Northwestern Jewish Student Files Bias Complaint Against SJP

In an academic year during which campus anti-Semitism repeatedly made national headlines and numerous Jewish fraternities and other campus buildings were vandalized with swastikas, yet another disturbing incident has come to light. The setting this time is Northwestern University in Illinois where a Jewish student filed a bias complaint with the university after he says he was harassed by members of the organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) during a campus event targeting Israel as a racist, apartheid state.

The incident occurred on Tuesday during an SJP “mock checkpoint and border patrol event” which the group held as part of a larger Israeli Apartheid Week, an international campus movement that demonizes Israel and compares it to apartheid-era South Africa.

The Daily Northwestern described the scene:

The event…featured demonstrators in camouflage gear acting as patrol agents. Depending on the scenario, the camouflage gear featured an Israeli or an American flag. Students acting as migrant workers carried water jugs and those acting as Palestinians wore a keffiyeh, a Palestinian scarf.

The Jewish student approached the display with a video camera in order to record the event.  He reports that he was asked if he wanted more information to which he replied “No, thank you” and declined to take a pamphlet from SJP.  He then told the SJP members that he was planning to send the video recording of the mock checkpoint to a friend who serves in the Israeli Defense Forces. 

Upon hearing this, the Jewish student reports that “Another [SJP] girl right after got in my face and said, ‘You’re sending it to killers, great.’”

The Jewish student then stopped recording and attempted to walk away but was followed for a distance by another SJP member who continued trying to give him a pamphlet.

Following this encounter, the Jewish student was motivated to file an official harassment and verbal assault complaint.  The Jewish student has opted to remain anonymous but he spoke with the Daily Northwestern which reported that he “felt the act of calling his friend a killer was harassment and made him feel uncomfortable being Jewish on campus” and that “Jewish students are unfairly labeled as racist, even though many support a two-state solution, including himself.”