OverviewRaphael Dreyfuss has spread an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, promoted hatred of pro-Israel Jews and signed a petition condemning the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (AAA), a bipartisan bill, drafted in response to growing anti-Semitism in the United States.
As of 2018, Dreyfuss was reportedly a member of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) at Oberlin College (Oberlin), as well as Students for a Free Palestine (SFP), a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Oberlin employing an alternative name.
On December 24, 2017, Dreyfuss tweeted that he applied to a JVP leadership retreat.
Dreyfuss has promoted the #returnthebirthright initiative launched by JVP against the Birthright Jewish heritage tour (Birthright).
Dreyfuss is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS).
In November 2018, Dreyfuss indicated on Twitter that he attended the 2018 National SJP conference, held at the University of California, Las Angeles (UCLA).
As of August 2019, Dreyfuss was a member of the Facebook group International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), since February 2017.
As of September 2019, Dreyfuss’s LinkedIn page said he graduated from Oberlin in 2019, with a bachelor’s degree in History and that he was “seeking entry-level employment in community organizing, public outreach or publishing positions."
As of September 2019, Dreyfuss used the name “Raphael Yitzchak" on Facebook.
Anti-Semitic Conspiracy TheoryOn November 29, 2017, Dreyfuss tweeted a link to a Facebook event page, titled: “Deadly Exchange Teach-in." Dreyfuss commented: “if you go to oberlin and you've ever looked at my twitter you're contractually obligated to come to my teach-in tomorrow."
The event page invited people to “learn about Oberlin Jewish Voice for Peace's Deadly Exchange campaign!"
In 2017, JVP launched a “Deadly Exchange" campaign, accusing American Jewish organizations of promoting human rights abuses.
JVP also released a video that blamed “US-based Jewish organizations" for violence that occurs against Black and Brown communities, immigrants and activists in the U.S.
The video accused mainstream Jewish organizations in the United States of coordinating exchange programs between American and Israeli security personnel, to advance “worst practices" and “racist policies."
The campaign page claimed that these “policies" included: “extrajudicial executions, shoot-to-kill policies, police murders, racial profiling, massive spying and surveillance, deportation and detention."
On December 1, 2017, Dreyfuss shared a link to a petition on the Facebook event page for JVP’s “Deadly Exchange Teach-In." The petition called on the Anti-Defamation League to “not host another National Counter Terrorism Seminar or Advanced Training School."
The petition also claimed that “Dispatching US law enforcement to trade tactics with Israeli police and military agents defends and deepens Israel's systems of military occupation, and exacerbates the existing crisis of police violence in the US."
Promoting Hatred of Zionist JewsOn October 5, 2017, Dreyfuss tweeted: “we just went to a Hillel birthright info session, and they were perfectly polite and listened and took our leaflets but like what the f**k."
He then tweeted: “How do you possibly engage with settler-colonizers whose entire identity is based on being liberal-arts social- justice ‘crunchy hippie jews?’"
On July 6, 2017, Dreyfuss tweeted: “haha i know who the oberlin zios are now"
Opposing the Anti-Semitism Awareness ActIn December of 2016, Dreyfuss signed a JVP-launched petition opposing the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (AAA), which was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate on December 1, 2016.
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."
Condemning Jewish Heritage TourOn June 18, 2018, Dreyfuss tweeted: “Way beyond just politically misleading young diaspora Jews, #Birthright serves a critical role in maintaining a steady flow of Jewish settler-colonizers to Palestine, whose demographic presence will be used to justify the ongoing occupation and dispossession of Palestinian land."
On April 15, 2018, Dreyfuss changed his Facebook cover photo to a “Return the Birthright" graphic. He captioned the photo: “Tonight in NYC, the Birthright Israel Foundation will hold an 18th anniversary gala...I am proud of the JVP comrades who will be protesting outside…For the Palestinian right of return, we #ReturnTheBirthright."
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.
On March 29, 2018, the Return the Birthright campaign posted to Facebook a photo of Dreyfuss and other JVP Oberlin members, tabling for the campaign on campus.
On October 4, 2017, Dreyfuss tweeted that he was “tabling in the library for #ReturnTheBirthright." He also attached an image of an anti-Bolshevik propaganda poster that portrayed Leon Trotsky as a demon-like symbol of Jewish Bolshevism.
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.
Supporting BDSOn October 12, 2018, Dreyfuss interviewed anti-Israel BDS activist Garik Ruiz in an article for the “student culture magazine," the Oberlin Grape, on behalf of JVP.
The article discussed a talk on campus given by Garik and sponsored by JVP and SFP. Dreyfuss claimed in the article that Palestinians: “have lived under a racially discriminatory Israeli regime" and that the call for BDS “has galvanized a new generation...to take direct action to curb Israel’s violation of human rights."
Dreyfuss lamented that even after the passage of BDS on US campuses, resolutions have all failed to gain any institutional support. Dreyfuss asked Ruiz: “what steps can students, faculty and community members take to push their institution to uphold a commitment to opposing human rights violations?"
