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April 21, 2016 7:07 am

The Planned Palestinian Invasion of the University

avatar by David Collier

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Palestinian Invasion of U.K. Universities. Photo: Beyond The Great Divide

Palestinian Invasion of U.K. Universities. Photo: Beyond The Great Divide

The university campus is becoming increasingly hostile to both Jews and Israel. From what I have witnessed and experienced, it is no side effect, but rather part of a deliberate and well-planned strategy.  We are witnessing an entry operation.

In March, in the period around “Israeli Apartheid week,” I attended an impressive one-day conference at the London School of Economics. It was jointly organized by “Olive,” “FOSIS,” and “Friends of Al-Aqsa.” The event was titled “From Johannesburg to Jerusalem.” One of the speakers was Max Blumenthal, who got on stage to present various conspiracy theories, compare Israel to ISIS and to praise Hamas.

The university pull factor

During the event, there were two workshops held. One that was of particular interest went about explaining how to create and promote Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns on campus. The strategy was broken down into seven parts. The most important was persuading your university to create a scholarship for Palestinians. This is what was said:

The best people to lead a group or society on campus are Palestinians. There is no one who can articulate better to you the realities of occupation and who can make that argument better. To get Palestinians on campus, from the Gaza Strip, from the West Bank and from Israel, what you need is to convince your university to set up scholarships. That requires lobbying, and that requires organizing and that can also come in the form of fundraising every year.

At Sheffield, we get a fee waiver ever year for a Palestinian student. Then we have to fundraise for accommodation and living. Although actually now the university pays for that as well, originally we had to do so. But what that actually meant was that you could build up long relationships with academics who pay standing orders and you build up a network of individuals to contribute towards your scholarship.

So that is the “pull” factor. I am sure that when they lobby the university for the scholarship, they plead humanitarian concern. They stress the necessity of saving the student from the “oppressive and brutal occupation.” In reality, they are lobbying to persuade the university to finance their political cause. Whichever way you consider this, people on this side are actively seeking new recruits from “Palestine” to promote BDS. Then they ask the university to pay for it.

The university push factor

But I wondered at the time about the “push.” Who are these students? Are they Palestinians from Gaza lucky to be given a life-changing opportunity? Or is there a deliberate “push” factor, where Palestinian movements have created a network carefully selecting potential candidates, assisting them in their application and training them prior to their departure?

It would be an astonishing miss if this is not the reality. The Palestinian cause on this side is desperate to lobby for the scholarship. They have a specific goal in mind. Are they going to do all this work, go to all this trouble, only to find they end up with a Palestinian who isn’t capable of presenting their case? Consider Gaza, given that Hamas has control over the propaganda there. Is Hamas selecting or filtering the applicants? Are our university funds being used to further the Hamas cause?

Meet Hazem Al-zatma. Hazem wants to study at Swansea University. Hazem is from Rafah in Gaza and has apparently applied for a scholarship at Swansea. On his Twitter feed is a Tweet saying, “I am still waiting for an official reply and I think it is ‘Yes’ according to my friend who phoned them. I hope I can join you all [at] the nice family of Swansea University.”

If you hyphenate his surname and replace the “A” with an “E,” you find out Hazem is also a freelance translator. You also find he is an online activist. Sometimes he just drops the “Al” and the hyphen altogether. This is Hazem Zatma”s Google page. Hazem raised £170 using online crowdfunding towards his Swansea University education under the captivating title: “Send Refugee to University For Masters.” According to a site called “translator scammers,” Hazem tends to change his name quite frequently.

The problem, however, is far larger than one name-changing translator from Rafah.

Rawan Yaghi was a student at Gaza’s Islamic University, and she won a scholarship to Oxford University to study linguistics and Italian. The BBC ran a story about how “students at Oxford’s Jesus College will pay some of the cost of Rawan’s studies.” The anti-Israel site Mondoweiss published a story about how Rawan was a Mondoweiss contributor. Rawan also ran a blog called weresist. You can also see her in a video promoting #BDS. No surprise, then, that in a recent interview, Rawan suggested “she is planning to be involved in the BDS campaign.” The person who organized the campaign to assist in Rawan’s scholarship-funding was activist Emily Dreyfus. Both Daphne Anson and BBC Watch picked up this story at the time.

We clearly have an example here of an activist in the UK, bringing over an activist Palestinian, who then furthers the “Palestinian cause” once her position here was secured. This was described as a deliberate strategy in the workshop at LSE.

Now, is it systemic?

Full circle

Meet Malaka Mohammed. In 2013, Malaka was given a scholarship by Sheffield University. Malaka raised almost £5,000 towards additional expenses. While still at university in Gaza, Malaka successfully implemented the first BDS campaign. Clearly an activist, she is now on her way to Sheffield — the same university that was specifically mentioned in the workshop I participated in; the one that was persuaded to provide a scholarship to Palestinians to promote BDS.

