Anti-Israel Protesters Ambush, Trap San Diego State U President in Cop Car for Defending Flier Exposing Students Supporting Terrorism
Dozens of anti-Israel students trapped the president of San Diego State University (SDSU) inside a police vehicle on Wednesday for what they say is his inadequate response to a campus poster naming specific students as supporters of terrorism, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
According to the report, President Elliot Hirshman and Vice President of Student Affairs Eric Rivera sent out a campus-wide email last Tuesday addressing the issue of the fliers, which were distributed on campus two weeks ago by the David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC) — a conservative foundation that, according to its website, “combats the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values and disarm this country as it attempts to defend itself in a time of terror” — and its affiliate website StoptheJewHatredOnCampus.org.
Seven students were identified by name in the fliers for supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and for having “allied themselves with Palestinian terrorists to perpetrate” Jew hatred on campus. The hashtag “#StopTheJewHatred” appeared at the bottom.
In the email, Hirshman and Rivera defended the distribution of the fliers on the grounds of freedom of speech, but questioned whether naming specific students would discourage them from taking part in future political dialogue. “First, we recognize and fully support the rights of all parties to voice their positions on political issues, whether supportive or critical. We also understand that when parties adopt a specific political position they become responsible for their actions and these actions may produce criticism,” the email stated in part.
Critics were angered by Hirshman and Rivera’s response. Following a silent student protest during a school event at which the SDSU president was present, Hirshman was being escorted off campus by police when he was ambushed, the report said. For over an hour, Hirshman was trapped inside a patrol car as angry students chanted, “Hirshman, Hirshman, come on out. We have something to talk about.” The SDSU president eventually complied, speaking with several students and administration officials and apologizing for any unwitting hurt he caused.
SDSU Hillel condemned the fliers in a statement on Thursday: “Hillel is committed to creating a campus climate where all people feel safe and secure, where diversity is celebrated, and where political differences are communicated civilly and respectfully.”
David Horowitz of the DHFC told the San Diego Jewish Journal that the SDSU flier was one of several put up simultaneously at five California campuses. Horowitz expressed his upset at Hillel’s response, saying the organization “chooses to find fault with me and my posters for identifying these students. I really don’t get it. I think it’s disgraceful. It’s a betrayal of the Jews on campus and the Jews in Israel.”
When asked why he chose to name specific students, Horowitz responded, “Why shouldn’t you name these people? They don’t want to be responsible for what they do. They claim themselves victim. Why would anyone defend them? They call for the destruction of the Jewish state.” Defending his actions, Horowitz said he “wouldn’t single out a student just because they had opinions, however abhorrent,” but said the students in question “are activists on behalf of Hamas…who are dedicated to Hamas campaigns, who kill the Jews.”