This letter in support of Berkeley SJP was penned in response to slanderous attacks by notorious racist David Horowitz in an op-ed published in the Daily Cal after two members of Berkeley SJP had written a piece about censorship and harassment of their members.
The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network stands firmly behind Berkeley SJP and rejects the baseless charges leveled against them by known Islamophobe and racist David Horowitz. We condemn the Daily Cal’s decision to print Horowitz’s defamatory piece. Contrary to the image he conveyed, we know Cal SJP to be principled, oriented towards justice, and ready to work alongside anyone who condemns apartheid and occupation. The Daily Cal should not allow itself to be used as a platform for slandering campus organizations.
David Horowitz should have been discredited long-ago for the dangerous racist that he is; Horowitz is already notorious for his baseless attacks on Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine chapters across the country culminating in his invention of “Islamofascism Awareness Week,” his smearing of all Palestinians as terrorists, his call for students to conduct “mock hangings” on campuses, and his anti-Muslim rhetoric more broadly (not to mention his outrageous racism towards Black people that has led the Southern Poverty Law Center to feature his organization, Center for the Study of Popular Culture, as a major source of the spread of racist tropes into the mainstream). Instead, as revealed in our recent report The Business of Backlash, Horowitz receives funding from economic elites who are using their wealth and power to spread Islamophobia and attack the Palestinian movement. David Horowitz’ misnamed “Freedom Center” has received millions of dollars from Aubrey Chernick and Donors’ Capital, a foundation that the Koch brothers are known to run their money through. In 2011 alone, Donors’ Capital contributed $5 million to Horowitz’ organizations. In turn, Horowitz has provided funding to Pamela Geller who has been spreading Islamophobia through purchasing ads on public transit systems in major cities across the country.
As international opinion increasingly recognizes the righteousness of the Palestinian struggle, Zionists are more desperate than ever to silence any criticism of Israel. Towards these ends, their most trusted tactic is the equation of all critiques of Israel with anti-Semitism. Indeed, Horowitz referenced Hitler, the Final Solution and genocide in his evaluation of Cal SJP without mentioning any actual incidences of anti-Semitism. These allusions to the Nazi Holocaust serve two purposes. First, they seek to label all criticisms of Israel as anti-Semitic, a claim which the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights roundly discredited in its recent evaluation of the UC Berkeley campus environment. And second, they seek to portray an environment of continual persecution for Jews everywhere, thus justifying the need for a Jewish state in the name of Jewish safety. But, we find no security in a nation-state that undermines the self-determination of others and has exploited Middle Eastern and North African Jews since its inception. We are fed up with Zionists and Islamophobes invoking the Nazi Holocaust to advocate for the continued occupation of Palestine. No, Berkeley SJP is not anti-Jewish; in fact their charges against the Israeli state echo our own critiques against a state that has subjugated the Palestinian people for decades, a state that has appropriated our Jewish history to serve its own ends, and a state that has promoted and propagated the West’s imperialist agenda in the Middle East and abroad.
Berkeley SJP is not anti-Semitic; they are a crucial partner in the joint struggle for a liberated Palestine and the broader movement to create a more just world. And this makes Horowitz and his financiers very, very nervous.