 15, 2015, Kirk was tagged in a photo participating at a JVP protest that demonized Israel and AIPAC.

SJP Activism

Kirk indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a November 16, 2017 SJP event at UC Davis, featuring Fayrouz Sharqawi, the Community Mobilisation and Networking director at Grassroots Jerusalem.

Grassroots Jerusalem promotes and “strongly supports" the BDS movement, says it aims to “reclaim Jerusalem as Palestine's capital" and calls for the Palestinian “right of return."

Kirk indicated on Facebook that she “went" to an October 19, 2016 SJP event featuring Issa Amro.

Violent agitator Issa Amro — head of the Youth Against Settlements (YAS) movement — is known for vandalism and attacking Israeli soldiers in Hebron. Amro has been charged with numerous acts of violence against Israeli civilians and security forces.

YAS, an anti-Israel NGO based in Hebron, has posted photos on its Facebook page that propagate anti-Semitism, laud rock-throwing and urge its members to participate in violent anti-Israel demonstrations.


Kirk indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a March 31, 2016 SJP march and “die-in" scheduled for Palestine Awareness Week (PAW). . The event was endorsed by several anti-Israel organizations including, AMP, JVP- Cal/BayArea, MSA and Al Awda, The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, which advocates for BDS and the destruction of Israel.

Palestine Awareness Week (PAW) is a re-branding for American audiences of Israel Apartheid Week (IAW), originally presented as “an international series of events that seek to raise awareness of Israel’s settler-colonial project and apartheid system over the Palestinian people" and build support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

On March 17, 2014, Kirk published an article in the Forward in which she defended SJP at Northeastern University after the group was suspended for intimidating students on campus with a mock eviction notice campaign that demonized Israel.

Anti-Israel Activism

On November 5, 2018, Kirk created a Facebook fundraiser, “in honor of" her 28th birthday, with the goal of raising $280 for the November 2018 National SJP (NSJP) conference at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Kirk commented: “I cannot say enough praise about the work SJP does on college campuses around the country... SJP was a crucial space for me as a young Jewish woman to unlearn what I thought I knew about Israel and Zionism."

Kirk indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a July 31, 2018 event in Jerusalem, featuring anti-israel activist Marc Lamont Hill, as well as Sahar Francis, the General Director of Addameer.

Lamont Hill has demonized Israel and Jews settling in Israel on repeated occasions. He has expressed support for violent “Palestinian resistance," condemned Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and implied Israel and the United State engage in the “ritual humiliation of Palestinian children.".

Addameer advocates on behalf of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, including many terrorists such as Mohammad Allan — a recruiter for Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Addammer is reportedly an “affiliate" of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.

Kirk indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a June 1, 2018 event hosted by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) “to celebrate the legacy of Ghassan Kanafani."

Kanafani was a leading member and spokesperson of the designated terrorist organization the PFLP in its early years.

Kanafani announced the PFLP’s responsibility for the Lod Airport Massacre of May 1972 and was linked to the airport attackers. The attack killed 26 people.

On November 11, 2016, Kirk posted on Facebook urging people not to donate to the Anti-Defamation League but instead to the anti-Israel Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Palestine Legal and the National Lawyers Guild, which regularly partners with NGOs active in BDS.

In 2015, Kirk presented a workshop at the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) (formerly U.S. Campaign to End The Israeli Occupation) 14th annual conference, together with Jesse Yurow. The workshop aimed to advance ideas for a new initiative encouraging young American Jews to boycott Birthright Jewish heritage trips to Israel.

Kirk indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a June 10, 2015 event hosted by the New Israel Fund, to present Breaking the Silence’s testimonies about the 2014 Gaza war.

In July 2016, Breaking the Silence was discredited by Israel’s investigative Channel 10 TV show, HaMakor (The Source). HaMakor presented a report revealing that a substantial number of BTS testimonies are untrue or distorted.

INN Anti-Israel Activism

INN actions have aimed to demonize [00:38:13] Israel, harass the American Jewish establishment and decrease support for Israel among Diaspora Jewish young adults.

