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By David A. Schwartz
South Florida Jewish Journal
April 18, 2012

Jewish leaders voiced their dissatisfaction with Florida Atlantic University’s response to the campus group Students For Justice in Palestine (SJP) posting fake eviction notices on the dorm room doors of more than 200 students.

“What we want is for the university to call this by name. This group SJP did put out a message that was anti-Semitic in nature,” Joseph M. Sabag, executive director of the Zionist Organization of America’s Florida region, said in an interview with the Jewish Journal.

“[The notices] contained a modern blood libel and false accusations intended to demonize Israel, which also has the effect of causing otherwise uninformed students to associate those bad attributes with Jews in general,” he said. Sabag added, “What the university needs to understand is that anti-Semitic bigotry is no less morally deplorable when camouflaged as anti-Israelism.”

Charles L. Brown, senior vice president for student affairs at FAU, said in a statement that the university has been meeting with students, staff and members of the community since the incident. The university discussed expressing beliefs within the law and university policy as well as with “respect for divergent views,” Brown said.

The posted fliers did not meet university policy and should not have been distributed. Brown said, but there was “no evidence that the postings were intended to target or intimidate individuals of any particular religion, national origin or faith.” (I guess Brown can’t read). He added the fliers were “distributed randomly.”
Brown said there have been “threats of violence” stemming from the incident. He said the university will work with law enforcement to prosecute individuals who make such threats.

The Anti-Defamation League called the findings of the university’s investigation “unsatisfactory.” The ADL statement called for “greater transparency” and for the university to make public the measures taken against university staff and the consequences for students who were involved.

The ADL noted that the fake eviction notices had the seal of Palm Beach County and FAU’s Housing Authority. “The notion that many people would not consider that intimidating is out of the question, is just simply unreasonable,” Rosenkranz said.

The Anti-Defamation League reports that Students for Justice in Palestine has chapters at 75 universities around the United States. SJP has engaged in such tactics as disrupting pro-Israel events, participating in Israeli Apartheid Week and using inflammatory language to demonize Israel, according to the ADL.

A tactic similar to the posting of fake eviction notices on student’s doors at FAU was used last year at Yale University and the University of Chicago, the ADL said in a report on its website.

In a statement sent to the Jewish Journal, Nezar Hamze, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relation’s (CAIR) South Florida office, said he was “encouraged that University officials have confirmed the fake eviction notices were not intended to target or intimidate individuals of any particular religion, national origin or faith.” (I guess he can’t read either)

CAIR, a national organization based in Washington, D.C. with offices around the U.S., was described by U S government prosecutors in the Holy Land Foundation trial as a group set up by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas, according to a report by the ADL on its website.

(It was also noted that many of the buildings built on these university campuses have Jewish names on them as a result of major contributions enabling their construction – not to mention the hundreds of thousands in annual donations. Maybe its time for these generous people to make a statement of their own?) jsk

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