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November 30, 2015 3:57 pm

Jewish University of Michigan Student Faces Ethics Probe for Arguing With Anti-Israel Demonstrators on Day of Ezra Schwartz Murder

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University of Michigan student Jesse Arm confronted fellow students who put up this pro-Palestinian display on campus. Photo: Facebook.

An anti-Israel display on the University of Michigan campus earlier this month. Photo: Facebook.

A Jewish student at the University of Michigan is facing an ethics investigation after lambasting anti-Israel demonstrators on campus, The College Fix reported on Monday.

Jesse Arm, a Central Student Government (CSG) representative, earlier this month confronted fellow students who erected on campus two mock 8-by-12-foot walls mimicking the 25-foot security fence separating Israel from the Palestinian Authority.

One “wall” carried artwork by British street artist Banksy showng a dove wearing a bullet proof jacket alongside a drawing of a woman dressed in a traditional Palestinian headscarf. Text on the bottom corner of the wall said: “Tear down this wall.”

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Demonstrators dressed as Israeli soldiers interacted with fellow students, attempting to demonstrate what they claim it’s like for Palestinians to go through Israeli checkpoints, The College Fix said.

Video footage from the scene shows Arm confronting one of the demonstrators, saying, “You want to hold a moment of silence, you ought to take a moment and recognize that if you want peace to ever happen, it’s going to have to happen with people who understand the situation and who are going to be delicate about it. … So take that thing down about ‘existing to resist’ and say ‘exist for peace.'”

When the student refuses to remove the display, Arm says, “You’re not serious.” An onlooker is the heard saying, “We’ll take it down when they take down the actual wall,” while another says about Arm, “Oh my God … do you see how racist he’s being?”

The video, which was shown at last week’s CSG meeting, does not show Arm committing any act of violence, according to The College Fix. 

Nevertheless, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), an anti-Israel group on campus that organized the display and also has representatives serving as members of the student government, called on the student government’s ethics committee last week to dismiss Arm over the confrontation, the Michigan Daily reported. SAFE members said Arm’s conduct was “unbecoming of a regular student, let alone a CSG representative.”

During a CSG meeting last week, Arm defended himself saying, “If it is unethical for a representative of CSG to challenge any student protester, then it should also be the case that it is unethical for a representative of CSG to partake in a protest that might not represent the views of all students.”

He said he was upset over “the taste, timing, and appropriateness of this display in light of all the recent terrorism that has befallen Western civilization over the last few weeks, particularly in Israel.”

Indeed, the demonstration took place on Nov. 19, the day that Ezra Schwartz, a peer of Arm’s, was killed in a Palestinian terrorist attack in Israel.

“That American student was a contemporary of mine from my community with whom I shared many mutual friends,” Arm’s explained. “He was abroad on a gap year program that I seriously considered attending before eventually electing to enroll at Michigan,” he added. “His story was my story.”

SAFE member Devin Jones responded by saying his organization could not have predicted the terrorist attacks that took place on the same day as their demonstration. He said the campus display was planned months in advance.

“For you to think you have some type of right to come up to us and vent in that way is irresponsible. Palestinians deal with this sort of abuse every single day,” Jones said.

If Arm is found guilty after appearing before the student government’s ethics committee today (Nov. 30), he could be removed from his student government position.

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  • Michaela

    Kudos to Arm for representing students in a peaceful manner. Isn’t that the point of the CSG? It is incredible that SAFE member Devin Jones actually believes that it is irresponsible for Jesse Arm to express himself in response to the SAFE action. By his (Devin’s) own logic, every member of SAFE should be dismissed from the CSG for supporting this display on campus and forcing students to interact with them. Even more so when it is unlikely that much of SAFE has ever experienced the reality on both sides, Israeli and Palestinian (including Jones). The truth is that the wall reduced hundreds of deaths by Palestinian suicide bombers. To ignore this is to misrepresent the entire situation. In effect, the Palestinians built the wall themselves. Sad but true. Devin, you are at a learning institution. Take the opportunity to learn.

  • ML

    The fact that any of these demonstrations to be allowed at school shows that ignorance of the good people to allow hate to be spread. If they spent 1/2 their time collecting clothing and items that people can actually use instead of spreading stupidity – they would help their brothers. Do something productive with your lives!