On July 16, 2016, Kirk participated with other INN leaders in a Hebron protest and reportedly “used tactics familiar from the U.S. civil rights movement to provoke Israeli authorities in Hebron."

Some Israeli protesters were arrested when, according to an IDF statement, “the gathering evolved into a disturbance of the peace, including clashes with IDF forces."

Activists then protested in front of the police station where the detained activists were being held, after they “demanded the release of the Israelis and were refused."

On May 9, 2016, Kirk featured in an INN video in which she said [00:00:58] that the American Jewish community should oppose the Occupation so that “Birthright would not bring young Jews on free vacations while Palestinians are denied the right to visit their homeland."

Liberation Seder

On April 21, 2016, Kirk participated in a INN Bay Area Liberation Seder, where activists co-opted the [00:15:47] ritual custom of pouring out drops of wine when enumerating the 10 Plagues of Egypt and listed the [00:13:38] “plagues of the Occupation."

The Facebook event’s description said that “For too many years, Jews around the world have celebrated our own freedom while actively denying freedom and dignity to the Palestinian people." The group blocked the street in front of the Jewish Federation East Bay building in Berkeley, CA.

In April 2016, prior to the Passover holiday, INN leaders Ethan Miller and Sara Sandmel wrote an op-ed casting Palestinians in the roles of ancient Hebrews liberated from Egypt and stating that INN actions would take place in Washington D.C., Boston, New York City, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Many of the activists set up tables and manipulated symbols from the Jewish Seder table to represent different aspects of “the occupation."

INN uploaded resources for public use and claimed that approximately 500 people participated in their liberation seders.

Supporting an Anti-Israel Agitator

On January 31, 2017, Kirk co-authored an article for INN that claimed “[t]he person at the Women’s March on Washington who best embodied our Jewish values was Palestinian-American racial justice advocate Linda Sarsour.“

Sarsour frequently uses the word “Zionist" as a pejorative and has tweeted that “nothing is creepier than Zionism." She has aligned with noted anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan and dismissed [00:07:45] those who see her alignment with him as problematic and slammed the “Jewish Media" for calling attention to it.

At Farrakhan’s 2015 #JusticeOrElse march, Sarsour incited against pro-Israel Jews asserting: [00:00:36]: “The same people who justify the massacres of Palestinian people and call it ‘collateral damage’ are the same people who justify the murder of young black men and women."

On January 24, 2017, Kirk posted on Facebook “#IMarchWithLinda because she made me cry and then I showed her video to my freshmen Intro to Gender Studies students today as a poster example of intersectional feminism and she made some of them cry too."

In a March 2017 interview, Sarsour implied that Zionists by definition do not stand up for the rights of Palestinian women and therefore have no place in feminism: “It just doesn’t make any sense for someone to say, ‘Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement?’ There can’t be in feminism."

Demeaning Jewish Traditions and History

Kirk contributed to a “diasporic guide to lulav" and the Jewish festival of Sukkot called “The Book of Lulav," published in October 2017.

The guide’s introduction claimed that “The original Sukkot rituals and species are often used as a justification for the colonization of Palestine. Our Lulavs -- both the ritual object and ritual acts -- are situated in diaspora, and explicitly reject needing to use the ‘Four Species’ biblically associated with the Biblical Land of Israel."

In a chapter written by Kirk, she attacked many traditionally observant Jews for reaffirming their connection to biblical religion, writing: “many Zionist settlements bolster their claims to Palestinian land through a so-called mystical agricultural heritage."

She continued: “They point to holidays like Sukkot and the Four Species as proof of unbroken Jewish connection to the land of Palestine, or even of an ‘indigenousness’ that was severed at the second temple’s destruction."

Demonizing Israel

On November 14, 2016, Kirk posted on Facebook accusing Israel of the “ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people for 70+ years" and defended Black Lives Matter’s accusing Israel of genocide.

