Student With Ties to Notorious Anti-Israel Group Tweets: Congressman Critically Wounded in Virginia Shooting Got What He ‘Deserves’
A student affiliated with the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at Illinois’s Saint Xavier University tweeted that the US congressman shot on Wednesday during a baseball practice near Washington, DC got what he “deserves.”
Student Samer Alhato, writing under the handle @WaladShami, posted a series of tweets expressing “no sympathy for white supremacists,” hours after Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four other people were wounded when a gunman opened fire at a public park in Alexandria, Virginia.
One tweet, originally exposed by watchdog group SJP Uncovered, reads: “Am I supposed to feel sorry for the Republican Representative member of Louisiana for getting shot in Alexandria today? I don’t.” Alhato paired the comment with a GIF of celebrity Kim Kardashian saying, “It’s what she deserves.”
Alhato later wrote, “It’s sad that a racist congressman getting shot in the ass is getting more sympathy than innocent black men being shot and killed by police.”
Scalise remains in critical condition, according to media reports.
Photos Alhato has posted on social media show his connections with SJP have included tabling with the SXU chapter and attending the group’s national conference in November — where an Israeli flag was used as a doormat and t-shirts celebrating terrorists were sold.
Alhato has posted photos of himself with SJP leaders, like the president of the New York City chapter, Nerdeen Kiswani — a woman who commented on Facebook that a January truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem, in which four IDF soldiers were killed, was a “F*** you” to “settlers.” Alhato captioned the shot with Kiswani, “she is literally the kindest most beautiful down to earth person I have ever met” [sic].
Alhato has also posted a picture of himself with convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh.
His Twitter feed previously came under scrutiny last December, when a picture was circulated of him giving a class presentation on “American Imperialism in the Middle East: How white people f*cked up up my homeland.” At that time, he told a teen-journalism and “social justice” website that the photo had been taken out of context and that he was under investigation by his school.
He said at the time, “Twitter was my safe space. It was where I went to express my emotions uncensored. I got to share radical opinions on unpopular topics. Now that my university knows my Twitter and that it has been publicized by SJP Uncovered, I feel hurt that there’s a magnifying glass being held to my tweets now. Everything I say could be taken the wrong way, and I could be under fire for it.”
According to at least three studies, the presence of an SJP at a university — as well as that of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign SJP supports — was correlated with high levels of antisemitic activity at that campus.
Currently, Fordham University is facing a lawsuit filed by students whose request to start an SJP chapter was denied due to the dean of students’ determination that the group might cause “polarization [on campus]” and result in “negative impacts on student safety and the general security of the Fordham community.”