JAT Action Alert: 05 November 2004

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DATE:      05 November, 2004
TYPE: Action Item
SCOPE: Global (especially Wisconsin, USA)
SUBJ: Stop University of Wisconsin From Hosting 2005 PSM Conference

The Palestine Solidarity Movement, which functions as the student arm of the International Solidarity Movement, just held its 2004 national conference at Duke University. At that conference they announced that the 2005 conference will be held at the University of Wisconsin.

We must start our campaign now to get the University of Wisconsin to refuse to host the Palestine Solidarity Movement, which endorses terrorism, works for the destruction of the State of Israel, and actively foments anti-Semitism at its annual national conferences.

ACTION

  1. Sign the petition at this link.

  2. Circulate this information to others who might sign the petition.

  3. Write to University-of-Wisconsin Chancellor John D. Wiley explaining why the university should not host the meeting of a largely non-student hate-group (see sample letter below).

CONTACT INFO

John D. Wiley, Chancellor
University of Wisconsin
161 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, Wisconsin 53706

email: chancellor@news.wisc.edu
phone: 608-262-9946

The following fax number was listed for Chancellor Wiley in a 2002 document. We do not know if it is still correct.

fax: 608-265-3324

For reference, here are web pages for the chancellor:   Main Page   Welcome Page

BACKGROUND

Palestine Solidarity Movement is a national umbrella group of community and campus-based anti-Israel organizations. It holds an annual conference in support of its goal to destroy the State of Israel "by any means necessary." Israel would be replaced with a Muslim state (this is sometimes referred to as a "one-state solution"). Movement tactics include advocating divestment and demonizing Jews with anti-Semitic rhetoric and canards, but the group takes an annual vote to endorse terrorism as one of the "tactics or strategies" useful in the goal of destroying Israel. A proposal to repudiate terrorism as a "guiding principle" was voted down at the 2004 Conference at Duke to loud cheering.

Universities quite properly feel a special obligation to support student organizations. However, it is not clear that the majority of either attendees or participating organizations at recent PSM National Conferences are university based. Of the 70 organizations that endorsed the PSM conference at Duke, only 17 claimed university affiliation. See Ref. 1 (PSM endorsers).

None of the non-Duke organizations that financially sponsored the conference has a university or student affiliation or mission. See Ref. 2 (PSM sponsors).

While American Universities have an important commitment to preserve near-absolute freedom of expression for their faculties and students, it is inconceivable that the chancellor of one of our great state universities would invite onto campus the national conference of a group that used a previous national conference as an occasion to chant "Lynch the Blacks," or to promote canards about the nefarious doings of "the Blacks," and impossible to think that any chancellor would invite a group that endorsed a program of terror-bombing gay bars as a useful tactic or strategy in its program of driving all gays out of the country.

Palestine Solidarity Movement delegates chanted "Kill the Jews" when they met at the University of Michigan, and they vote every year to condone the murder-by-terrorism of random Israeli civilians as a means of driving the Jews out of the Jewish homeland. See Ref. 3 (PSM's record).

See also the following two disgusting and disgraceful opinion pieces from the student newspaper at Duke, The Duke Chronicle:

SAMPLE LETTER

The following sample letter is very long. We recommend that you compose a letter in your own words, based on the ideas here or other ideas that express your thoughts and opinions.

Dear Chancellor Wiley,

I am writing to request that you give serious consideration to denying the request of the Palestine Solidarity Movement to hold its 2005 National conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The Palestine Solidarity Movement is an organization that endorses terrorism, works for the destruction of the State of Israel, and actively foments anti-Semitism. Speakers at PSM workshops refer to the national aspirations of the Jewish people as a "disease," trot out hoary canards about "Jewish control" of the media, of the United States government, or of American universities, and spout hate-filled rhetoric alleging that Jews assisted the Holocaust, that Zionism equals racism, or that Israel is a Nazi state.

Moreover, the Palestine Solidarity Movement is not an organization of University of Wisconsin students or faculty. It is a nationwide umbrella for a collection of student and non-student activists. Of the 70 organizations that endorsed the PSM conference at Duke, only 17 claimed a university affiliation. None of the non-Duke organizations that financially sponsored the conference had a university or student affiliation or mission.

The PSM is a hate-group, like the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nation, or the Muslim Brotherhood. When the PSM holds a conference on a campus, anti-Semitism follows.

When the Palestine Solidarity Movement met at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, conference delegates facing a group of demonstrators from Hillel felt empowered to chant "Kill the Jews." Workshops featured angry denunciations of "Jews." Later, a Michigan student wearing a yarmulka and an Israel T-shirt was attacked in a bowling alley by an Arab student who shouted at him that he "had better take off" his T-shirt.

When a PSM conference was scheduled for Rutgers, swastikas appeared on the Hillel and the AEPi fraternity.

When the PSM came to Duke, students felt called upon publish overtly anti-Semitic columns in the student newspaper.

More shockingly, the presence of the PSM on campus encouraged the editorial board of the Duke University Chronicle to formally approve of terrorism as "an effective means of furthering the organization's goals."

Condoning terrorism is the fifth "guiding principle" of the Palestine Solidarity Movement. According to the editors of the Duke Chronicle: "The fifth guiding principle helps the cause PSM officials have defined. It allows PSM to be inclusive... members of organizations included in PSM have been tied to violence in the Middle East. If PSM were to take a stance (opposing) suicide bombings and other militant acts as a means for a solution, it might alienate a segment of its members. Only by maintaining an element of vagueness can PSM actually achieve solidarity, which is vitally important to its purpose." The organization's purpose, of course, is the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement by a Muslim state.

By endorsing terrorism and promoting anti-Semitic rhetoric, the Palestine Solidarity Movement places itself beyond the pale of acceptable campus dialogue. If you would not host a national convention at Wisconsin for the KKK, the Aryan Nation, or the Muslim Brotherhood, then you should refuse to host the Palestine Solidarity Movement.

In 2003, the Solidarity Movement scheduled its National Conference for the Rutgers campus. University President Richard McCormick took a careful look at the goals and methods of this movement, which recruits students to travel to Israel where they work in coordination with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and at the group's blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric. In the words of the New Jersey Star Ledger (Sept. 13, 2003) McCormick "kicked the meeting off campus." The Conference was held at the Ramada Inn. The first ammendment right of Solidarity Movement members to spew their anti-Semitic venom was upheld, while Rutgers withheld its name and prestige from a movement that condones terrorism and foments hatred of Jews.

Duke University, by contrast, decided to host the Palestine Solidarity Movement National Conferece on campus. University administrators were forced to spend countless hours justifying their decision, plus $60,000 on conference security. For their pains, Duke administrators were left with angry alumni and a community of Jewish students persuaded that their own college had betrayed them.

I support your commitment to protect a near-absolute freedom of expression for your faculty and students, but it is inconceivable to me that you would permit Wisconsin to host the National Conference of a group that used a previous national conference as an occasion to chant "Lynch the Blacks," and impossible to think that you would invite the National Conference of a hate-group that endorsed a program of terror-bombing gay bars as a useful tactic or strategy in its program of driving all gays out of the country.

Palestine Solidarity Movement delegates chanted "Kill the Jews" when they met at the University of Michigan, and they vote every year to condone the murder-by-terrorism of random Israeli civilians as a means of driving the Jews out of the Jewish homeland. I urge you to bar the National Conference of this hate-group from the Madison campus.

As Ohio Governor Robert Taft said, the Palestinian Solidarity Movement "condones terrorism and should be opposed by civilized people everywhere."

Sincerely yours,

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