Kiswani is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.
As of August 2019, Kiswani’s AROC profile said she co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). She was reportedly [00:00:30] an SJP activist at UC-Davis in October 2003. Kiswani also spoke at the 2015 National SJP Conference.
As of August 2019, Kiswani’s Facebook page said she had studied at both UC Davis and at San Francisco State University (SFSU). As of the same date, AROC’s website said Kiswani received a master’s degree in Education and that she served as a lecturer at San Francisco State University (SFSU) in the College of Ethnic Studies.
Calling for Israel’s DestructionOn November 25, 2014, Kiswani appeared in a Youtube video from a BDS panel earlier that month, claiming that [00:00:18]: “... bringing down Israel really will benefit everyone in the world, everyone in society, particularly the workers."
The panel she spoke on was convened November 12, 2014, by the “UAW 2865 BDS Caucus," part of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). There, Kiswani and other anti-Israel speakers spoke in favor of a then-upcoming vote for the University of California student workers to vote on BDS.
In the same video, Kiswani was filmed characterizing [00:00:42] Israel as “colonialism in Palestine," emphasizing that she meant all of Israel. She also addressed Israel supporters, saying [00:01:01]: “As long as you continue to be on that side, I'm going to continue to hate you."
Demonizing IsraelOn January 22, 2018, Kiswani appeared [00:00:01] in an AROC Facebook video speaking at a Women’s March rally in Oakland. Kiswani said [00:03:12]: “Let us remember that just like racism has no place in the women’s movement, displacement, occupation, war, imperialism and Zionism have absolutely no place in the women’s movement."
Kiswani called [00:02:12] Israel “the settler colonial and apartheid state of Israel," when she denounced the decision of the U.S. government to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
She also praised [00:02:55] anti-Israel agitator, Ahed Tamimi, for “fighting back against white supremacy."
Tamimi is the daughter of Bassem Tamimi, who is known for exploiting young children as political props in staged confrontations with Israeli soldiers. In 2011, he was jailed for organizing violent rallies and inciting minors to commit violent crimes such as rock-throwing.
Demonizing AmericaOn September 4, 2013, Kiswani gave an interview to the anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada (EI), where she supported a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jail. A photo in the article identified two of the hunger-strikers as Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa’adat, both leaders of U.S.-designated terror groups.
In the interview, Kiswani said: “The US exports torture tactics and policing strategies all across the world and specifically within the state of Israel."
She also decried “interests of the US within the state of Israel and its expansion of empire and its corporate interests" and referred to America as the “US imperialist country."
Supporting TerroristsOn July 23, 2014, Kiswani posted to Facebook a flyer promoting an AROC protest against Israel during its Operation Protective Edge (OPE) against Hamas. The flyer featured a photograph of terrorist Leila Khaled.
Khaled has said that the second intifada failed because it was not violent enough, advocated for the use of children in terror activities and compared Zionists to Nazis.
On November 12, 2014, Kiswani posted an image to her Facebook page showing Rasmea Odeh, with the title: “Free Our Beloved Rasmea Now."
Odeh was a key military operative with the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In 1969, Odeh masterminded a PFLP bombing that killed two college students in a Jerusalem supermarket. Odeh also attempted to bomb the British consulate.
Odeh confessed, in a highly detailed account, the day following her arrest. In a 2004 documentary, one of Odeh’s co-conspirators directly implicated[00:10:53] Odeh as the mastermind.
In 1970, an Israeli court tried and convicted Odeh for her involvement in both bombings and sentenced her to life imprisonment. However, Odeh was released 10 years later, in a prisoner swap and emigrated to the United States.
On November 10, 2014, a Michigan federal jury convicted Odeh for immigration fraud because she failed to disclose her prior conviction and life sentence on her immigration application. On March 12, 2015, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
On October 14, 2015, Kiswani posted an image to her Facebook page, honoring Odeh.
On March 6, 2016, AROC tweeted a photo of Kiswani, with the caption: “@Kiswaniya opening the #justice4rasmea event."
On August 18, 2017, Kiswani appeared in a Twitter video where she praised Rasmea Odeh, calling [00:01:48] Odeh one of her “heroes."
Anti-Israel ActivismOn October 10, 2015, Kiswani appeared in a Twitter photo, speaking at the opening plenary session of the 2015 National SJP Conference.
On October 31, 2014, EI reported that Kiswani and AROC led a high-profile BDS campaign called “Block the Boat," designed to stop an Israeli shipping vessel from docking in the Port of Oakland.
The United Nations approved the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza in 2011 as a security measure to stop Hamas from acquiring sophisticated rockets. Multiple flotillas have attempted to breach the blockade, with at least one flotilla initiating a violent confrontation with Israeli forces.
The “right of return" is a Palestinian demand discredited as a means to eliminate Israel. International law mandates no absolute right of return and UN Resolution 194, which defined principles for “refugees wishing to return to their homes," was unanimously rejected by Arab nations following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
In the video, Kiswani boasted [00:03:43] about having refused to talk to campus Zionist groups.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement was founded by Omar Barghouti in 2005 as an allegedly “Palestinian-led movement" to challenge “international support for Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism."
In 2015, Barghouti was quoted saying that “BDS aims to turn Israel into a pariah state, as South Africa once was, and to isolate its regime of oppression in order to achieve our UN-stipulated rights."
The dominant organization in the BDS Movement is the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC), founded by Barghouti in 2007, during the First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel.
The movement’s most notable achievement has been the infiltration of university campuses through lobbying for “BDS resolutions." In these cases, student governments, backed by anti-Israel affiliates, have proposed resolutions on some form of boycott of — or divestment from — Israel and Israeli-affiliated entities.
These boycott 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.
SJP was co-founded in 2001 at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) by Professors Hatem Bazian and Snehal Shingavi. Bazian served as president of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) while studying at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and headed the Muslim Students Association (MSA) while earning his M.A. at UC Berkeley. In 2004, while the second intifada was already winding down in Israel, he called for an intifada in the United States.
Shingavi, an activist tied to the International Socialist Organization (ISO), has been criticized for using his literature course as a vehicle for promoting anti-Israel propaganda. SJP has grown to become the primary student movement advancing the Palestinian national agenda on North American campuses and is the primary force behind BDS campaigns at most schools.
SJP activists frequently intimidate and harass Jewish and pro-Israel students. SJP members have physically assaulted Jewish students, aggressively disrupted pro-Israel events and possibly vandalized communal property. SJP rallies regularly include hate-speech and chants such as “Long Live The Intifada" and “From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free" — calls for violence and for the destruction of the Jewish state.
SJP chapters frequently run inflammatory campaigns against Israel, including BDS resolutions, rallies, Israel-Apartheid initiatives, propaganda comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, mock checkpoints and “die-ins."