There has always been the undying love for Israel in the recent history of our American society but, flashing forward about fifty years, the dynamics began to shift. The support for Israel is slowly drifting away. Sure, the Middle Eastern community has grown but a popularity for the Palestinian right of return has exploded, especially in the college sphere. The aftermath of the Israeli attack in Gaza in the summer of 2014, which brutally slaughtered over 2,500 Palestinian civilians in about two months, left a hazy confusion on what really lies beneath Israel. The national college organization, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), gained members and support from other big organizations on and off the campus, including the Black Student Union, M.e.C.H.A and Jewish Voice for Peace. University of California campuses have seen the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement quickly growing; two years ago UCSD participated in the Israeli divestment and just this past year UCLA joined, two schools that once had a huge devotion to Israel and Zionism.
Consequently, Zionists and their gang members had to retaliate. A few months ago, towards the end of fall quarter, huge propaganda posters were put up all over the UCSD campus linking SJP and Muslim students to terrorism and antisemitism. The images were horribly distasteful and unrealistic; the ones that I saw had the image of people stabbing the Jewish star, indicating that BDS stood for boycott, divest, and stab, and the other had a Palestinian toddler dressed in army fatigues with a machine gun bigger than him. As a Muslim student and a member of SJP, I was horrified. We were being placed in a box as a result of having the courage to stand up to an occupying force and because our movement was gaining momentum.
The same exact posters were seen on the UCLA campus and on a wide range of campuses across the country, but a few weeks after this general propaganda was posted, an even more destructive campaign showed up at San Diego State University; the names of individual students at SDSU who are very active in the SJP/BDS movement were posted on flyers hung around the campus, naming them as terrorists and Jew haters. This is when a true outcry began. Of course, these students were completely mortified that they were being accused of terrorism, since this is far from the amazing achievements they have earned for SJP in San Diego.
This kind of hate speech does not go unnoticed without a clear explanation of who has what intentions behind it. There were a few initial ideas of where these posters originated from but the master mind was soon revealed; David Horowitz, a self-proclaimed racist and bigot, and his gang of cronies at his organization called the Freedom Center. Generally, any person would think that this tactic of hate propaganda is outdated and a low blow, but I understand perfectly as to the reason behind David's mentality; desperation. College campuses are the center for change and revolution, and the younger generation is moving away from a devotion to Israel. Students on these campuses are the brightest of the bright and will become the people of influence in the up-coming decades.
So now that the ash has settled, I have begun to see this bizarre event as a positive for us student supporters of Palestinian movements. As members of SJP at UCSD, we must be doing a good job in creating a following for our club if David Horowitz is after us, and I would say the named students at SDSU, though I cannot speak for them entirely, must be doing an extraordinary job at making moves for SJP if David Horowitz had to try and damage them personally.
Looking at the big picture, my initial offense to these racist messages turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The support for SJP, and the named students of SDSU, was boosted by the community inside and outside of the college atmosphere; Jewish Voice for Peace and local San Diegan ministers denounced the pro-Zionism and pro-Israel organizations that take part in childish finger-pointing. Supporters of the Palestinian movement, especially students, now know that they may be under a constant and creepy watch, but the love in the community around them overpowers the deceiving slander that seeps out of the Freedom Center and other hateful organizations like them.
So, ironically, I wanted to give my thanks to David Horowitz and the agents of intelligence at the Freedom Center. They were able to give Students for Justice in Palestine and BDS a huge outside endorsement; awareness was raised with the efforts the Freedom Center by reiterating their own racism towards Palestinians and Muslims, the actual majority in the State of Israel. Though they thought they were being sly and sneaky, deception only makes for a tangled web and the law of unintended consequences will always prevail.