Wiesenthal Center on SFSU: Why is Taxpayer Money 'Being Spent to Visit People Affiliated with Terrorism?'

“The university has been claiming that this is protected free speech. But, many instances of anti-Israelism/anti-Semitism arguably fall outside the boundaries of the First Amendment."

As the controversy on the campus of San Francisco State University rages on, Aron Hier, Director of Campus Outreach for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told TruthRevolt that the university's response has been off-base in the past. “The university has been claiming that this is protected free speech. But, many instances of anti-Israelism/anti-Semitism arguably fall outside the boundaries of the First Amendment."

Many anti-Israel campus groups which advocate for the eradication of the Jewish state often bully and harass students on campus yet complain that their free speech is being infringed upon when disciplined. On the campus of Northeastern University, the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter was suspended by the school for its anti-Semitic, pro-terror and distributive behavior. Immediately afterward, the group claimed that the university was "denying students their free speech rights."

In late 2013, Mohammad Hammad, the head of the Gen­eral Union of Pales­tine Stu­dents (GUPS) which is the anti-Israel group at SFSU, posted a photo with a knife with the description, "“I seri­ously cannot get over how much I love this blade...It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through every­thing like but­ter and just hold­ing it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier…” Hammad was the subject of an FBI investigation and is no longer a student on campus.

GUPS also held an event in November 2013 in which students were encouraged to cre­ate plac­ards using a sten­cil that read "My heros have always killed colonizers," in reference to Israelis. The students also advertised and made available a stencil that read "resistance is not terrorism" with a picture terrorist Leila Khalad. Khaled is one of the terrorists that two SFSU professors met with on their university-sponsored trip.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, "Pres­i­dent Les Wong, the pres­i­dent of SFSU, rightly issued a state­ment deplor­ing the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of vio­lence and stress­ing that there is “no place at SF State for cel­e­brat­ing vio­lence or pro­mot­ing intol­er­ance, big­otry, anti-Semitism or any other form of hate-mongering.” However, GUPS remains a university-approved student group.

Requests for comment from President Wong regarding the latest incident, in which two professors met with terrorists, have gone unanswered. 

One student told TruthRevolt that she was "not surprised" that two professors used school issued taxpayer money to meet with terrorists who have ties to American deaths and that she has "experienced marginalization, anti-Semitism and a need to suppress my identity and ideologies."

Hier questioned the misuse of taxpayer money as well: "We allege that the university is not being told all of the material facts when it comes to the spending of their (and the taxpayers) money; why is it being spent to visit people affiliated with terrorism?”