Feb. 12, 2016
Drawing on the accounts of two Jewish undergraduates who attended the annual Students of Color Conference at the University of California, Berkeley, Anthony Berteaux describes the successful absorption of the anti-Israel movement within the broader campus left and its amalgamation with rabid anti-Semitism. The story begins many decades ago:
[A]nti-Israel co-option of progressive causes dates as far back as 1959, when the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) was founded in Egypt. Supportive of terrorist groups like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, GUPS saw a need to create a unified plan and message for student activists. It released a statement calling for students to channel their activism into supporting the “armed struggle” and fighting Israel from abroad. It is in this statement that . . . [an] alliance with progressives was [first] mentioned . . . Palestinian members living abroad would be encouraged to cooperate with the progressive political forces in their host countries to counter official Zionist activities, lectures, and movie screenings.
When the GUPS established a chapter at San Francisco State University in 1973, it organized accordingly, focusing its mission on “social justice” while simultaneously supporting Palestinian liberation through armed struggle.
Decades late, the seed planted in 1959 would bear fruit of the kind on display at the Students of Color Conference. One student would recount her experience on the first day in these words: