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April 1, 2016 8:10 am

Students for Justice in Palestine, UC Berkeley Administrators Clash With Pro-Israel Group on Campus

avatar by Andrew Pessin

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Tikvah students demonstrating Tuesday. Photo: Facebook

Tikvah students demonstrating Tuesday. Photo: Facebook

A group of pro-Israel students stood opposite a mock “apartheid wall” and checkpoint dominating the center thoroughfare of the University of California, Berkeley campus Tuesday to provide a counter-narrative, its leader told The Algemeiner on Thursday.

Michaela Fried, President of Tikvah: Students For Israel, said that her group came out to contrast the display by Berkeley’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). But, she said, it also had to deal with an “inordinate presence” of campus administrators, “who on multiple occasions asked us to move our counter-demonstration further away and to not hold signs near the ‘apartheid wall,’ severely limiting our ability to make our voices heard.”

Nevertheless, she said, she felt they had achieved their goal of presenting “compelling and eye-catching images which people deeply connect to.” She explained that they had chosen to protest specifically the intentional violent targeting of civilians, which “occurs so frequently in Israel and elsewhere in the world. We stood holding the names, pictures and stories of victims of recent terror attacks directed at Israeli civilians.”

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Tensions are often high between SJP and her group, Fried added, since some members of each group are “connected to what is going on in the Middle East because they have family there.” Although they sometimes know each other from classes, their interactions in Sproul Plaza, the center of student activity at Berkeley, are “usually hostile,” whether during demonstrations or weekly tabling events.

One member of SJP told The Daily Californian that he was offended by some of the signs held by Tikvah protesters. He emphasized that SJP does not condone stabbings or terrorism, saying, “To imply that we are okay with Jews being stabbed in Israel is offensive and wrong.”

The wall and checkpoint were constructed as part of SJP’s “Palestine Awareness Week,” which concluded Thursday with a march and “die-in” in downtown Berkeley.

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  • Howard Borman

    The Falestinians are ersatz usurpers of land that was never theirs. They belong in their original Egypt, Jordan…..

  • Continue your fight against Anti Jewish and Israeli groups. If required get the JDL involved.????????

  • I’m glad to see that you guys have brought in professor Pessin as a writer.

    In my opinion, his is a voice that we very much need to listen to.

  • Brenda CLAVELOUX

    Very proud of this group and very shocked and angry at the admins who clearly showed their stripes here. Or shirts, yes, brown shirts I believe.

  • Judith Levine

    Congratulations to Tikvah. Keep up the good work. Stop BDS on Campus is happy to support your work.

  • Ronnie J

    Bravo Tikvah! Thank you for standing up for truth and justice against the lying, terrorist supporting, hate group thugs – SJP. Up until now they have managed to silence your voices, but have emerged and will be silenced no longer.

    • Lizbeth Glickman

      Good comment! Am following petition by 61 hate groups in Massachusetts. They are trying to get BDS approved here in the home of American Revolution. These crazed, anti-Semitic groups will fail here too.

Algemeiner.com