OverviewMagid Shihade has mocked the Holocaust, spread anti-Semitic blood libels, equated Zionism with rape, denied Jewish history and demonized Israel.
Shihade is a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), which seeks to implement the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement in the United States.
Shihade has travelled across America to speak at Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters in Arizona, Indiana, Texas and California. He is also a supporter of disgraced anti-Israel professor Steven Salaita.
Shihade co-founded Pakistanis for Palestine with his wife, Professor Sunaina Maira, which calls on Pakistanis to adopt BDS and to “oppose the normalization of Israel in Pakistan at the level of state and also civil society."
Shihade is a postdoctoral transregional fellow at the Social Science Research Council, and a research fellow affiliated with the Middle East/South Asia Studies program at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). It was reported that Shihade promoted pro-Hamas propaganda at UC Davis
Shihade is also a faculty member at the Institute for International Studies at Birzeit University (Birzeit) near Ramallah.
Mocking the Holocaust and Jewish Fears of GenocideOn March 6, 2012, Shihade wrote a blog post for the Economist called “The Auschwitz Complex." The title of the post was later changed and accompanied by the comment “The original headline of this blog post was inappropriate and has been changed at the instruction of the editor in chief."
In his post, Shihade accused Israelis of disingenuously using a “trope" from the “Jewish national playbook" when expressing anxiety about Iranian rhetoric concerning its nuclear program in conjunction with Iran’s long history of calling for Israel’s elimination.
In a 2006 essay called “The Palestinian Israeli" published in the book “Men of the Global South," Shihade wrote that “I was among many Palestinian-Israelis who cheered for Iraq whenever a scud missile hit Israel. Why shouldn’t I?" (p. 352).
Spreading Anti-Semitic Blood LibelsIn July of 2014, Shihade wrote that Israel has a “sadistic policy of hunting Palestinians, of aiming to constantly unsettle the natives, at using them as a lab for weaponry, as a lab for Israeli electoral games; the more you kill Palestinians, the more you get Israeli votes in the next elections."
In the same article, Shihade belittled Israel’s right to self-defense, writing “the state has the right to protect itself. From what? From people who are a lab for Israeli racist politics, and a lab for Israeli weapons funded by the United States and the European Union."
Shihade concluded that the 2014 Operation Protective Edge (OPE) was, for Western powers, “a site of hunting or a hunting ground in which to display their masculinity."
Shihade has also written a book titled “Not Just a Soccer Game: Colonialism and Conflict Among Palestinians in Israel" that blames Israel for inter-Palestinian sectarian and communal violence.
According to a review written by anti-Israel professor Steven Salaita, Shihade’s book documents a violent 1981 soccer brawl in Israel between two clubs representing the largely Druze town of Julis and the largely Christian Arab town of Kafr Yassif.
According to Salaita, “Shihade uses interviews, archival research and close analysis of contextual state policies to illustrate conclusively that Israel was not only complicit in the attack on Kafr Yassif but a direct participant, orchestrating the mob violence and facilitating its rampage by offering logistical support."
Shihade also claimed that Israel plays “an active state role in encouraging or helping create such violence."
Equating Zionism with RapeAt a December 27, 2012 Palestine Solidarity Committee talk in India, Shihade analogized the creation of state of Israel to the act of raping a woman, with “Palestine" portrayed in the role of the victim.
Shihade then argued that “Palestine was colonized by a Zionist movement long before the Holocaust," and stated that Israel and the Zionist movement were founded on “settler-colonialism" — with the genocidal intention of doing “everything possible" to make Palestinians disappear.
Shihade’s presentation included a slide showing a map with the headline “Palestinian loss of land since 1947" that presented lands once controlled by Britain, Egypt and Jordan as autonomous “Palestinian land" purportedly stolen by Israel.
Shihade then claimed that Israel was the aggressor in the 1948 War and accused Israel of having an inherently “violent nature" that “constantly leads it to war against the Palestinian people and its Arab neighbors." He also blamed Israel for every war fought with surrounding Arab countries.
Shihade justified his claim that Israel has an inherently “violent nature" by pointing to Israel’s technological advances in arms and economic relations with other countries. Shihade went on to characterize Israel’s advances in security methods as a “myth" and to accuse Israel of projecting a false image of itself as “good at security" in order to sell market expertise abroad.
Denying Jewish HistoryIn a February 2013 article, Shihade alleged that “Jews had to be imported from Europe as settlers to make the idea of a state for the Jewish people possible" and implied that any Jewish connections to Israel had to be “invented from scratch."
Later in the article, he accused the “American empire" of using Israel as its proxy to mete out daily “violence and chaos to native Palestinian society" and to “make sure that violence and chaos become the destiny" of those outside the “racially white West" who reject “direct colonization."
Demonizing IsraelIn a November 28, 2012 comment, written in response to an online article, Shihade propagated the claim that Israelis “ethically cleansed [sic]" the country of most of its inhabitants and stated that “It is a violent state by nature, and violence is the only mean it achieves its being [sic]."
Shihade published an anti-Israel essay in anti-Israel activist Ali Abunimah’s 2015 book “The Academic Boycott of Israel and Its Critics" (p.45).
Supporting BDSIn November 2, 2015, Shihade wrote a blog post on the Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions website encouraging the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to adopt a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
Shihade argued that the boycott would “help all academics… regardless of the location where they work." The resolution failed to pass in June 2016.
Shihade is a member of the American Studies Association (ASA) and its Activism and Community Caucus (ASA Caucus).
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.
In March of 2010, Shihade signed a petition to have an Israeli scholar ejected from an academic conference in Los Angeles.
Shihade has also called on Palestinians to boycott products of “Western states that support Israel," including the United States, Canada, Australia and most countries in western and northern Europe.
Anti-Israel Course at UC DavisOn December 10, 2014, it was reported that Shihade promoted pro-Hamas propaganda at UC Davis and insisted that Jews have no ancient historic connection to the city of Hebron
It was also reported that Shihade relied upon discredited anti-Semitic academic resources for material in his courses.
Supporting Steven SalaitaIn November of 2015, Shihade signed a petition advocating for the University of Illinois (U of I) to reinstate Steven Salaita.
In 2014, The University of Illinois (U of I) withdrew an offer of employment to Salaita after becoming aware of his anti-Semitic tweets. One tweet, posted shortly after Hamas kidnapped three teenage Israeli high school students, read: "You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not: I wish all the f**king West Bank settlers would go missing."
A month later, Salaita tweeted "Zionists: transforming ‘antisemitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948." On July 8, 2014, he tweeted: "There's something profoundly sexual to the Zionist pleasure w/#Israel's aggression. Sublimation through bloodletting, a common perversion."
U of I defended its decision to withdraw the job offer to Salaita in a January 29, 2015 press release, saying: “These statements [his tweets] and many more like them demonstrate that Dr. Salaita lacks the judgment, temperament and thoughtfulness to serve as a member of our faculty in any capacity, but particularly to teach courses related to the Middle East."
After being denied the position at U of I, Salaita took a teaching position at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon, where he was employed from 2015 through 2017. The position at AUB was not tenured and so, following the close of the 2017 academic year, Salaita again sought employment.
Unable to find a teaching position “on four continents," Salaita again took to social media, stating on Facebook I “no longer consider myself among the professoriate." Salaita went on to say that “People ask if I would go back in time and change anything. I would not… I will die unapologetic."
In February 2019, Salaita stated that he became a school bus driver in the Washington, D.C area.
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."
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.
- UC Davis
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