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Indybay Feature
Mon Sep 5 2016
SFSU Concludes Protest Targeted Israeli Policies, Not Jewish Students
Mon Sep 5 2016
Report Finds Palestinian Students Were Singled Out for Discipline by University
On September 1, San Francisco State University (SFSU) released a report examining a protest of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat who visited the campus in April. After interviewing 20 witnesses and reviewing extensive documentation, the impartial investigator concluded that the protest was disruptive, but that it posed no safety risks and focused on the Mayor for the policies he promotes.

When San Francisco Hillel sponsored the Mayor on a visit to SFSU on April 6, a group of 20 student protesters stood on the sidelines inside the venue and chanted in protest of the Mayor’s controversial policies towards Palestinians. Following the action, student protesters were accused of threatening Jewish students with violent and anti-Semitic messages. SFSU singled out the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) for discipline despite the participation of many students from diverse groups. GUPS members were also targeted with death threats, rape threats, online profiling and in-person harassment following the protest.

The impartial investigator reviewed the facts in-depth and spoke to a diverse set of witnesses from both sides, including Palestinian and Jewish participants in the protest. The report concluded: The protest targeted the Mayor for his policy positions; the protest did not target fellow students, and did not target individuals for their Jewish identity. The protest posed no safety threats. While the protesters caused a disruption, the university had permitted similarly disruptive protests without consequence in the past, and university administrators did not intervene to warn students during this protest.

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