On August 12, 2015, Kirk published an article for All That’s Left, in which she approvingly recalled international human rights groups’ condemnation of Israel’s military operations in West Bank towns “when three Jewish boys from a West Bank settlement went missing" as a form of “collective punishment."

In August 2014, Hamas admitted responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenagers at a bus stop on June 12th of that year. The bodies of the abducted boys were found buried in Palestinian-controlled territory on June 30, 2014.

In the same article, Kirk accused Israel of apartheid.

In a June 9, 2015 article for All That’s Left, Kirk wrote that Israelis, who “contribute to the colonization of Palestinian lands also contribute to gentrification in San Francisco and Oakland."

She went on to write: “Jewish colonization of Palestinian lands is as vicious as gentrification’s colonization of America’s cities."

BDS

The BDS movement was founded in 2005 by Omar Barghouti and asserts that it "works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law."

BDS initiatives include compelling institutions and individuals to divest from Israeli-affiliated companies, academic boycotts, anti-Israel rallies and protests.

The movement's most notable achievement has been the infiltration of university campuses through lobbying for "BDS resolutions." In these cases, backed by university anti-Israel affiliates, student governments have brought to vote on some form of boycott of — or divestment from — Israel and Israeli-affiliated entities. These resolutions, although non-binding, have been passed by student governments on numerous North American campuses.

BDS activity is often aggressive and disruptive. It has been noted that universities that pass BDS resolutions see a marked increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campus. In 2013, when the student government of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) debated a BDS resolution, reports emerged of violent threats and the spitting on a student wearing a Star of David necklace. As a result, the student government chose to vote via a "secret ballot" in order to ensure its members' safety.

JVP

JVP was founded in Berkeley, California in 1996, as an activist group with an emphasis on the "Jewish tradition" of peace, social justice and human rights. The organization is currently led by Rebecca Vilkomerson and its board members include controversial Israel critics Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky and Tony Kushner.

JVP, which generally employs civil disobedience tactics like disrupting pro-Israel speakers and events, consists of American Jews and non-Jewish "allies" highly critical of Israeli policies. A staunch supporter of the BDS movement, JVP claims to aim its campaigns at companies that either support the Israeli military (Hewlett-Packard) or are active in the West Bank (SodaStream).

Although several Jewish groups critical of Israeli policies, like J Street and Partners for a Progressive Israel, make efforts to operate within the mainstream American Jewish community, JVP functions outside. The group is often criticized for serving as a tokenized Jewish voice for the pro-Palestinian camp and is widely regarded as the BDS movement's "Jewish wing."

JVP denies the notion of "Jewish peoplehood" and has even gone so far as to refer to its own Ashkenazi (Jews who spent the Diaspora in European countries) leadership as supreme inside of JVP."

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has accused JVP of being "the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States," and said the group "exploits Jewish culture and rituals to reassure its own supporters that opposition to Israel not only does not contradict, but is actually consistent with, Jewish values... JVP consistently co-sponsors rallies to oppose Israeli military policy that are marked by signs and slogans comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, demonizing Jews and voicing support for groups like Hamas and Hezbollah."

According to the ADL website, JVP "uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and provide it with a greater degree of legitimacy and credibility."

Social Media and Web Links

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/1055640065

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabzelectra/ [Private]

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabikirk/

Occupation:
Student

University:
UC Davis

Organizations(s):
INN,
JVP,
Open Hillel,
SJP

Related Profiles:

Last Modified:
02/18/2020

Photos & Screenshots

Infamous Quotes

“I cannot say enough praise about the work SJP does on college campuses around the country... SJP was a crucial space for me as a young Jewish woman to unlearn what I thought I knew about Israel and Zionism.”
“Non-violent resistance is not the correct frame for me to use as a peace activist in the world today."
“I am also a ‘keffiyeh kinderlach,’ one of many young Jews in the Diaspora and Israel who unequivocally stand for Palestinian freedom.”
"The violence or nonviolence of a person or the tactics they choose is less important than the community organizing that surrounds it — a whole community united together for justice is what makes a struggle ultimately successful."

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