Now meet Malaka in 2014, just one year later. There was a workshop called “Confronting Israeli Apartheid: Building the Student Movement for Palestine” taking place at Sheffield. Like the one I attended, this was about spreading BDS on campus. Malaka, who was now “Education Officer at Sheffield University Students’ Union,” was one of the speakers. Her topic included “Palestine scholarship campaigns.”

Malaka has come full circle.

Standing next to Malaka on the platform was Goldsmiths University’s then-education officer Sarah El-alfy, best remembered for leading the campaign to reject a Holocaust memorial day. Another on the platform was Juman Asmail, a Palestinian student activist from the university of Southampton. Juman co-founded Southampton Students for Palestine. She was also instrumental in breeding discomfort across the UK Jewish community as one of the driving forces behind the failed anti-Israel conference at Southampton.

Not just Sheffield

The University of Durham has a page dedicated to the “Durham Palestine Educational Trust.” It lists those students granted scholarships in recent years. Diana Alzeer was there until 2013. Prior to her arrival, Diana was already an activist and co-produced a video diary called Sleepless in Gaza and Jerusalem. In 2013 she appeared at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event at SOAS. Nada Nabris is from the same year group, and along with Alzeer promoted Palestinian activism on campus and raised money to pay for further scholarships. Others, such as Tahani Abu Shaban, also raised money for the same cause. Tahani’s Twitter page leaves no doubt about her sentiments, with a Tweet stating that “Israel surpassed Hitler in barbarism.”

Tahani worked with Hamas-infested UNRWA in Gaza, but what is suspicious is that her Twitter feed became active on the subject of the conflict, in English, just a few months before she arrived in the UK. This provides some indication that some of the students may be being primed in Gaza before they leave. And just so Durham’s class of 2014 isn’t left out, the entire group — Basma Al Hadad, Saba Fadda and Reem Jodeh — can be seen here protesting the conflict and pushing BDS on their local high street.

All over the country

I spent much of February going to events that demonized Israel and pushed BDS. In all of these events there were Palestinian students, many of them here on scholarships. Many of these students are now doing the job that they were expected to do: furthering the cause, creating a case so that even more Palestinian scholarships can be created. This isn’t about one or two universities anymore. At St Andrews, a scholarship program was created for Palestinians, called STEPS. They welcomed their first student in about 2012, and by 2013 they were cancelling pro-Israel events because of protests. There are scores of universities that receive indirect funding through outlets such as the “Said Foundation” – Birmingham, Cambridge, East Anglia, Essex, Exeter, Glasgow, Goldsmiths, Kings, UCL, Leeds, Leicester, LSE, Loughborough, Nottingham, Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Holloway, SOAS, Southampton, Sussex and Warwick. There are also the HESPAL Scholarships, 22 each year, spread across the UK. The list is almost endless.

Kings, the university now remembered for the violent protest against a meeting about Jewish peace initiatives, has KCL Action Palestine, who, like good BDS activists, “succesfully achieved a scholarship system for a Palestinian student in 2008.“ Or take Amal Nazzal at Exeter. She arrived on a HESPAL scholarship. Now she teaches at Exeter and includes BDS examples in a lecture during a marketing module. This particularly unethical method of subliminal conditioning is widespread. While I was at Birkbeck, the Lecturer in Law, a BDS activist, used Gaza protests as one of the examples we needed to study in the section on police powers. Nazzal also writes on the conflict at outlets such as Middle East Monitor. She writes of “Israeli colonization and apartheid” and is now free to lecture a whole generation of British students.

A clear victory for the BDS strategy

This isn’t an exercise in careful selection. I could have expanded this research from days into weeks, uncovering more and more evidence under almost every single stone. This is a blatant BDS strategy that they openly advertise and propagate. Consider this: almost every NGO contacted in the exercise I reported about safety conditions in “Palestine” instructed the volunteers how to behave when they returned home. There are information booklets given to ex-volunteers about how to become an activist. Does anyone really believe that those Palestinians awarded scholarships do not undergo similar instruction? Or taking it to a level higher, that those best suited for international activism are not actively pushed towards scholarships? These students are highly politicized and many come as soldiers on a mission. They walk into a university campus that is simply not prepared or capable of dealing with them. There is no comparable “opposing army.”

This is a strategic infiltration of our academic space. Why is there so much money being invested in one specific nationality, when clearly there are far more deserving cases worldwide? Worse still, these scholarships, if utilized by activists, contribute to a worsening and deepening of the conflict. Is it a coincidence that so many of these scholarships are being awarded to students who were already activists before they came? These students most certainly contribute to a deteriorating situation within the UK. How many, just how many, of the Palestinian students standing up on campus, pushing propaganda, alienating the British Jewish students and demonizing the only free state in the entire Middle East, are here on scholarships? How many? And this isn’t just in the UK. If this is a BDS strategy, then it is likely happening everywhere.

The government has a duty to act

I have nothing against the students or scholarships set up to further student education and opportunity. However, the government has clearly stated it believes there is a connection between BDS activity and antisemitism on campus and that BDS “undermines good community relations.” We can now see there is a deliberate and intricate network that intends to bring foreign students over to the UK with the intent to create such an atmosphere on campus and strengthen BDS. We also know that they chase university funding under the flag of humanitarian concern. These scholarships are funding antisemitism.

