Campus Monitor - Kenyon College

Student Voices

  • February 23, 2017 – Kenyon College Jewish Student (Evan) “I am quite disappointed that the leaders of the Environmental Campus Organization (ECO) chose to co-sponsor (and include their group’s name in an email) a boycott of Israeli-invested products simply because of their ties to the Jewish state. Doing so alienates the students at Kenyon who are pro-Israel environmentalists. How can we in good conscience be asked to participate in a boycott whose aims are to hurt one of the global leaders in environmentalism? Perhaps a new environmental group should arise that doesn’t lose sight of its mission for the sake of an alliance? I challenge my fellow students to think critically with regards to the “Solidarity Boycott” and to consider its strange, contradictory ends. The effort to stop climate change needs all of the support it can get; the issue is too important to make the mistake of alienating via an anti-Israel stance.” Read more
  • November 10, 2016 – Kenyon College Student (Muhammed) “As a former member of KSJP for two years, I understand and fought for the group’s narrative. They tell the story of Palestinian indigeneity, making the claim of “Zionist settler colonialism.” This narrative implicitly denies Jewish connection to the land for millennia. SJP activists, as a matter of policy, exacerbate the conflict by refusing to engage in constructive conversations with their Zionist Jewish counterparts at American universities across this country. By refusing to engage with Zionists, my fellow student activists entrench the decades-long Palestinian and Arab leadership’s failure to recognize Israel’s legitimacy in the past, present and future of the “Holy Land.” They fail to negotiate and discuss concrete civil programs to improve Palestinian quality of life and access to opportunities and instead engage in the counterproductive goal of destabilizing Israel…How do these fellow Muslim, Arab and/or white American activists undermine Zionists’ legitimacy in the claim to Palestine-Israel? They grossly conflate and reduce complex social and historical realities to a false, oversimplified binary: indigeneity versus settler colonialism. Some of my fellow activists incorrectly and disrespectfully appropriate the term “indigenous” to define Palestinians vis-a-vis the word “colonizer,” which they repeatedly use to label Jews in the Holy Land.” Read more
  • November 3, 2016 – Kenyon College Jewish Student (Adam) “Palestinian poet, writer, and activist Remi Kanazi, Students for Justice in Palestine’s (SJP) latest guest, compares Jews to the KKK…This is my fourth year of witnessing and addressing it. I’m tired…SJP poisons our well by bringing radicals to Kenyon. Two years ago the group brought a professor who justified the killing of teenage Israeli Jews (he called them ‘settlers’) who live in the West Bank while also claiming that, in some demented way, antisemitism could be seen as “honorable.” SJP brought an artist, Amer Shomali, who glorified convicted terrorist and plane-hijacker Leila Khaled. One student member of the group compares Zionism (the belief in the right to self-determination of the Jewish People) to Nazism, a comparison the U.S. State Department deems anti-semitic. One can be a just activist for the Palestinian cause without supporting radicals and without condoning codified Jew-hatred.” Read more
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    Antisemitism Tracker

    Total Antisemitic Activity:

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    Classification Date-Description
    ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DELEGITIMIZATION 4/18/17 – As part of “Israeli Apartheid Week,” SJP erected an “apartheid wall” on campus that contained a sign saying, “The borders crossed us! Latinxs against Israeli apartheid.”
    CONDONING TERRORISM;
    DEMONIZATION
    4/17/17 – As part of “Israeli Apartheid Week,” Kenyon SJP screened the film “The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States.” In the film, several speakers condoned terrorism against Israelis by justifying all violence against Israel, including acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens, as legitimate “resistance.” Many of the speakers demonized Israel, falsely accusing the Israeli government of “terrorism,” “murderous attacks,” and “acting like a monster,” and calling Israeli soldiers’ actions “inhumane” and “brutal.”
    DELEGITIMIZATION 4/17/17 – Kenyon SJP sent an email to the campus community about the mock “apartheid wall” the group had erected on campus. The email said the wall was meant to draw attention to “the larger system of Israeli apartheid of which it is a part,” and concluded by saying, “We are complicit in upholding a system of apartheid, and must act to end this policy immediately.”
    BDS ACTIVITY: BDS EVENT 4/19/17 – As part of “Israeli Apartheid Week,” SJP held the BDS event, “Boycott Presentation and Discussion.”
    BDS EVENT 3/2/17 – Kenyon Solidarity Boycott held the event, “Why should you boycott Sabra Hummus and Hewlett-Packard?”
    CALLS FOR BDS 2/17/17 – Posters hung around campus claimed that “Kenyon Boycotts” a number of products, listing products that the group of students who produced the poster, part of the “Solidarity Boycott,” feel should be boycotted because of labor practices (Starbucks, Driscoll’s, Wendy’s), climate change denial (Keystone Light, Koch Industries), or ties to Israel (Sabra and HP).
    BDS EVENT 11/3/16 – SJP held the event “Spoken Word Poetry with Remi Kanazi” in which Kanazi performed his poem “This Divestment Bill Hurts My Feelings,” calling for BDS.

     

    In the News ?

    April 27, 2017:
    Kenyon Collegian – Border wall demonstrations hit Middle Path

    April 27, 2017:
    Kenyon Collegian – SJP oversimplifies Israel-Palestine conflict

    March 30, 2017:
    The Kenyon Collegian – Aja Monet shares message of intersectionality and resistance

    February 23, 2017:
    The Kenyon Collegian – Anti-Israel, pro-environmental goals of boycott contradict

    February 16, 2017:
    The Kenyon Collegian – Categorizing Bret Stephens as extremist is an unfair claim

    February 9, 2017:
    The Kenyon Collegian – Bret Stephens’ visit to campus normalizes hateful rhetoric
    (Description note, “Stephens makes the same point that Trump and his surrogates have made about “the Muslims” that they vilify: They are not human and therefore cannot be understood or treated as such. As disturbing as it is, the language Stephens uses is sadly familiar; it echoes the rhetoric of fascist regimes, the justifications made by colonizers and segregators. I am not saying that Stephens should have been disqualified from speaking. Rather, as a student I find it disappointing that during this traumatic time in our nation and for many in our community, CSAD and the Kenyon Israel Club chose to sponsor someone who espouses hate speech, without any transparency about the radicalism he subscribes to. After listening to the jokes and jabs that Stephens made, perhaps audience members felt they were witnessing a reaction to our current political climate, one in which prejudice is mainstream and facts are for liberals. However, Stephens’ work is not a reaction to the problem, but instead one of the many causes.”)

    November 10, 2016:
    The Kenyon Collegian – Letter to the Editors
    (Description note, “Having served as faculty advisor to MESA (Middle Eastern Students Association) for many years, please allow me to defend the students of that organization, as well as the members of Students for Justice in Palestine (KSJP)…The article accuses KSJP of condoning extremism and “Jew hatred” and MESA of aiding them in its goals. That accusation is ugly, untrue and dangerously inflammatory. In the years I have observed KSJP on this campus, I have seen them call for an end to the Israeli occupation and for the creation of a democratic Israeli-Palestinian state that would protect the rights of all its citizens equally, regardless of religion or ethnicity…Criticism of Israeli policy and support for Palestinian rights, even when it includes calls for non-violent actions including targeted boycotts and sanctions, is neither anti-Semitic nor extremist. And condemning students who make such arguments as hate mongers is inaccurate and unfair.”)

    November 10, 2016:
    The Kenyon Collegian – Remi Kanazi’s poems confront Israeli-Palestinian conflicts
    (Description note, “The organizations Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Black Student Union and Middle Eastern Student Association brought the 35-year-old to campus to promote his new collection, Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up from Brooklyn to Palestine, published in September by Haymarket Books. The poems focus on issues of Palestinian identity and resistance.”)

