OverviewSandra Korn has supported terrorists, whitewashed terrorism, perpetuated anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, demonized Israel and Zionists, denied Jews’ connection to Israel and defended a stunt designed to intimidate students.
She is a vocal supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Korn has been active with Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) chapters in Boston and North Carolina. As a member of JVP, Korn has been involved in many anti-Israel events and campaigns.
Since 2012, Korn has urged Jews to reject the Taglit-Birthright Jewish heritage tour.
She has promoted the #returnthebirthright initiative launched by the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) organization against the Birthright tour.
Korn is a former affiliate of Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) at Harvard University — an alternative name for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
Korn is also a member of the Facebook group International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN).
Korn is also an affiliate of IfNotNow, an organization that uses disruptive tactics to drive a wedge between American Jewry and Israel.
Korn graduated Harvard University in 2014, with degrees in History and Science, and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality.
As of October 2017, Korn’s LinkedIn page said that she worked as an associate editor at Duke University Press. Additionally, she has worked as a community teacher for the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill since November 2015, and also as an instructor for the Duke University Talent Identification Program since May, 2015.
Support for TerroristsOn May 15, 2017, Korn tweeted photos of herself and others with the caption: “doing the #SaltWaterChallenge to show our support for 1600 Palestinian political prisoners on #dignitystrike."
The “Saltwater Challenge" was held in solidarity with Palestinian inmates hunger-striking in Israeli prisons. The strike was initiated by Marwan Barghouti, who was serving five consecutive life sentences for his role in suicide bombings and shooting attacks that killed five Israelis during the second Intifada.
Barghouti led the the Palestinian Authority (PA) terrorist Tanzim force and founded the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Barghouti also financed the guitar-case bomb used in the Sbarro Cafe massacre, where 15 civilians were killed and 130 injured.
More than 1,000 other Palestinian prisoners participated in the hunger strike — most of whom were also convicted for acts of terrorism.
On March 31, 2017, Korn tweeted: “#jvp2017 proud to host Rasmea Odeh, @lsarsour, & other visionary leaders for justice ~ I'm so excited!!! #jvpAllIn"
Odeh was a key military operative with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization. In 1969, she masterminded a PFLP supermarket bombing that killed two college students. She also attempted to bomb the British consulate in Jerusalem. Odeh later moved to the United States but was deported to Jordan in 2017 for immigration fraud.
Whitewashing TerrorismIn March of 2017, Korn wrote an article where she whitewashed Hamas terrorism, explaining, “The participation of Palestinians in violent resistance through Hamas... is not incomprehensible—especially when even large-scale non-violent resistance cannot make the international community pay attention to the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza."
On November 15, 2012, during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense (OPD), Korn tweeted “i HATE the equivalence drawn between Israel's deadly air strikes, capable of killing 100s, and Hamas's rockets."
OPD was launched to stop Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza on Israeli civilians. From November 14 to November 21, 2012, Palestinian terrorist groups fired more than 1,506 rockets at Israel. The majority of those rockets struck Israel, damaging homes, schools and other civilian areas.
Human Rights Watch noted: “Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim."
Anti-Semitic Conspiracy TheoriesOn a number of occasions, Korn has promoted a JVP campaign titled “Deadly Exchange" that accused American Jewish organizations of promoting human rights abuses.
JVP also released an 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 October 30, 2017, Korn tweeted a petition with the caption: “Hey ADL! Reject ALL hate during #ADLConcert and stop funding racist police trainings with Israel #DeadlyExchange."
On September 6, 2017, Korn tweeted: “Gabriel Baldasare asks #MayorUP candidates : do you commit to ensuring Durham will never have a deadly exchange with Israeli military?"
On July 12, 2017, Korn tweeted an article, where a prominent Reform rabbi criticized the JVP Deadly Exchange video for being anti-Semitic and commented: “disappointed that @rabbijilljacobs & @truahrabbis not willing to condemn jewish orgs who sponsor racist police exchanges #DeadlyExchange."
On June 5, 2017, Korn tweeted a photo of a woman speaking at a city council meeting and captioned it: “Noa Nessim of Demilitarize! Durham2Palestine: @DurhamPoliceNC chiefs have learned #DeadlyExchange tactics from Israel. no more $$ for cops!"
On August 5, 2012, Korn tweeted that Jews have a “disproportionate influence" in American politics.
Demonizing Israel and ZionistsOn June 4, 2017, Korn tweeted a video of an anti-Israel group disrupting LGBTQ Jews marching in the annual “Salute to Israel Parade" and commented, “the best kind of jews!!! #CelebrateEndingApartheid."
On March 27, 2017, Korn posted a Facebook cover photo of herself and a friend holding up a Yiddish protest sign and commented “down with fascism... // here's to intergenerational organizing // and here's to the end of collaboration between zionists and nazis #resistaipac."
On March 26, 2017, she was involved in blocking two entrances of the building hosting the AIPAC conference in Washington, DC.
On October 9, 2015, Korn tweeted: “Israeli war criminal Netanyahu shouldn't be pacified with $45 billion for the #IranDeal! We say #NoWeapons4Israel!"
On March 4, 2015, Korn tweeted: “Jews must examine atrocities committed in our name in order to reject hatred, bigotry, genocide."
On December 1, 2014, Korn tweeted an article about the boycott of Sodastream with the caption: “aha this article: "SodaStream: The Carnage Continues." u profit from apartheid, ur stock plummets… #boycottsodastream"
On November 24, 2014, Kornember tweeted: “Right-wing Israelis freakin out that not all US Jews support apartheid! -> more reasons why our organizing is so impt."
