AMCHA INITIATIVE UNCOVERS VIOLENT POSTINGS FROM SFSU STUDENT AND TURNS OVER TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
Sent Postings to SFSU Wong in Mid-January But No Response
Contact: Nicole Rosen
“There are children shouting outside and I want to set them on fire.”
“I think about killing a lot/and some of you are usually the targets of my daydreams.”
Caption underneath photo of long sword: “I want it. Imagine me cutting off the heads of those in the IDF with this.”
“Oh/And, tomorrow is (hopefully) the day that I find out if I will be the President of the General Union of Palestine at my school/…Hopefully I’ll be able to radicalize half of our population and bring them back with me as fighters.”
On the Jewish student group, Hillel: “I hope they all trip down the stairs and break their necks.”
Speaking of the State Department-designated terrorist group, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP): “I’ve stayed at the home of a branch commander and had dinner with his family. I’ve also participated in marches and gone to lunch with armed fighters. Guess that makes me a huge terrorist and you should be afraid, because I know where you live.”
Santa Cruz, CA, February 18, 2014 — Concerned for the safety of San Francisco State University (SFSU) students, AMCHA Initiative today released to law enforcement recently uncovered violent and potentially threatening Tumblr postings from SFSU student Mohammad G. Hammad. Hammad is also the president of the SFSU student organization, General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS). AMCHA Initiative turned over the postings and photos to San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.
“In light of school shootings and other murderous violence on college campuses in California and throughout the country, we are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of students at SFSU, especially Jewish students, and we ask for you to investigate this matter as soon as possible,” AMCHA Initiative co-founders, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and Leila Beckwith, wrote in the letter.
According to Aron Hier, Director of Campus Outreach at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, “While we understand the need for confidentiality, the Jewish community needs clear evidence of a process that ensures the safety of Jewish students at SFSU. Until now we have not seen evidence of such a process.”
“Mohammad Hammad’s anti-Semitic vitriol and incitement to violence is unacceptable. That he is the President of GUPS at SFSU speaks volumes about that organization’s values,” said Sam Levine, Executive Director of the Zionist Organization of America West. “The university must make known what disciplinary action will be taken, and how they intend to prevent this type of behavior in the future.”
AMCHA Initiative began monitoring GUPS, in November, after the organization hosted an all-day celebration commemorating the 6th anniversary of the Edward Said mural where students could use stencils to make signs that said, “MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS KILLED COLONIZERS,” a reference to the killing of Jews. SFSU President Wong made a public statement condemning the GUPS’s stencils glorifying violence after AMCHA Initiative informed him about the matter. In December, AMCHA discovered a Hammad posting, underneath a picture of himself brandishing a large knife, that read: “I seriously can not 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.” AMCHA Initiative turned over the new postings to SFSU President Wong in mid-January. Since then, there has been no response from Wong or SFSU.
“Are students safe on a campus where the leader of a university-sanctioned and funded student organization, known for its antisemitic activity, has publicly proclaimed his desire to stab, burn and decapitate others?,” asked Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA co-founder and a California university professor. “We turned these over to President Wong in mid-January but with no response, and we remain very concerned for the welfare of SFSU students.”
In the dozens of postings, Hammad expresses violence toward children, SFSU Jewish students, IDF soldiers, Israelis and all who support the state of Israel. He also threatens one of his professors and glorifies the State Department-designated terrorist organization PFLP. The PFLP is responsible for 159 documented terrorist attacks.
“We are very troubled with the affinity of Mohammad Hammad for a terrorist organization, and we are concerned that the terrorist ideology espoused by the GUPS President is embraced by other members of that student organization,” said Beckwith, AMCHA co-founder and a California university professor. “This is evidenced by their selection of Hammad as their leader and the glorification of violence displayed in the stencils at the November 7th event.”
The AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization, based in CA, that is dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America. AMCHA Initiative’s efforts are bolstered by a network of more than 5,000 members and supporters of the Jewish community — including university alumni, parents and grandparents, rabbis, religious school principals and synagogue members — who have joined together to speak in one voice to ensure the safety and well-being of Jewish students on college and university campuses across the country.