  • Kathy

    As I understand it, the Central Student Government (a student body) has initiated the call for an ethics investigation, NOT the University or the University administration. So essentially, this student organization is “policing” itself. Perhaps it’s not the University that is fascist, anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic, but the actual students themselves. It would be fascist of the University to NOT allow this dialogue (however distasteful) to emerge from this event. Learning requires we engage with people we disagree with, people whose beliefs and worldviews are antithetical to our own, EVEN when they are displayed so caustically. It’s ok, essential even, to be offended, to be angry. In fact, it might be unethical NOT to be, regardless which side of the “wall” one sits on.

  • D.C. al Fine

    SAFE building the demonstration wall: legitimate.

    Arm debating the issue with the peopole who built the wall: legitimate.

    Penalizing Arm for debating the issue: leftist shuttuppery — not legitimate.

  • Linda

    Wonder if jones has ever been to Isreal, Judaea, etc. it would be an education for this nitwit

  • Daniella Peyser Teutsch

    What ever happened to freedom of speech? It seems that ONLY anti Israel demonstaters are offered this luxury. Jesse Arm should be proud that he spoke up for his beliefs and he did it in a respectful way despite the unethical way that the pro palestinian students were depicting reality.
    Sadly, University of Michigan has lost its moral compass but so has the UN and all the media that give skewed reports of what really is happening in the democracy that is Israel so why are should we be surprised.

    • Zv Benari

      Well said. Free speech is not only free speech for some. I would point out that this situation is not necessarily a University condoned issue, rather a result of the brainwashing of many students by anti-Israel and anti-Semitic groups. Peace & justice

  • Andrei

    This is sickening…

  • Howell Selburn

    Antisemitic behavior such as this should not be tolerated anywhere. And that includes U of M. I find it shameful and ignorant in the extreme that it is. I used to believe U of M to be one of the best schools in the country. Now, if I had kids, I’d never send them there.

  • Bruce Phillips

    Don’t be surprised when someone on the right–like your fellow wolverine Gov. Snyder– decides to pull those same tactics on BDS (the D is silent).

  • Raphael

    I guess the second amendment only applies to the Palestinians.Since when do Palestinians have more rights than the rest of the students. In Iraq, Libya, Iran, Syria they kill, rape men and women, stone people and behead dissidents. Is that what will can expect here in the State of Michigan when sharia law is imposed.

  • Mother Nature

    “For you to think you have some type of right to come up to us and vent in that way is irresponsible. Palestinians deal with this sort of abuse every single day,” Jones said.

    We have seen video after video of these antisemite, anti Israel racists persecuting Jewish students, not just venting on them, but spitting, vandalism, shoving, and screaming at Jews from within an inch of their ears. I saw one video where a professor was shouting, “Go back to the ovens. You belong in the ovens.” And these regressives call Jews racist for referring to Islamic jihad taking place in Israel right now. Palestinians raise their children to hate and kill Jews. The Grand mufti of Jerusalem, Arafat’s mentor, entered this hadith in the 1930’s:

    “The resurrection of the dead will not come until the Muslims will war with the Jews and the Muslims will kill (exterminate) them.”

  • Ian

    Any educated reading of this conflict yields that conclusion that the Jews took land belonging to the Palestinians. Feel how you like, this is what happened.
    I certainly feel that Israel has a right to exist – the world is a rough place.
    But continuing to yell “anti-semitism” at every individual who raises this legitimate issue undermines our ability to fight real anti-semitism which is alive and well.
    SAFE is not a terrorist organization.
    Palestinian protest against a world order that has dispossessed them for the past century is not fascism.

    • Michaela

      Unfortunately any educated reading of the conflict actually concludes that there is, in effect, no history of a Palestinian people on the land. Jews have a documented presence there since Babylonian times. Regardless, I don’t think the argument is that SAFE is a terrorist organization. They are entitled to their opinion. However, it is ridiculous and even hypocritical to call Arm irresponsible for his action and ask for his dismissal.

