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Marla Solow

Overview

Marla Solow has expressed support for terrorists and shouted down Israeli diplomats on campus. She is is an organizer with the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) at Columbia University (Columbia), Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace (Columbia/Barnard JVP).

She has opposed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a bipartisan bill drafted in response to growing anti-Semitism in the United States and passed unanimously by the United States Senate.

Solow has promoted the #returnthebirthright initiative launched by JVP against the Birthright Jewish heritage tour.

As of April 2018, Solow’s LinkedIn page said that she was a student at Barnard College (Barnard), studying Political Science and Government, slated to graduate in 2019.

Supporting Terrorists

On May 20, 2017, Solow participated in a CUAD hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers. Solow held a sign that read: “In solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike #CUADhungerstrike."

Marwan Barghouti initiated the 2017 hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners known as the “Dignity Strike." He headed the Palestinian Authority (PA) terrorist Tanzim force and founded the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. His organizations carried out many deadly attacks against Israeli civilians.

Barghouti financed the bomb used in the Sbarro Cafe bombing and was sentenced to five consecutive life terms in an Israeli civilian court for some of his crimes. Many of the over 1,500 prisoners who participated in the strike had also carried out terror attacks, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Secretary General Ahmad Sa’adat.

On May 13, 2017, Solow participated in CUAD’s “Saltwater Challenge," which was held in solidarity with Palestinian inmates hunger-striking in Israeli prisons.

According to CNN, the “Saltwater Challenge" appears to have been started by Aarab Barghouti, the son of Marwan Barghouti.

Disrupting Israeli Ambassador

On February 13, 2017, Solow participated in an event titled: “Racists Not Welcome: Protest the Israeli Ambassador at Columbia."

Event participants disrupted an address by Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon given at Columbia.

During Danon’s talk, seven organized groups of protesters inside the Lerner Hall interrupted and shouted down the ambassador, seven times.

Solow participated [00:28:36] in the second group of protesters to shout down Ambassador Danon.

Other groups inside the hall interrupted Danon at various intervals during his speech and chanted: “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free!!" Other chants included the slogan “One, two three four, occupation no more, five six, seven eight, Israel is a terror state!!"

Around 50 protesters gathered outside Danon’s presentation.That group consisted of members of CSJP, CUAD, JVP, Barnard Columbia Socialists and Columbia Against Trump who chanted during the duration of Danon’s speech. One of the slogans was “Danny Danon you can’t hide we charge you with genocide!"

Promoting BDS

On April 11, 2018, Solow tweeted photos of herself tabling for a BDS resolution at Barnard and captioned the photos: “barnard people VOTE YES TO DIVEST otherwise you will see my face staring at you like this for all eternity."

On April 9, 2018, Solow added a CUAD- designed frame to her Facebook profile picture that featured a Palestinian flag and the words “Yes to Divest!" Solow added the caption, “YES I want Barnard to DIVEST from companies that profit off of violence and injustices against Palestinians. Join me in voting #YestoDivest and help make Barnard a more just institution!"

On the same day, Solow told The Columbia Spectator “we don’t want to present the [Israeli-Palestinian] issue as though there are two sides that need to come together because there is such an unequal balance of power… You don’t want to normalize Israel’s violence."

On March 20, 2018, Solow was one of three students who spoke on behalf of CUAD to promote their divestment campaign and urge the Barnard Student Government Association (SGA) to write a letter to the college’s administration supporting divestment.

Solow stated [00:47:28] “As the larger BDS campaign, the best thing that the schools can do is support divestment because individuals can do boycotts and countries can do sanctions but as an institution we have a unique power." She said [00:48:05] if “you agree to have a letter of support and it doesn’t go through all the way… that’s still a really important step of… [00:48:15] increasing pressure on Israel."

The SGA voted to launch a student body-wide referendum on the issue. On April 19, 2018, the SGA passed the referendum, with less than half of Barnard’s student body participating.

Of those who did participate, 64.3% voted for the SGA to write a letter encouraging the university to divest from companies that CUAD claimed profit from Israel’s “violations of international law and Palestinian human rights through its ongoing system of settler colonialism, military occupation, and apartheid."

On April 19, 2017, Solow indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a CUAD and SJP co-sponsored event called “BDS 101." The event description said that the event would answer questions about the BDS movement, as well as the BDS campaign at Columbia/Barnard. It also urged students to “come learn how you can get involved and help us push our resolution forward!"

On April 7, 2017, Solow indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a “Shabbat Discussion: Our Jewish Case for BDS" hosted by Columbia/Barnard JVP. The event promised discussion on topics such as: “including our Jewish identity and our support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement."

Dismissing Anti-Semitism Concerns

On March 20, 2018, during her presentation supporting BDS at Barnard’s SGA meeting, Solow dismissed a student’s concerns about SJP marginalizing Jews.