    November 10, 2016:
    The Kenyon Collegian – KSJP does not promote extremism
    (Description note, “We, the undersigned organizations, stand in solidarity with Kenyon Students for Justice in Palestine. We are writing in a response to an opinion article published in the Collegian on Nov. 3 by Adam Rubenstein, entitled “SJP brings extremism to campus.” We strongly condemn this article for its deliberate and accusatory targeting of particular Kenyon students and organizations…The op-ed refers to an anonymous member of KSJP who compares Zionism to Nazism and declares this anti-Semitic. The article’s failure to provide proof for this statement with a quote or identification of this student implicates the entire organization with a weighty title. Likewise, KSJP and its members do not “[condone] codified Jew-hatred” in any of their statements, speakers, artists or presentations. This statement is incendiary and inflammatory.”)

    November 10, 2016:
    The Kenyon Collegian – Israeli occupation is misrepresented by settler-colonial binary
    (Description note, “As a former member of KSJP for two years, I understand and fought for the group’s narrative. They tell the story of Palestinian indigeneity, making the claim of “Zionist settler colonialism.” This narrative implicitly denies Jewish connection to the land for millennia. SJP activists, as a matter of policy, exacerbate the conflict by refusing to engage in constructive conversations with their Zionist Jewish counterparts at American universities across this country. By refusing to engage with Zionists, my fellow student activists entrench the decades-long Palestinian and Arab leadership’s failure to recognize Israel’s legitimacy in the past, present and future of the “Holy Land.” They fail to negotiate and discuss concrete civil programs to improve Palestinian quality of life and access to opportunities and instead engage in the counterproductive goal of destabilizing Israel.”)

    November 3, 2016:
    The Kenyon Collegian – SJP brings extremism to campus
    (Description note, “Fanatic after fanatic, zealot after zealot, SJP poisons our well by bringing radicals to Kenyon. Two years ago the group brought a professor who justified the killing of teenage Israeli Jews (he called them ‘settlers’) who live in the West Bank while also claiming that, in some demented way, antisemitism could be seen as “honorable.” SJP brought an artist, Amer Shomali, who glorified convicted terrorist and plane-hijacker Leila Khaled. One student member of the group compares Zionism (the belief in the right to self-determination of the Jewish People) to Nazism, a comparison the U.S. State Department deems anti-semitic. One can be a just activist for the Palestinian cause without supporting radicals and without condoning codified Jew-hatred.”)

    October 27, 2016:
    Kenyon Collegian – ON THE RECORD: Dr. Einat Wilf
    (Description note, “How would you describe the the levels of anti-Semitism on campuses across the country? They’re rising. I was in college 20 years ago; there was literally none. They’re rising under this new supposedly “respectable” way, which is anti-Zionism. No one will admit to hating Jews. We saw that today. I know a lot of people emphatically reject the notion that their views are anti-Semitic — they merely argue that they’re anti-Zionist. There’s no doubt that anti-Zionism has become the socially respectable way to experience the historical emotional pleasure of hating Jews.”)

    October 15, 2015: The Collegian – Palestinian writer Amiry discusses life in the West Bank
    (Description note, “Political activist, architect and writer Suad Amiry discussed the plight many Palestinians are currently facing during her lecture in the Community Foundation Theater on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The event was organized by Kenyon Students for Justice in Palestine (KSJP) as part of their efforts to increase student engagement on campus.”)

    February 9, 2015: The Times of Israel – Students for (the Obstruction of) Justice in Palestine

    January 6, 2014: Kenyon University is one of 5 colleges/universities that withdrew from ASA membership over the organization’s endorsement of an academic boycott.

    December 24, 2013: Two More Universities Quit ASA Over Israel Boycott

    December 23, 2013: On Academic Boycotts (from the Blog of President Sean Decatur)

     

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    BDS Tracker

    No divestment vote has taken place.


    BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty


    STUDENT BDS

    Student Group(s) Promoting BDS:1
    Kenyon Solidarity Boycott

    FACULTY BDS

    Number of Faculty Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel: 2

    1. Janet Ellis McAdams
    2. Vernon Schubel