    • jay kay

      Ian,
      Israel taking land from the Palestinians is not what happened. First, the land was given to the Jews by none other than God, and Jews have always had a presence in it. Second, the UN voted to formally give the Jews the land of Palestine (there is no such thing as Palestinians–except Jews), which was smaller than very small existing country of Israel. Note at no point has land ever been taken by Jews. Then, the surrounding Arab countries attacked Israel in 1948 upon the UN vote and Israel won, and enlarged its country slightly…doing the same thing that every country who wins a win does. Note Israel did not attack first.

      Keep in mind that Israel kicked nobody out. That’s why there are 1.5 million Arabs in Israel today. Furthermore, Israel has been attacked numerous times and has won more land. However, it has given up nearly all the land–unprecedented in world history. Included in this is voluntarily giving up Gaza.

      In sum, Israel has not taken any “Palestian” land.

    • Sydney

      It’s simplistic and prejudiced to continue to spread the false blood libel of Jews as theives, in particular stealing land. As if everybody in Israel gets free condos or something. Ridiculous!

  • Uriel Ben-Itzhak

    U of Michigan, shame on U. You allow a terrorist group, using the guise of peace, to protest on your campus. Then you question the ethics of someone who exposes their true motives. You should place a swastika on your school logo, so prospective students know what they are getting into.

    • chaya

      please email Dr Laura Blake Jones (deanofstudents@umich.edu) and tell her that . or in a more professional manner so its actually read

  • It is shameful for the university of Michigan to allow such disparity of policies perhaps in the writing of their policies they forgot they are located in the USA and freedom of speech is protected by thr constitution. Indded a good citizen would have to act in similar fashion. This student was not only correct but brave.

    • chaya

      please email Dr Laura Blake Jones (deanofstudents@umich.edu) and tell her that . or in a more professional manner so its actually read

  • Melissa

    Shame on you U of M for your racist treatment of student Arm. Michigan has a long history of antisemitic treatment of Jewish college students and allows Pro Palestinian students free reign to spread their hatred.

    What a shameful double standard – just spend 3 seconds online to see … where is the persecution of the students against Israel who have done and said so many horrible things?

    • chaya

      please email Dr Laura Blake Jones (deanofstudents@umich.edu) and tell her that . or in a more professional manner so its actually read

  • Is it not strange that it is always your opponent who does not have “some type of right” to “vent” his opinion?
    Even when that opponent lives in a country that enshrines free speech in its constitution? Or who represents a community that has suffered tens of thousands of casualties at the hands of its opponents? Who represents a people under attack by killer drivers, knife wielding fanatics, who are lauded by their political leaders and eulogised by knife wielding imams in pulpits?

    A people for whom no one else will speak up and defend?
    Who therefore has to depend on its own efforts in order to survive?

  • ART

    The fascists are back and stronger than ever. Claiming victimhood they viciously attack and censor those who oppose them.Think of it, the anti semites have a clearly anti Jewish, anti Israel display intentionally misrepresenting the IDF, but no university group or administration having the courage to protest the display but, when an individual Jew disagrees with the display he is persecuted and the administration is silent. This is clearly a silencing of the Jewish voice of reason and conscious

  • Dorothy Seidel Wigod

    Sickening.

  • Uncle Sam

    More fascism on campus. College students should be required to read Orwell: Animal Farm, 1984, and “Politics and the English Language.” Palestinians good, Jews bad. Time for the ten minute hate the Jew session! Accuse your victims of what you are. These are Nazi tactics. I.e. Saying that the Jews are destroying Germany,while the Nazi’s were destroying the Jews and eventually all of Germany as well. We in the West and the college administrators need more instruction in Critical Thinking. Eventually the college administration will be superceded by Sharia Law and they won’t have to think at all. They can sit in their cafes, listening to the music, waiting for the bullet in the head that has their name on it.

  • Emanuel

    “For you to think you have some type of right to come up to us and vent in that way is irresponsible. Palestinians deal with this sort of abuse every single day,” Wow Devin Jones is a giant talking turd, student government to have a right to express themself irresponsible? The student government was elected to speak on behalf of the student body not the radical marxist liftist anarchist scum who disrupts the school and community out of their own weakness, ignorance and thirst for the spotlight. Jones sounds like those idiots who were upset when Paris happened because they lost the spotlight.

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