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Hashem Abu Sham’a
Abu Sham’a is a member of Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine at Earlham (SPJP Earlham), which is alternate name for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
He was appointed as the Youth Ambassador of Palestine Refugees at the UN Summit on Israeli Violations of Human Rights. In August 2015 he spoke for the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), giving a presentation entitled, “Occupied Territories, Free Minds.” He also spoke at the 2013 Seeds of Peace 20th Anniversary Gala.
Abu Sham’a was born and raised in the Arroub Refugee Camp, located in the north of Hebron, Israel. In 2013 he founded the local environmental awareness project “Trash the Occupation, Not Our Land.” The intentionally politicized organization features a Facebook page with numerous posts glorifying and romanticizing deadly stone-throwings against Israeli citizens. The group has also incorporated the BDS logo into its own.
On November 15, 2015, during the wave of Palestinian terror attacks sweeping Israel, Abu Sham’a published a blog post, entitled: “A third Intifada? Asking the Wrong question.” In the article Abu Sham’a stated that Israel sparked the Second Intifada by attacking the Al Aqsa mosque, intoning: “The second intifada … was the intifada of al-Aqsa mosque. … The ‘intifada of al-Aqsa’ refers to the consistent attacks on al-Aqsa mosque by the Israeli police and settlers, which reached their peak when the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon invaded al-Aqsa compound in September 2000.” Abu Sham’a went on to label the 2015-2016 wave of violence as a response to “the occupation.”
In 2013, SPJP Earlham ran a Palestine Awareness Week, which featured a mock “apartheid wall.” Per Earlham Alumni Against Apartheid, the wall was meant to resemble the borders “between Mexico and the US” to connect the Palestinian cause to the struggle of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Other activities included demonstrations on campus in solidarity with Palestine and a presentation by anti-Israel poet Remi Kanazi. In both 2014 and 2015, SPJP Earlham ran similar Awareness Weeks.
In March 2014, Abu Sham’a was a panelist at an SPJP Earlham function entitled, “Injustice, Oppression, & Apartheid: Are they different?”
In November, 2014, Abu Sham’a was one of two students that represented SPJP Earlham at the SJP National Conference at Tufts University.
SJP was co-founded by Hatem Bazian and Snehal Shingavi in 2001 at UC Berkeley. Their intention was to advance the radical anti-Israel mission of the Muslim Brotherhood, but masked as a secular organization.
SJP members frequently intimidate and harass Jews and pro-Israel students. SJP Members have physically assaulted Jewish students, vandalized communal property and violently disrupted pro Israel speakers and events. SJP-run rallies regularly include hate-speech and chants such as “From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free” — a call for the destruction of the Jewish State.
SJP runs inflammatory campaigns against Israel including Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) resolutions, Israel-Apartheid initiatives, drives comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, mock checkpoints, “die-ins”, as well as rallies and protests.
SJP chapters regularly host speakers who use language considered anti-Semitic by the U.S. State Department. Chapter events routinely include individuals and organizations linked to terrorist activity and call for violence against Jews.
When confronted, SJP demonizes and defames critics, branding attacks against them as “Islamophobic” — a term popularized by co-founder Hatem Bazian.
In March 2015, SPJP and BDS Earlham held Israeli Apartheid week on campus. Abu Sham’a sent out an official newsletter on behalf of both organizations. Events includes a “mock arrest,” a “mock checkpoint,” a Nakba demonstration, a panel of BDS speakers, and extensive marketing on the main campus walkway.
On April 21, 2015, the Earlham student senate passed a BDS Resolution endorsing BDS-Earlham’s drive for the college to divest from several companies with business ties to Israel. The resolution was passed by consensus – requiring a unanimous decision. However the Earlham Socially Responsible Investment Advisory Committee (SRIAC), a standing committee of the Earlham College Board of Trustees, decided to reject BDS-Earlham’s and the student senate’s proposal.
The BDS movement was co-founded in 2005 by Omar Barghouti. The movement is self-described as “a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.”
The groups most notable achievement has been the infiltration of university campuses through lobbying for “BDS resolutions.” In these cases, backed by university anti-Israel affiliates, the university student government has been brought to vote on some sort of boycott of and divestment from Israel and Israeli-affiliated organizations. These resolutions, although non-binding, have been passed by student governments on numerous North American campuses.
BDS activity is often aggressive and disruptive. It is documented that universities that pass BDS resolutions see a marked increase in anti-Semitism on campus. In 2013, the student government of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) debated a BDS resolution. Reports emerged of threats of violence, the spitting on a female student senator, and theft of the personal property of anti-BDS activists. As a result, the student government chose to vote via a “secret ballot” in order to ensure their own safety.
Barghouti and the BDS movement are proponents of the radical “one-state solution” that has been denounced as a scheme to dissolve Israel as the Jewish State. Barghouti has been quoted as saying, “Good riddance! The two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is finally dead”, and that in a one-state “by definition, Jews will be a minority.”
The organization is affiliated with numerous anti-Israel groups worldwide, including ones that have been labeled terrorist organizations. The Jerusalem Post claims the BDS movement receives directives from Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and the movement is considered extreme even by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who stated his opposition to a BDS boycott of Israel in 2013.
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