The SJP affiliates at both schools have had a history of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic actions that have intimidated and threatened Jewish students.
By Sean Savage, JNS
The local affiliates of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Cornell and Binghamton universities in New York state have been promoting images created by a Palestinian terrorist organization on their respective social-media pages.
Ahead of an expected BDS vote in late April, Cornell SJP hosted a recent teach-in titled “From Ferguson to Palestine: A Conversation Surrounding Struggle,” featuring an event flyer that appeared to depict a rifle and explicitly mentions the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), according to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).
Additionally, the Cornell Collective for Justice in Palestine, which is part of SJP’s pro-BDS coalition, has an online profile picture of a mural of Leila Khaled holding a rifle. Khaled a member of the PFLP—and euphemistically referred to as the first female hijacker—was responsible for the 1970 Dawson’s Field hijacking.
Following the incidents at Cornell, the SJP affiliate at Binghamton University shared its own imagery from PFLP. The caption reads: “Three Palestinian posters celebrating International Working Women’s Day. The first two were produced by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”
“The PFLP is, for very good reason, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. The group’s long history of deliberate attacks on innocent Israeli civilians through airplane and bus hijackings, suicide-bombings and shooting attacks is entirely without moral justification,” Zac Schildcrout, a campus coordinator with CAMERA, told JNS.
“This unabashed support for such a despicable organization, as many SJP chapters have done in the past, is deeply disturbing and is a direct attack on the campus’s Jewish communities. It should be condemned by all who seek peace in the Middle East,” he added.
Founded in 1967, the PFLP is a Marxist-Leninist far-left Palestinian organization that has carried out numerous terror attacks, including the hijacking of Israeli and Western planes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the assassination of former Israeli Knesset member Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001, and suicide-bombings during the Second Intifada. Several countries, including the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia and the European Union, consider the PFLP a terrorist organization.
The SJP affiliates at both schools have had a history of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic actions that have intimidated and threatened Jewish students. In 2014, after failing to pass a BDS resolution, SJP members were recorded saying “F*** you, Zionist scums,” and “I will f***ing slap you.” In 2017, in response to a Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) celebration, SJP held a “die-in” in the same room.
In a recent letter to the editor in the Cornell Sun, a Jewish student said that language used by SJP may “devolve into the targeting of Jews and the Jewish community on this campus,” and that Cornell SJP “has likened Zionist ideology to white supremacy and Nazism.”
Cornell’s president, Martha Pollack, recently issued a letter rejecting SJP’s call for a boycott of Israel.
Similarly, at Binghamton, SJP was banned in 2014 after a document was leaked to the public titled “Declaration of Principles and Strategies of Binghamton University Students for Justice in Palestine.”
According to Canary Mission, the document shut down any possibility of dialogue with pro-Israel students, entrenching a policy known as “anti-normalization,” while it also gave “its members directives on how to disrupt pro-Israel activities with maximum impact while staying “within the bounds of what is not widely considered to be legally reprehensible.”
At the same time, the endorsement by these SJP affiliates of the PFLP terror group comes as emerging evidence that the BDS movement has extensive ties to Palestinian terrorist organizations, using the “social justice” movement as a veritable human shield for anti-Israel ideology and activism.
Last year, the Zachor Legal Institute submitted a letter to the Department of Justice urging the U.S. government to open an investigation into the ties between Palestinian terror groups and several U.S.-based BDS groups, including SJP.