Campus Monitor - University of South Florida

Student Voices

  • February 2016, University of South Florida Jewish Student (Hannah) “Yes, my eyes were opened to the terrifying reality that anti-Semitism still exists. And it exists on my campus.” Read more
  • February 2016, University of South Florida Jewish Student (Hannah) “I would have never thought that I would feel as exhausted, betrayed, and silenced as I did during last night’s USF Student Senate meeting. My eyes were opened to the terrifying reality that anti-Semitism still exists, when the Senate passed a bill calling on the University to divest from Israel. It was claimed by the sponsors of the resolution that it is not anti-Semitic. How can this be the case when the only country mentioned in the resolution as the sole violator of human rights in the world is Israel?” Read more
  • February 2016, University of South Florida Jewish Student (Lauren) “Our voices were not heard at the Student Government meetings. Not only were our voices not heard, they were silenced. We were not allowed to speak; to defend Israel. Instead, we were failed by the very institution that was put in place to protect the students and our rights.” Read more
  • January 22, 2016 – Student Government Senator (Ralph) (Spoken at a meeting discussing a BDS resolution) “If we want pretend that this is anything other than racism and anti-Semitism, then you absolutely delusional. This bill does not take as back to the 1950s era where racism was common among racial minorities. This takes us straight back to 1930s Nazi Germany. This is absolutely ridiculous. It is ridiculous that this body is even considering this and I am ashamed to be a USF Bull at this moment.” Read more
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    Antisemitism Tracker

    Total Antisemitic Activity:

    To see more information on how AMCHA determines antisemitic activity, click HERE.
    To report a concern, click HERE.


    Classification Date-Description
    TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: SUPPRESSION OF SPEECH/ASSEMBLY/MOVEMENT; DENIGRATION 2/24/16 – A group of about 25 BDS supporters waving Palestinian flags and banners disrupted a lecture by two Israeli students brought to USF by StandWithUs. According to one of the lecturers, “Two minutes after I started talking, the Palestinian activists got up and left, and then came in again, and left again. They tried to interrupt us in whatever way they could.” One of the protesters yelled that the speakers were “murderers and child killers, and he was removed by police. When the speakers left the hall and walked to their cars, the protesters were waiting outside and shouted at them: “Murders, immoral, terrorists, how do you sleep at night?” The speakers had to be escorted to their cars by police.
    ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DENYING JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION 4/24/17 – SJP held the event, “Al Nakba Remembrance Day.” T-shirts sold at the event called for the “right of return,” which would effectively eliminate Israel as a Jewish country.
    DENYING JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION 2/11/16 – SJP at USF posts a SJP logo picture on Facebook of all of Israel, covered with a Palestinian flag.
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BOYCOTT)
    1/14/15 – University of South Florida Muslim Student Association was one of the signatories of a statement entitled “Say No to Faithwashing: Boycott Muslim Leadership Initiative,” which falsely accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid,” and pledges commitment to “the BDS call.”
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BOYCOTT)
    1/14/15 – Students for Justice in Palestine University of South Florida was one of the signatories of a statement entitled “Say No to Faithwashing: Boycott Muslim Leadership Initiative,” which falsely accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid,” and pledges commitment to “the BDS call.”
    BDS ACTIVITY: CALLS FOR BDS 2/7/17 – A petition entitled “USF Divest From Fossil Fuels, Private Prison and Companies Complicit in Human Rights Violations,” that urges the USF Foundation to divest from “companies complicit in human rights violations,” among other issues,” was being pushed for placement as a referendum on the Student Government (SG) election ballot. The petition includes companies investing “in human rights violations in Palestine and Yemen” but doesn’t name specific companies. Last spring, the SG Supreme Court ruled that an SG Senate resolution specifically discussing divestment from companies investing in Israel was unconstitutional and not within the Senate’s jurisdiction.A similar referendum made it to the ballot in 2013, which only discussed divestment from companies that were allegedly complicit in human rights violations. Legal counsel at that time had advised that the referendum was inconsistent with Florida Statutes and USF policies.This appears to be an attempt to skirt around these rulings.
    BDS VOTES 2/4/16 – Following the veto of the last divestment resolution by the Student Government President and Vice President, the Student Government Senate passed a new divestment resolution (with a vote of 32-15) under a different categorization, which does not require the signatures of the executive branch leader.
    BDS VOTES 1/20/16 – The Student Government passes a divestment resolution 32-12 with 4 abstentions.
    UPDATE 1/27/16: Student Body President and Vice President veto this divestment resolution in a memo.
    BDS EVENT 8/20/2015 – Ali Abunimeh spoke about his book “The Battle for Justice in Palestine,” and promoted BDS. His talk was sponsored by the Departments of English, Ethnic Studies, Geography, History, and Political Science, and by the Center for Asian Studies.

