Anti-Israel group urges Antifa violence against Zionists
The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter is facing backlash for repeatedly equating Zionism with white supremacy and fascism.
SJP had initially drawn attention for advertising an event called “Smashing Fascism: Radical Resistance Against White Supremacy,” in which it claimed that “there is no room for fascists, white supremacists, or Zionists” at the Illinois institution.
In a subsequent post the following day, September 2, the radical organization claimed that “the confluence of fascism and Zionism is becoming more obvious by the day,” citing Richard Spencer’s unwelcomed support of Zionism and linking to post from an anti-Zionist author.
“The consolidation of reactionary forces in the Trump era, however they refer to themselves as, compels us to look to the Palestinian struggle to show (as the author of this piece puts so well), ‘the beauty of resistance as we model and enact the change by coming together, to challenge and confront the great common foe,’” the post continues.
On Wednesday, SJP released a lengthy Facebook statement in response to the criticism it had received for its “Smashing Fascism” event, saying it was “disgusted with the preemptive backlash [its] event has received.”
“This opposition highlights the unholy union of American fascists, white supremacists, and Zionists which seeks to weaken and destroy intersectional movements for mass liberation,” the statement claims.
The statement then goes on to address the violent connotations of its event title, saying that while “nonviolence and peaceful civil disobedience have their places and have achieved great change throughout history…violent resistance, whether it is a black bloc or full scale armed conflict, also has its place.”
“Additionally, pro-Israel campus groups have maintained contact with and may have requested an increased presence of campus and area police,” it later states, arguing that “the police, at all levels, represent white supremacy and the preservation of a racist, classist, and sexist society.”
SJP and its co-organizers of the event conclude their statement by vowing to “fight” and “win, by any means necessary.”
As a result, StandWithUs, a non-profit Israel education organization, called on the university’s administration in a Wednesday press release to “issue a clear condemnation of SJP, and affirm that Zionist students have every right to a safe learning environment at the university.”
Ron Krudo, executive director of campus affairs at StandWithUs, suggested that “comparing Zionism, the movement for Jewish liberation and self-determination, to ideologies that support oppression and genocide against Jews is grotesquely racist.”
He went on to note that such “rhetoric” also “silences the voices of countless Jews of color,” including his family “who found freedom in Israel after centuries of oppression in Iraq and Turkey.”
"While they claim they want to 'smash' fascism and white supremacy, SJP is actually aiding these destructive forces,” he concluded. “All of us who support social justice and progressive values should stand together against both the fascism and white supremacy we saw on display in Charlottesville, and this campaign of hate being waged by SJP."
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