U. of Michigan Student Government Accuses Israel of ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

An Egyptian shouts anti-Israeli slogans in front of banners with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) logo during the launch of the Egyptian campaign that urges boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and Israeli-made goods, at the Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, April 20, 2015. BDS is a …
AP/Amr Nabil

The University of Michigan’s student government issued a statement this week accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing” in reaction to the country’s response to Palestinian terrorists launching dozens of rockets at Israel from Gaza. According to the public university’s student government, “This is not a ‘conflict,’ but emblematic of Israeli settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid.”

The University of Michigan’s Central Student Government issued a statement Monday accusing Israel of the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians, and claimed that the university is “complicit” by choosing not to divest in Israeli companies.

“Today, approximately 20 Palestinians, including nine children, were reported murdered by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza and two Palestinians were murdered in Al-Lydd,” read the statement released by UMich’s student government.

“In the last week, there has been a severe increase in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians with recent efforts to expel Palestinians in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah,” the statement added.

The Central Student Government’s statement comes after Palestinian terrorists launched dozens of rockets from Gaza, with caused Israel to respond by unleashing new airstrikes against them.

“This is not a ‘conflict,’ but emblematic of Israeli settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid,” the statement continued.

The student government went on to claim that “anti-Palestinian sentiment has been allowed to run rampant” on UMich’s campus, and that, “by extension, the University of Michigan remains complicit by choosing not to divest from Israeli companies profiting off of the settler state’s occupation,” echoing pro-BDS sentiments.

The BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement seeks to systematically destroy the world’s only Jewish state through financial means, by boycotting companies that do business with Israel.

In their statement, the university’s Central Student Government also condemns the so-called “interlocked systems of deadly capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism that manifest in global oppression.”

The statement was also signed by the Arab Student Association, and the Muslim Student Association.

Students Supporting Israel Executive Vice President Sophia Witt told Breitbart News that the organization is “appalled” to see the UMich student government’s “betrayal and disregard of their Jewish and Zionist community on campus.”

“To make such a one-sided, and biased statement, on a campus that represents a 14% Jewish population is both vastly ignorant and incredibly shameful,” Witt added.

“With the climate increasingly hostile towards Jews worldwide, a student government, whose sole purpose is to represent the student body of the campus they represent, has no place to choose an oppressor in the only Jewish State regarding a conflict of recognized terrorists vs. a country defending its civilians — a right in which every established country holds,” Witt affirmed.

The executive vice president continued:

The blood libel narrative of “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinian-Arabs, many of who live in Israel, is a gimmick overused for political gain. From the regional demographic standpoint, since Israel’s entry into the West Bank areas of Judea and Samaria, and into Gaza in 1967, the Palestinian-Arab population has increased from 954,898 to 4,654,421. This indicates an increase of 387% of the Palestinian-Arab population since 1967.

Ma’an News Agency, a Palestinian news agency, reported in 2011 that since Israel’s independence in 1948, the Palestinian population had grown at an average of 3.4% yearly growth rate — higher than the average world population growth, which varied between 0.8% and 2.1% during the same period.

The fact of the matter is, the opportunity to push a narrative of a “Palestinian Genocide” by Israel during a wave of Hamas-inspired terrorism directed towards Jews is purely anti-Semitic. While Hamas uses it’s own civilians — the Palestinian-Arab people — as human targets and shields, Israel’s defense against the thousands of rockets fired at kindergartens, homes, synagogues, churches, and people, is deemed an atrocity, while Hamas is simply seen as freedom fighters resorting to the only means they have against Israel. Hamas’s disregard for human life, including the lives of the Palestinian-Arabs, shows their true intentions of terrorism. Terrorism will never be equivalent to a dispute over real estate, and will never hold a valid excuse.

“Shame on the University of Michigan student government association for their lack of integrity in supporting ALL students, and for pushing an anti-Semitic political agenda that was manipulated in order to ostracize a minority on campus and around the world,” Witt added.

This is not the first time Israel has been attacked on the University of Michigan’s campus.

In March, a coalition of students at UMich called the “Students of Color Liberation Front” demanded the school end all university-sponsored trips to Israel, and replace Sabra hummus in the cafeteria with an “Arab-owned brand.”

In 2018, the university hosted speaker Emory Douglas — as part of a mandatory lecture series — who compared Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler, and labeled both “guilty of genocide,” in a presentation that students called anti-Semitic.

That same year, a UMich professor refused to write a letter of recommendation to a student who was planning to study abroad in Israel.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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