     

    In the News ?

    February 27, 2017:
    Tampa Bay Times – Divest from fossil fuels and private prisons, student coalition urges USF

    February 7, 2017:
    The Oracle – Potential referendum urges Foundation to divest
    (Description note – A petition that urges the USF Foundation to divest from “companies complicit in human rights violations,” among other issues, and titled “USF Divest From Fossil Fuels, Private Prison and Companies Complicit in Human Rights Violations,” was asked for placement as a referendum on the Student Government (SG) election ballot. The petition includes companies investing “in human rights violations in Palestine and Yemen” but doesn’t name specific companies. Last spring, the SG Supreme Court ruled that an SG Senate resolution specifically discussing divestment from companies investing in Israel was unconstitutional and not within the Senate’s jurisdiction.A similar referendum made it to the ballot in 2013, which only discussed divestment from companies that were allegedly complicit in human rights violations. Legal counsel at that time had advised that the referendum was inconsistent with Florida Statutes and USF policies.This appears to be an attempt to skirt around these rulings.)

    February 27, 2016:
    Y Net News – BDS supporters disrupt pro-Israel lecture at Florida university

    February 27, 2016:
    Legal Insurrection – Anti-Israel activists shout down lecture at U. South Florida, harass speakers
    (Description note, “During the lecture on Wednesday, some 25 supporters of the boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel entered the lecture hall waving Palestinian flags and banners, interrupted the lecturers, and shouted at them.”)

    February 18, 2016:
    The Oracle – Grievance alleges SG candidate accepted money for promise of future political favors
    (Correction: An earlier version of this story contained unsubstantiated information on the origins of the alleged offer of payment. The story was updated to include the Student Government official document on file, along with additional comment from one of the candidates named in the grievance. The headline also was changed.)

    February 5, 2016:
    Heritage – BDS resolution battle continues at USF

    February 4, 2016:
    The Oracle – SG Senate approves divestment again
    (Description note, “Student Government Senate passes with a vote of 32-15 a new divestment resolution under a different categorization, which does not require the signatures of the executive branch leaders… Feinsmith works with Hillel and has talked with many Jewish students on campus, which has allowed her to get an understanding of how they feel. She and her students heard of the resolution and found it meets the definition of Anti-Semitism as defined by the federal government: delegitimizing, creating double standards and demonizing the Jewish population.”)

    January 28, 2016:
    The Jerusalem Post – U of South Florida student body president, VP veto divestment resolution

    January 27, 2016:
    The Oracle – Student Body President vetoes divestment resolution
    (Description note, “At Tuesday’s senate meeting, Student Body President Andy Rodriguez and Student Body Vice President Michael Malanga vetoed the resolution in a memo. According to the memo, Rodriguez and Malanga “believe the message being sent does not reflect an aggregate student voice.” Moreover, they said they believe bringing such a “polarized and politically driven” topic into SG “serves only to divide the Student Body and to disparage students with opposing viewpoints,” rather than uniting them. The resolution came before the SG Senate on Jan. 19 and was approved with a vote of 32-12 and four abstentions. However, the university said in a statement that the USF Foundation board would not be considering the request again… According to Rodriguez and Malanga’s memo, “it is not the role of Student Government to interject into international politics nor investment policies.”)

