Nathan Feldman has demonized Israel on social media and is an activist
with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)
, at the University of Maryland, College Park (SJP UMD).
Feldman is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
On March 7, 2017, Feldman was listed
on Facebook as a co-host for an SJP UMD event promoting its BDS campaign.
SJP UMD joined with the Muslim Association for Social Change (MASC)
at UMD (UMD MASC) to promote BDS. UMD MASC was
known as the UMD Muslim Political Alliance (MPA) prior to August 3, 2017.
On May 2, 2017, Feldman was listed
as a senior at UMD majoring in mathematics.
On May 2, 2017, Feldman authored
an opinion piece in the UMD student newspaper titled: “Israel does not deserve to be celebrated."
In the article, Feldman claimed that “Israel holds the entire population of Gaza captive" and accused Israel of dropping “white phosphorus, a gaseous chemical weapon that can burn its victims to death, over Gazan cities and civilian centers." The charge against Israel of using chemical weapons has been debunked
Feldman’s article went on to claim that “the Jewish community worldwide has been taken hostage by the brutal Israeli war machine that commits atrocities in our name."
On March 24, 2017, Feldman wrote
an article published on the SJP UMD blog, titled: “Why is Israel scared of accusations of apartheid?" The article repeatedly accused Israel of “apartheid," in order to promote SJP UMD’s BDS campaign.
Feldman’s article highlighted an anti-Israel “human rights report," produced by a Beirut-based regional commission of 18 Arab U.N. member states. One of the report’s authors was Princeton University professor Richard Falk
has a long history anti-Semitism.
In 2007, Falk described
Israel as creating a “Palestinian Holocaust" and rhetorically posed the question: “Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not." In 2012, Falk was expelled
from Human Rights Watch for spreading anti-Semitic propaganda. In 2013, Falk blamed
“the American domination project and Tel Aviv" for the Islamist terrorist bombing
of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres disavowed
the report when it was published on March 15, 2017. The report was withdrawn two days later.
Feldman’s article, which was published on the SJP UMD blog, also linked to a story
appearing on the anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada (EI)
about the retracted U.N. report — by Palestinian propagandist Ali Abunimah. Abunimeh’s story accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing" and racism.
On February 26, 2017, Feldman accused
Israel of “apartheid" and “land theft" in support of an SJP UMD online petition
supporting BDS. The petition is detailed further below.
UMD MASC and SJP UMD - 2017 Divestment Resolution
On April 10, 2017, Sarah Eshera — UMD MASC founder and SJP UMD activist — announced on Facebook that the UMD Student Government Association (UMD SGA) scheduled a vote on an anti-Israel divestment bill for April 19, 2017. Eshera stated that UMD MASC and SJP UMD jointly introduced the anti-Israel resolution.
On February 12, 2017, the UMD student newspaper reported on the launch of the BDS campaign and interviewed SJP UMD’s president, Miranda Mlilo. The newspaper wrote: “Mlilo said SJP doesn't know what organizations this university may be invested in, but that they may file a public records request to find out."
As of May 23, 2017, the UMD student newspaper had no reportage about the scheduled divestment vote.
UMD MASC and SJP UMD - Promoting Anti-Israel Propagandists
On April 18, 2017, UMD MASC and SJP UMD co-hosted a BDS event featuring Taher Herzallah and Kareem El Hosseiny, in anticipation of a divestment vote reportedly scheduled for the the following day.
Herzallah serves as the Associate Director of Outreach & Grassroots Organizing for American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). Hosseiny is the AMP Government Relations Coordinator.
On November 27-29, 2014, Herzallah — at the seventh annual AMP conference — accused “progressive community" allies of viewing only Muslim “freedom fighters" who employed violent means as practicing “terrorism." Herzallah then rhetorically asked: “What if, as Muslims, we wanted to establish an Islamic state? Is that wrong? What if, as Muslims, we wanted to use violent means to resist occupation? Is that wrong?..."
The April 18, 2017 event was originally billed as “A Conversation with Yousef Munayyer." Munayyer is the Executive Director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), formerly the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (ETO).
However, on April 16, 2017, UMD MASC wrote on the Facebook event page that Munayyer could not attend and that “in his place we will have Taher Herzallah from American Muslims for Palestine. We're so happy to be hosting him!"
SJP UMD - Demonizing Israel
On February 26, 2017, SJP UMD released an online petition, titled “OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON BDS," addressed to the UMD SGA and UMD President, Wallace Loh. The petition was circulated in anticipation of the anti-Israel divestment bill that was co-authored by UMD MASC and SJP UMD and announced on Facebook by Sarah Eshera — UMD MASC founder and SJP UMD activist, on April 10, 2017.
The petition alleged that Israel committed murder and claimed: “Innocent children are forced from their homes to make room for Israeli settlers." The petition also condemned Israeli checkpoints, which were built to stop suicide bombings and other terror attacks.
The petition also cast Israel in the role of apartheid South Africa and stated: “In 1989, our university boldly stood against South African apartheid by divesting from the institutions which supported racist policies in that country. Our goal is to have our university take a strong stand against injustice again."
SJP UMD - Misrepresenting BDS
SJP UMD’s online February 26, 2017, BDS petition, mentioned above, concluded with a paraphrased 2010 quote from BDS’ founder, Omar Barghouti: “The global BDS movement for Palestinian rights presents a progressive, antiracist, sophisticated, sustainable, moral, and effective form of nonviolent civil resistance to apartheid."
Barghouti’s original quote spoke of “resistance for Palestinian human rights," only. SJP UMD replaced that phrase with “resistance to apartheid." The petition also prefaced its paraphrased Barghouti quote with the statement: “To ensure the safety and equality of Palestinians is to ensure the safety and equality of all."
However, as early as December 13, 2003, Barghouti made clear that his goal is to create a “unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority."
On May 31, 2009, Barghouti also said: “I am completely and categorically against binationalism because it assumes that there are two nations with equal moral claims to the land and therefore, we have to accommodate both national rights."
SJP UMD’s online petition concluded with a core BDS demand, stating: “As proponents of BDS, we call for Israel to respect the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their home country from which they are currently exiled, as stipulated by UN Resolution 194."
The BDS movement’s selective appeal to U.N General Assembly Resolution 194 (Article 11) has been discredited as a subterfuge to eliminate Israel. The non-binding resolution made no mention of the refugees’ ethnicity — either Jewish or Arab — indicating it was aimed at all refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Resolution 194 urged that refugees be allowed to return to their pre-war homes, provided they were “willing to live in peace with their neighbors." The Arabs unanimously rejected Resolution 194.
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.
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.
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