The student cited [01:05:33] SJP’s event “Zionism is Racism" and SJP defending anti-Semitic tweets and asked how intersectionality applies to Jewish students. Solow responded [01:06:19] “I’m a Jew, also. Lot of Jews, Jewish white groupies, bunch of Jews..."

In December 2016, Solow signed a JVP-launched petition against the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (AAA), unanimously approved by the United States Senate on December 1, 2016.

The AAA directed the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to use the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism when evaluating hostile environment complaints.

JVP’s petition asserted that anti-Semitism did not warrant its own bill, but should rather be considered equal to other forms of bigotry. The petition also purported that “real anti-Semitism" came from the “white supremacist movements in this country" and contended the bill did “little to protect us, as Jewish students, from these dangers."

The petition also claimed that BDS was “not inherently anti semitic," and called the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism “problematic."

Demonizing Israel

On March 20, 2018, during her presentation supporting BDS at Barnard’s SGA meeting, Solow claimed [01:02:50] Israel is an apartheid state and accused [01:03:05] Israel of racism and white supremacy.

Solow also claimed [01:04:56] regarding U.S. police training in Israel that “a lot of the things that we understand as [U.S.] police brutality and racist policing are processes that are being trained in Israel"

Condemning Jewish Heritage Tour

On October 18, Columbia/Barnard JVP shared a photo on Facebook featuring Solow and two other activists promoting JVP’s #returnthebirthright campaign on campus. The caption of the photo read: “#ReturntheBirthright tabling in Diana until 2 pm!! Come say hi!"

Return the Birthright Campaign

In September of 2017, JVP issued its #ReturntheBirthright campaign manifesto, calling on American Jews to boycott the Birthright Israel (Birthright) program. Birthright was founded by Jewish philanthropists “in 1999 to address the growing divide between young Diaspora Jewish adults and the land and people of Israel."

After decades of demographic decline in the American Jewish community, Birthright set out “to strengthen Jewish identity, build a lasting bond with the land and people of Israel, and reinforce the solidarity of Jewish people worldwide." The program offers “the gift of a life-changing, 10-day trip to Israel to young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 26."

JVP’s anti-Birthright campaign was launched precisely to coincide with “the very moment that college students across America are returning to campus and registration for Birthright winter visits are underway."

The #returnthebirthright manifesto accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing" and alleged “the modern state of Israel is predicated on the ongoing erasure of Palestinians."

The text claimed: “We reject the offer of a free trip to a state that does not represent us, a trip that is only ‘free’ because it has been paid for by the dispossession of Palestinians."

The manifesto concluded: “And as we reject this, we commit to promoting the right to return of Palestinian refugees… Israel is not our Birthright… Return the Birthright."

On June 22, 2017, just prior to the launch of JVP’s #returnthebirthright campaign, JVP received a $140,00 two-year grant for general support for its operations from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF).

Since 2015, JVP has received $280,000 from RBF, which has a history of supporting anti-Jewish causes, including BDS campaigns and various organizations that promote BDS campaigns throughout the United States.


On June 22, 2017, just prior to the launch of JVP’s #returnthebirthright campaign, JVP received a $140,00 two-year grant for general support for its operations from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF).

Since 2015, JVP has received $280,000 from RBF, which has a history of supporting anti-Jewish causes, including BDS campaigns and various organizations that promote BDS campaigns throughout the United States.

Anti-Israel Campus Activism

In February 2017, JVP and SJP held Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) at Columbia where Solow tabled for JVP and attended SJP events held during the week.

Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) is 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. IAW has been re-named Palestine Awareness Week.
On March 20, 2018, Solow indicated on Facebook that she “went" to a Columbia/NYU co-sponsored event called “What Happens When an Anti-Zionist Jew Decides to Exist?"

The event featured anti-Israel playwright Dan Fishback discussing “his play's cancelation [sic], BDS, anti-Semitism (both real and fake), and the larger Jewish civil war over Israel/Palestine."

On March 1, 2017, Solow indicated on Facebook that she “went" to an IAW event called “50 Years of Occupation: The 1967 Naksa with Prof. Rashid Khalidi."

The event page said participants would “Learn how Israel's continued refusal to adhere to UN General Assembly Resolution 194 and its illegal military occupation of Palestinian land has laid the groundwork for the Palestinian civil society call for Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel."

On March 3, 2017, Solow indicated on Facebook that she “went" to an event called “Teaching Palestine: Scholarship and Resistance." The event featured three PhD candidates, including anti-Israel PhD candidate Rana Baker, discussing how they were “bringing together their academic research and Palestine activism."

SJP

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."

SJP chapters regularly host speakers who use language considered anti-Semitic by the U.S. State Department and individuals linked to terrorist activity.

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."

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.


Social Media and Web Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/100002338622120

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shmarrrrls

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marla-solow-27597713a/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/marlasolow [Private]

Occupation:
Student

University:
Barnard

Organizations(s):
BDS,
JVP,
SJP

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Last Modified:
02/18/2020

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