Attending the 2018 National SJP ConferenceOn November 24, 2018, Dreyfuss tweeted a selfie of himself and a group photo taken at the 2018 National SJP Conference and wrote: “Had the great pleasure to travel to my hometown in Los Angeles last weekend for the 2018 @NationalSJP Conference at UCLA, where we held the largest pro-Palestinian student conference ever. I'm quoted a couple times in this (rather salty) article about it.…"
The tweet linked to an article published in Ha’aretz, where Dreyfuss reportedly said: “There are so many amazing workshops happening." Dreyfuss continued: “I’m really interested in meeting and talking to people from other campuses."
2018 National SJP - Celebrating Violence
Since the early 2000’s, the term “intifada" has carried the connotation of violence. The second intifada was characterized by more than 120 suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians on buses and in cafes.
Anti-Israel activist Omar Zahzah also reportedly [00:00:07] led National SJP attendees in chanting, in Arabic, “With our bodies and our blood, we will free Palestine."
As of November 2018, the 2018 National SJP website glorified “radical hope and upfront defiance of Zionism," citing as examples the “early revolts through the Intifadas to the Great Return March."
The Great Return March of 2018 was organized and funded by the terror group Hamas as a campaign of violent protests along Israel’s border to spotlight the demand of Palestinians to “return" to Israel.
Tens of thousands of rioters gathered on Israel’s Gaza border, attempting numerous breaches of Israel’s border fence, with leaders and participants declaring their intention to harm Jews.
National SJP originally promoted a conference logo featuring a keffiyeh-wearing bear, looking toward a kite bearing the colors of the Palestinian flag.
On October 27, 2018, National SJP said the kite signified “the power in the Gaza March of Return."
Since March 2018, March of Return participants and Hamas’s “Kite Unit" have sent hundreds of kites bearing incendiary devices and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) across the border into Israel to terrorize Israelis. The kites are often marked with swastikas.
By the time National SJP produced its 2018 conference logo highlighting the kites in October 2018, Gazan terror kites and balloons had ignited more than 1,300 fires in Israel, over seven months.
2018 National SJP - Undermining U.S. Support for IsraelOn November 18, 2018, the US Palestine Community Network (USPCN) posted on Facebook the 2018 National SJP keynote speech by Hatem Abudayyeh, USPCN’s co-founder.
Abudayyeh has supported [00:08:45] convicted terrorists, praised terror organizations, called for Israel’s destruction and is an activist in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.
In his 2018 National SJP Keynote, Abudayyeh said [00:53:01] that the “specific role" of Palestinian and Arab students was to organize [00:53:42] in order to weaken “Zionist Israel" and force [00:54:23] the U.S. to “no longer provide it with diplomatic, political, financial and military cover and support."
Abudayyeh predicted [00:55:37] that once U.S. support to Israel ends, National SJP attendees would return to Palestine as “conquering heroes," end [00:54:38] the “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands including the Golan Heights" and replace “Zionist Israel" with a Palestinian state.
2018 National SJP - Whitewashing Terror OrganizationsDuring his keynote speech, Abudayyeh also painted [00:14:01] terrorist organizations as “liberation movements" and “resistance organizations," stating [00:14:21] “what we also know is that the majority of the resistance organizations in Palestine are on the U.S. state department list of foreign terrorist organizations."
Abudayyeh also celebrated [00:52:00] that all of the “armed resistance" organizations in Gaza are part [00:52:14] of a “unified resistance in Gaza, that includes all of the resistance organizations, working together under a unified military command."
2018 National SJP - Defending Terrorist Rasmea OdehDuring his keynote speech, Abudayyeh claimed [00:08:28] that pro-Israel organizations “go after students like you," adding [00:08:20] “just like they went after my friend and colleague, Rasmea Odeh."
2018 National SJP - Demonizing Israel and JewsDuring his keynote speech, Abudayyeh defended [00:27:25] the “Irvine 11" — eleven Muslim Student Union (MSA) members who were arrested in 2010 for repeatedly shouting down former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren during an address at the University of California at Irvine (UC Irvine).
Abudayyeh referred [00:27:37] to Oren as a “racist fascist speaker, representative of a racist, fascist country."
Abudayyeh went on to claim [00:29:48] that “today, even in the United States, Israel is finally being seen as the criminal, apartheid, racist state that it is."
Abudayyeh also called for increased action in the face of President U.S. Donald Trump, and referred [00:48:41] to Jared Kushner, Trump’s Jewish son-in-law and senior advisor, as “that pig son-in-law of his."
2018 National SJP - Excluding StudentsThe 2018 National SJP Conference welcomed only students who were verified and vouched for by an SJP (or otherwise named campus Palestine solidarity group). Media requests needed to be “approved by the NSJP press team" prior to the conference.
A November 7, 2018 Columbus Jewish News article reported that the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on UCLA to cancel the 2018 NSJP conference, stating that a “public university should not allow any group to implement a litmus test for event participation on their campus."
On November 12, 2018, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that criticized National SJP’s exclusion of members of pro-Israel student groups.
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 Israel critics Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky and Tony Kushner.
JVP, which generally employs civil disobedience tactics to disrupt 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 “white supremacy 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 value."
The ADL also claimed that “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."
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."
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