    January 27, 2016:
    The Oracle – Divestment resolution veto stirs up senate
    (Description note, “If the resolution is presented to the Senate again and receives a two-thirds vote in favor, Rodriguez and Malanga’s veto could be overridden.
    “I have not received the resolution, but I’ve been told that it will be coming to my desk at some point,” Faculty Senate President Michael Teng said. “What we will do is once it comes to me, we will review it at the senate executive meeting and see if there are things we need to discuss with the full senate.”)

    January 22, 2016:
    The Oracle – SG Senate debates over divestment resolution

    January 20, 2016:
    The Oracle – Letter to the Editor: ‘If my tuition supports oppression, why have I been silent?’

    January 20, 2016:
    The Oracle – SG Senate votes for divestment

    January 20, 2016:
    USF SJP Facebook Page- Official Statement – BDS Vote
    (Description note, “On Tuesday January 19th, the Student Government at USF passed a resolution calling for divestment by a vote of 32-12-4 (abstentions).”)
     
    April 13, 2015:
    Fight Back! News – Tampa protest disrupts event honoring Israeli Occupation Forces

    February 6, 2015:
    The Algemeiner – Sami Al-Arian: Palestinian Terrorist and US Resident No Longer
    (Description note, U.S. District Judge James Moody said, “[Sami Al-Ariana] evidence was clear you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. “ Article goes on to state, “He was a well-regarded computer science professor at the University of South Florida.”)

    December 4, 2014:
    The Oracle – Out of the Sunshine, shielded in shadow

    August 20, 2014:
    The Jewish Voice – Former Hamas Fundraiser To Speak On USF Campus At CAIR, SJP Event

    August 18, 2014:
    Truth Revolt – Former Hamas Fundraiser To Speak On USF Campus At CAIR, SJP Event

    July 16, 2014:
    Legal Insurrection – Expecting anti-Israel violence on campuses this fall

    June 16, 2014:
    ZOA – ZOA: USF’s deplorable indifference to ugly anti-Semitism

    June 2, 2014:
    Sun Sentinel – USF’s deplorable indifference to ugly anti-Semitism

     May 29, 2014:
     The Oracle (Student Newspaper) – Committee rejects push for divestment

    April 24, 2014:
     Creative Loafing – Judy Genshaft says “we’re willing to listen” regarding USF students’ petition to divest from Israel

    January 22, 2014:
     The Oracle (Student Newspaper) – Israeli boycott raises question of academic freedom

     January 2014:
     UNIVERSITY STATEMENT – Statement on ASA Boycott

    November 19, 2013:
    The Oracle (Student Newspaper) – Student group hosts Israel-Palestine game show

     

    Photo Album - Campus Antisemitism

    Source Credit: SJP at the University of South Florida (February 11, 2015)

    Source Credit: SJP at the University of South Florida (Facebook: February 11, 2015)


     

    Source Credit: Tampa protest against of a vigil held for Israeli Occupation Forces (April 12, 2015)

    Source Credit: Tampa protest against of a vigil held for Israeli Occupation Forces (April 12, 2015)

    To report antisemitic activity at this or any other campus, you may:

    BDS Tracker

    1/20/16 – SG Senate – Divestment resolution passed 32 – 12 – 4.

    2/4/16 – SG Senate – A divestment resolution under a different categorization, which does not require the signatures of the executive branch leaders, passes with a vote of 32-15.


    BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty


    STUDENT BDS

    Student Group(s) Promoting BDS: 1
    SJP

    FACULTY BDS

    Number of Faculty Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel: 1

    1. James D’Emilo