On August 11, 2014, Korn tweeted: “Did you know? Hewlett-Packard enables Israel's massacre of Palestinians in Gaza #BDS #Boston4Gaza #HPBigData2014."
On August 10, 2014, Korn tweeted that “Israel deliberately attacking medical workers in Gaza, Amnesty says …" and linked to an article from the anti-Israel propaganda website, Electronic Intifada.
On August 13, Korn was involved in a disruption of a Jewish Federation meeting in North Carolina and tweeted “JVP NC : 'we are here to hold Jewish leadership accountable. Stop supporting Israeli occupation.' @jvplive #ifnotnow."
Denying Jews’ Connection to IsraelOn March 14, 2015, Korn tweeted: “Sa'ed Atshan: it makes sense that jews sought a safe land after the holocaust but zionism has always been settler-colonial #jvp2015."
On December 22, 2012, Korn tweeted: “eww, american jews who go to israel every chance they get."
On December 25, 2012, Korn tweeted: “ except for some displaced diaspora Jews who ended up in Israel and I don't think most of them should be there anyway."
Korn later tweeted: “ for me, there's not much in Jewishness other than our history of overcoming and fighting oppression"
Defending Mock Eviction StuntIn March 2013, Harvard’s Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) initiated “Israel Apartheid Week" on campus by plastering mock eviction notices on dorm room doors — informing students that their rooms were “scheduled for demolition in the next three days."
Following PSC’s mock eviction stunt, Harvard Hillel and other Jewish organizations expressed concerns. The regional director of the New England ADL explained: “This tactic is designed to silence and intimidate pro-Israel advocates at Harvard and campuses around the country."
On March 12, 2013, Korn tweeted: “ashamed of Jewish media who've exaggerated and mischaracterized mock eviction notices as "targeting" jewish students."
On February 24, 2016, after SJP chapters across the U.S. imitated PSC’S mock eviction stunt, Korn tweeted “I was at Harvard during the SJP mock eviction notices and they were 100% def. not targeted towards jewish students."
Supporting BDSOn June 16, 2014, Korn was featured in a video titled “Sandra Korn, Jewish Voice for Peace: Why I Support Divestment." In it, she urged the Presbyterian Church to divest from “3 companies who profit off the occupation of Palestinian land."
On June 19, 2014, Korn wrote an article for Tablet magazine titled, “Why I Support Presbyterian Divestment As A Jew," in which she again urged the Presbyterian Church to divest from “companies that profit off the occupation of Palestinian land."
Also on June 19, Korn tweeted a petition link with the caption: “I support the Presbyterian #ChurchDivest standing for a just peace in Palestine/Israel! Interfaith petition: http://thndr.it/1sh7FKP."
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is part of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), a coalition of American-based anti-Israel organizations that lobbies the U.S. Congress to adopt anti-Israel policies and end government support for Israel.
On February 18, 2014, Korn wrote a column in the Harvard Crimson, defending the American Studies Association (ASA) boycott of Israeli academic institutions. She also urged readers to support the boycott and “give up on academic freedom in favor of justice."
In 2012, the ASA Caucus proposed a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israel, which was later adopted at the ASA Conference in 2013.
On February 8, 2013, Korn shared an article on Facebook titled, “Judith Butler’s Remarks to Brooklyn College on BDS. Despite a campaign to silence them, philosophers Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti spoke at Brooklyn College on Thursday night."
Korn commented, “this whole speech is really, really wonderful and i think everyone in Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance and Harvard Hillel should read it!!"
On February 1, 2013, Korn shared on Facebook an article from Forward.com, titled “Students protest Harvard’s BDS Ban" and captioned in: “featured in the Forward -- THESE ARE MY FRIENDS!!"
Condemning Jewish Heritage TourSince 2012, Korn has urged Jews not to participate in the Taglit-Birthright Jewish heritage tour (Birthright).
After her own Birthright trip in the summer of 2012, Korn wrote an editorial in the Harvard Crimson, slamming both the trip and Israel and urging other Jews not to participate.
She demonized Israel and Birthright throughout the piece, writing: “Birthright’s idea of engaging with Israel means supporting an illegal and oppressive military occupation, claiming citizenship to a state that deports African immigrants…"
Korn concluded that “If liberal American supporters of Israel truly hope for their children to engage with global Jewish politics in a meaningful way, they should stop sending them on a trip to Israel called ‘Birthright.’"
On July 11, 2012, Korn tweeted: “terrifying: a new study suggests that @TaglitBRI has successfully made young Jews more attached to Israel."
On November 8, 2012, Korn promoted on Twitter an event called “Jewish Voices Against the Occupation."
On May 3, 2013, Korn tweeted: “everyone keeps saying my @TaglitBRI trip must have been particularly bad. no, anything calling israel the "birthright" only of jews is bad."
On May 4, 2013, Korn tweeted: “i think the idea of birthright to anything is weird (inheritance laws, anyone?) but especially for jews to israel" and later tweeted: “didn't realize how fu**ed up birthright was until i was in israel/palestine. prob would not go again."
On May 30, 2013, in response to another tweet saying: “Birthright is over and I am free! ...but Palestine isn't. #endtheoccupation," Korn tweeted: “free free palestine, and also the poor captive brainwashed birthright students."
On October 12, 2014, in response to a tweet vilifying journalist Peter Beinart for “normalizing Israel," Korn tweeted: “he's obsessed with that idea. Fails to recognize that a trip called 'birthright' can't be anything other than colonial."
On October 3, 2017, Korn tweeted: “wow, @unnones in @jdforward with such a good #returnthebirthright article!!!!... Why I Refuse To Go On Birthright."
Return the Birthright CampaignIn 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).
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."
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 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."
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."
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."