SJP Press Release: Anti-Palestinian Vandalism at UC Berkeley
October 11, 2010 at 11:48 am
BERKELEY, CA – A student group signboard belonging to Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley was defaced with anti-Islamic, anti-Palestinian, and anti-ally stickers, the latest in a pattern of continuing anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim acts on UC campuses. Among the stickers was one which read “Fight Islamic Terrorism” and another stating “Celebrating 62 Years of Israel”, placed directly on top of the sign’s image of a small boy holding a teddy bear. Another sticker bears the faces of Osama Bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro, each with a target symbol superimposed over their faces. The message of the vandalism is clear— a direct threat to Palestinians and their supporters.
Days earlier, a similar act of hate-fueled vandalism occurred on the UC Davis campus, where the campus’s historic Third World mural was defaced to cover a Palestinian flag and peace dove. Additional anti-Mexican graffiti was also discovered on the UC Berkeley campus during the week. The UC Berkeley anti-Palestinian vandalism targeted the second signboard the group has displayed; the first was smashed to pieces and destroyed in a similar hate-fueled attack in 2007. The latest two incidents are only the most recent in a pattern of hate actions against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims, as well as their supporters, including:
- a 2008 occurrence anti-Palestinian hate graffiti in Dwinelle Hall, one of the major lecture halls on campus
- an attack on three Palestinian students during a silent protest in 2008
- an attack on a student senator during SJP’s divestment drive in Spring 2010
- a 2004 hate crime assault against eight Muslim women near the UC Berkeley campus
- Jewish SJP members receiving anonymous harassing phone calls and emails and several other incidents.
SJP is co-sponsoring a panel discussion titled “‘Ground Zero Mosque’ or Zero Mosques in America: Islamophobia and Critical Race Theory” on October 12 2010 at 7pm as part of its response to these crimes.
The event will take place at 155 Dwinelle Hall on UC Berkeley campus.
Students for Justice in Palestine calls on the University of California and UC Berkeley administrations to investigate these hate crimes fully and to take immediate action to stop the anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian, and Islamophobic atmosphere on campus, including issuing statements condemning these attacks from both the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s office as well as the UC Office of the President. In addition, SJP calls on the UC Office of the President to ensure the safety of Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and allied students in the face of these hate crimes.