‘May Allah Curse the Jews’: Wayne State University Students Accused of Praising Palestinian Terrorists, Promoting ‘Hatred’
Students leading an anti-Zionist group at Wayne State University in Michigan have expressed hostile sentiments toward Jews and praised convicted Palestinian terrorists, raising concerns among community advocates.
Thirteen officers and members of WSU’s Students for Justice in Palestine were featured in a new report by the anonymous watchdog Canary Mission, which profiles individuals accused of promoting “hatred” on American college campuses.
The group — recognized by the WSU administration — claims to seek “justice, liberation, self-determination, and human rights for the Palestinian people.”
Yet Summer Baraka, who co-founded the SJP branch in 2014 and formerly served as its president, was found to have made multiple incendiary tweets about Jews. “Allah yin3an al yahood ou bas [May Allah curse the Jews, and that’s all],” she wrote in 2013.
Earlier that year, Baraka tweeted in support of Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi, calling him “the inspiration that Palestinians need.” Issawi was convicted by an Israeli court in 2002 of attempted murder, membership in a terrorist organization, and possession of firearms and explosive materials.
The group’s current co-president, Mayssa Masri, has also made inflammatory comments related to Jews, Israel, and Zionism — the movement to re-establish a Jewish homeland. “What Israelis are doing to Palis is just as bad as the holocaust,” she tweeted in 2015. “Except it’s lasted for decades against Palis and who knows when it’ll end.”
Months later, she claimed that “there are more Jewish terrorists in the U.S than Muslims” and asked, “Have you ever seen a headline that read ‘Jewish terrorist’? EVER?”
Masri then added, “We need to open our eyes to who controls the media. We need to open our eyes to #WhiteSupremacy and #Zionism.”
Other SJP officers were found to have shared similarly controversial remarks.
Ayah Koujane, one of SJP’s committee chairs, tweeted a conspiracy theory claiming that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by President George W. Bush in 2015. She later suggested that she may be unable to take off for the Muslim holiday of Eid because her “lab coordinator is yahoodi [Jewish] af [as f**k] and got his PhD from Tel Aviv University.”
The group’s second committee chair, Sherin Shkoukani, wrote in 2014, “once a Jew always a Jew aka once a dumbass f**k always a dumbass f**k.”
SJP WSU — which is currently hosting “Palestine Awareness Week” on campus, complete with a “Mock Apartheid Wall” — has also expressed support for convicted terrorists on its official platforms. In 2016, the group tweeted and posted on Facebook in support of Rasmea Odeh, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who was convicted by an Israeli court of helping murder two Hebrew University students in Jerusalem in 1969.
The PFLP is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, and has claimed credit for multiple suicide bombings and other attacks targeting civilians.
In 2017, SJP WSU also posted a Facebook photo showcasing a painting of PFLP airplane hijacker Leila Khaled, which was displayed during a “Palestine Heritage Night” event on campus.
“I want to thank the members of SJP at WSU for their honesty,” said David Brog, executive director of the Maccabee Task Force, which works to counter the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign frequently promoted by SJP chapters.
“Too many SJP activists and other BDS supporters hide their real agenda under the facade of compassion and social justice,” he told The Algemeiner. “But these SJP leaders shared the real motives that so often drive anti-Israel activism on campus: antisemitism, a lust for terror, and the desire to destroy the Jewish state.”
“The administration at WSU should treat these leaders the way they would treat any other hate group on campus,” Brog argued. “Racism is racism, no matter whom is targeted.”
However, WSU spokesperson Ted Montgomery said the school has “never had any problems with [SJP] in the past.”
The group has received funding from the Student Activities Funding Board for their events, which “have never posed any disruption or danger,” Montgomery told The Algemeiner.
“Obviously, any time a student or member of the campus community is subjected to a specific threat, we act quickly and decisively to resolve the situation,” the spokesperson added. “To our knowledge, the SJP has made no specific threats to individuals, nor has anyone come to us with a complaint that they feel personally threatened by the organization.”
SJP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Canary Mission has previously brought to light antisemitic and sometimes violent sentiments shared by SJP members, including the group’s national leaders. Previous exposés have profiled activists at the University of Houston, University of Texas-Arlington, McMaster University, and six Cleveland schools.