Anti-Israel Group at San Diego State U to Host Radical Activist Who Called Jews ‘Sleazy Thieves’
An anti-Israel group at San Diego State University (SDSU) will host a lecture on Thursday by an infamous Israeli activist whose use of antisemitic rhetoric on social media recently sparked a major controversy.
SDSU’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has invited Miko Peled — who referred to Jews as “sleazy thieves” — to participate in “Palestine 101,” an event that, according to its Facebook page, “will give an introduction to and history of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine.”
Writing in the SDSU student newspaper, The Daily Aztec, campus activist Anthony Berteaux expressed outrage. SJP’s invitation, he wrote, “suggests [it] accept[s] and condone[s] [Peled’s] antisemitism and that his rhetoric is something to be accepted.”
“We are capable of having difficult, nuanced conversations about the conflict between Israel and Palestine without having to resort to antisemitic rhetoric,” Berteaux wrote, calling on “silent” campus activists to “speak up” against Peled’s planned appearance on campus.
Over the years, Peled has made repeated defamatory remarks about Israel and Jews, including likening the former to an “apartheid” state and advocating a “single-state solution.”
The most recent example was a tweet about the new military-aid deal signed between the US and Israel earlier this month.
As The Algemeiner reported, the offensive tweet prompted the Princeton Committee on Palestine (PCP) to cancel a lecture by Peled some three hours before he was scheduled to speak last week.
The PCP’s decision was met with surprising support from Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a group that has been described by one campus watchdog group as a “critical” partner for SJP in “helping it legitimize anti-Zionist rhetoric and effectively defend against accusations of antisemitism.”
On Twitter on Tuesday, JVP said, “Antisemitic language is not acceptable in our movements for justice.” Later in the day, JVP Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson said on Twitter that PCP “did [the] right thing [by] cancelling” Peled’s lecture.
Peled fired back at Vilkomerson, writing on Facebook : “no 1can tell me what antisemitic remarks I made. I accuse #Israel of being a sleazy thief & playing into the hands of racist antisemitism.”
Despite Peled’s language, SJP at Drew University upheld its own decision to host him on campus. The group wrote on Facebook that while it is “totally against antisemitism,” it wished “to continue with the event to address the topic that he is scheduled for and where his expertise lies.”
SDSU’s SJP event comes the same week another anti-Israel student group on campus, SDSU Divest, announced its return to the university. “We’re back. #SDSUDivest #FreePalestine,” the group said in a Facebook post.