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November 8, 2016 1:55 pm

U of Michigan Students Justify ‘Zionism Is Scary’ Halloween Bake Sale Following Outcry Over ‘Gross Bigotry’

avatar by Lea Speyer

Members of UM-Dearborn's SJP chapter at the "Zionism is scary" bake sale. Photo: UM-Dearborn SJP/Facebook.

Members of UM-Dearborn’s SJP chapter at the “Zionism is scary” bake sale. Photo: UM-Dearborn SJP/Facebook.

Students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that they were justified in holding a blatantly anti-Israel event, “because Zionism constitutes antisemitism.”

The school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) was responding to criticism it incurred over its Halloween bake sale — titled “Zionism is scary” —  which featured cookies and cakes with Palestinian flag icing, and a board of quotes “from the Zionist mind,” distorting the words of Israeli leaders.

Gilad Skolnick, director of campus programming for CAMERA on Campus, called the display “gross bigotry.”

“By distorting Zionism into something ‘scary,’ SJP is fueling animosity against Jewish students, the vast majority of whom support the state of Israel,” he told The Algemeiner. “This mean-spirited event is designed to spark campus outrage at Jews who support Israel’s existence.”

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Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of campus watchdog the AMCHA Initiative, called the event and its theme a “clear attempt to demonize and delegitimize the founding ideology of the Jewish state and oppose its right to exist and the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.”  

The quotes of Israeli leaders on display, she said, are “all taken out of context and are distorted perversions of the intended meaning of these statements.”

Andrew Moss, Midwest campus liaison for Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, told The Algemeiner that calling Zionism “scary” is a “thinly veiled form of racism.”

“SJP is sending the message that among all of the world’s nations, Jews are uniquely undeserving of their basic rights. This is absolutely despicable,” he said.

Flier promoting UM-Dearborn SJP's "Zionism is scary" bake sale. Photo: UM-Dearborn SJP/Facebook.

A flier promoting UM-Dearborn SJP’s “Zionism is scary” bake sale. Photo: UM-Dearborn SJP/Facebook.

The UM-Dearborn bake sale is just one example of various anti-Israel activities — such as the building of an “apartheid wall” — adopted by SJP chapters across the US.

As was reported by The Algemeiner, a recent Brandeis study found that “one of the strongest predictors of perceiving a hostile climate towards Israel and Jews is the presence of an active SJP group on campus.”

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