These students are not British, and they are being imported with the specific aim of increasing the strain on community relations. Their actions fuel the rise in antisemitism against UK Jewry. The government has a clear duty to act quickly to protect its own citizens. Therefore, this practice has to be stopped. The government has to intervene to ensure that it does. If humanitarian concern is the primary purpose behind these scholarships, then simply suggest that while they are here they should refrain from political activity that unsettles UK citizens, such as BDS. Make it a condition of their sponsorship.

After all, if education is really the primary goal, why would anyone object to such a proposal?

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  • Wm. J. Levy

    Don’t ever say “Never Again” when Jews do nothing to counter all the anti-Israel, anti-Jew protests going on in universities across the world.

    Instead, I say, “Why Not?”

    We Jews have forgotten our glorious and heroic heritage of fighting our enemies.

    We better learn again or hire people to protect us from our haters.

    We should do it ourselves for the sake of Judaism.

  • Evelyn Marcus

    I hope all Hillel educators on all campuses will be trained to help Jewish students to recognize the propaganda. I’ve found through many conversations that Hillel organizations tend to be very politically correct, not acknowledging the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic teachings and propaganda rampant on some campuses. The Hillel educators need to be supportive, educated to correct revisionist history teachings.

    • Wm. J. Levy

      Jews are idiots and they are the ones being taught to share everything and be nice to each other.

      TIKUN OLAM is a failed concept. Look at the hatred against us.

  • Reform School

    Like the Barry/Bernie/Hillary Fundamental Transformation of America?

  • The anti – Semitism in universities did start long before the Palestinian move into universities, it started by hidden white people neo – Nazis under cover ups, and are the one to push the palestininas into university from behind all over the world which in the end, the neo – Nazis will rise against Arabs and Muslims who does stay in Europe and in USA, for the Nazis to rise into political power! This tactics is very easy to make it happen; it is only a mater of time. It will happen, it is already happening in Europe the rise of the right – wings because of the refuges into Europe made by the right – wings under cover ups who did stand behind the planning of the Arab Spring! The neo – Nazis were actually infiltrated in Arabs countries universities from the beginning of the 80s. targeting naïve people into becoming political activists against their own country leaders, for starting to move of refugees into EU for the neo – Nazis to take over political power in Europe and maybe in USA.

  • John Glueck

    Thanks David… This should be required reading for all of us, Jewish or not, who are fighting the stream of destruction directed by these hate groups, the funders, and the Jews who have sold themselves to this insanity.

  • Carol

    Very well researched and stated. Thank you. One wonders, with all the problems that Islam is presenting in the U.K. and Europe and will increasingly continue to present, if the latent come open anti-Semitic-based “love” for the Palestinians will ever wane.

  • Monty, Pam, Gabi, Pnina,Jo, Edna, Shani, Avi, Har-El, Boaz, Tzvika, Shalev, Avigaail,, Be’eri, Nir, Doron, Netta Pogoda/ Tzeissler

    Truth is the reality that is. The rest is all garbage, starting with BDS and ending in a form of nazi-ism.

  • John

    All learned by Arafat & Co. under the former KGB. How to undermine Western Society and now

    well advanced.

  • english universities were closer and cheaper to buy. the palestinian occupation of what remains of western intellectuality was an OPEC purchase pretty much at clearance prices ever since the british foreign office(r)s bought into arab ‘orientalism’ — symbolized by Lawrence…. wahabbi islams in the suburbs of the Guardian didnt hurt at all. added to the Labor Party’s traditional –putting it as nicely as possible– ambivalence to jews, judaism, and most certainly israel. it’s taking more money and time to buy out the USA and Canadian University remnants at remainder prices, theres so many of them. but the ‘star’ unis have already sold out. opec + foreign office + left (labor) + (if you can get one theyre also cheap) an apostate jew = you won the lottery (before taxes of course). enjoy.

  • Ilya Bixon

    Thank you for interesting article. What practically can be done to stop this intervention and funding antisemitism in universities? These people will poison generations of students

  • This BDS strategy is most likely happening on American campuses. The PLO terrorist entity exported some of its brainwashed students to incite anti-Zionism and Jew-hatred. The PLO terrorist entity’s goals are to delegitimize Israel and destabilize Jewish communities.

  • Paul Ackerman

    Excellent expose of the systemic infiltration of Universities by the Hamas organization acolytes.No wonder that the media ,already enthralled with terrorist sympathizers,gives them great teary-eyed publicity.

    I suppose that only when the bombs go off in a newsroom or stabbings victimize innocent reporters,when all along they thought they’d be safe because of the tacit approval they give these sociopaths,will the media begin to admit their error. Too late.

  • Mike

    When Palestinians put children in suicide vests, teach them antisemitism and hatred of Israel, teach them rioting and violence, direct their studies to bomb making and terrorism and honor all of these why should anyone be surprised it continues in Colleges and Universities? That brings them honor, not high grades in other academic studies.