Anti-Israel Student Groups Host Iranian and Palestinian Terrorists; Does Anybody Care?

Anti-Israel Student Groups Host Iranian and Palestinian Terrorists; Does Anybody Care?
Campus protest of anti-Israel group.

Today, some student groups and their off-campus affiliates collude with openly antisemitic figures who, in some cases, happen to be members of terror groups.

By Aaron Goren, The Algemeiner

Many university administrators have failed to recognize and address the problem of Jew-hatred, which is often spread under the auspices of criticism of Israel or supposed solidarity with Palestinians.

Today, some student groups and their off-campus affiliates have colluded with openly antisemitic figures. In some cases, these also happen to be members of internationally recognized terrorist organizations.

An August 2023 report published by the Jewish Chronicle in the UK revealed that between 2020 and 2021, the Islamic Student Association of Britain (ISAB) held several talks with members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The report also notes that several speakers are on Britain’s official sanctions list for human rights abuses. The speakers were brought in, via video conference, to an in-person audience of UK students at ISAB headquarters in London, and also broadcast online.

Saeed Ghasemi and Hossein Yekta, operatives in the Lebas Shahksi, a plainclothes division of the IRGC, were speakers for two of the discussions. During their remarks, they justified acts of terrorism, espoused virulent antisemitism, and incited violence against Jews. It is also worth noting that the Lebas Shahski division plays a prominent role in the repression of the Iranian people, especially during the recent protests against the Iranian regime.

At a January 2021 talk that has accrued more than 25,000 views, Ghasemi claimed, “The one [Holocaust] that the Jews say happened is fake. The ‘real’ Holocaust happened in my country in the First World War, 1917-19, when the UK occupied Iran.”

Ghasemi’s claims match the contemporary examples in the most widely accepted definition of antisemitism, articulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The flagrant denial and trivialization of the Holocaust has become common within anti-Zionist circles.

On May 8, 2021, CUNY Law student and graduation speaker Fatima Mohammed egregiously compared Jews to Nazis in a tweet. In February 2022, Sheffield Hallam University in England reinstated Shahd Abusalama as an associate lecturer after an investigation revealed that she publicly defended a student’s poster with the phrase “Stop the Palestinian Holocaust.” On Twitter, Abusalama claimed that she “understood” why the student used the term Holocaust about Israel’s strikes in Gaza.

On May 19, 2023, Oren Schweitzer, a student at Yale University and member of the Yale Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter, published an article titled “Never Again is Right Now in Palestine,” which falsely compares the Arab-Israeli conflict, namely Israel’s response to Palestinian terrorism, to the Holocaust.

During his January 2021 talk, Ghasemi praised the “martyrdom” of prominent IRGC officer Qasem Soleimani and once-internationally wanted terrorist Imad Mughniyeh.

“Soleimani’s blood gives us a positive energy … This energy became radiant, and millions of Qasem Soleimani’s — and millions of Imad Mughniyeh’s — followers were nurtured. This will bring an end to the life of the oppressors and occupiers, Zionists and Jews across the world,” Ghasemi said.

Both individuals he references held the same vitriolic hatred of Jews, and acted upon that belief with terrorist attacks against civilians that spanned the Middle East. Both met violent ends in targeted killings by the United States and Israel.

Ghasemi ended his talk by inviting students to participate in an “apocalyptic war” against the West, something that Yekta also paralleled in his speech, saying that the world has entered the “preface to the apocalypse,” and that the “era of the Jews” will soon be at an end.

Nerdeen Kiswani, a CUNY alumna and chair of Within Our Lifetime, an extremist group that often partners with local Students for Justice (SJP) in Palestine chapters in the New York area, also appeared to support the death of Jews.

At a Within Our Life rally to “honor the martyrs of Palestine” hosted in July of 2021, Nerdeen shouted that “I hope that a pop-pop is the last noise that some Zionists hear in their lifetime!” The similarities regarding martyrdom with the talks from the IRGC members hosted by ISAB are also striking.

Fatima Mohammed, referenced earlier in this article, has echoed the IRGC rhetoric by calling for the destruction of Israel in an Instagram caption that read, “quick make dua [pray] for the fall of Zionism and the destruction of Israel.” Mohammed also echoed the extremist religious rhetoric of the IRGC with tweets like, “May Allah destroy Israel,” and wishing for Zionists to “burn in the hottest pit of hell.”

No wonder antisemitic incidents are rising on college campuses in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Moreover, not only do we find parallels between the rhetoric of campus groups and internationally recognized terror groups like IRGC, but outright collaboration between them.

In December 2021, the University of British Columbia invited Charlotte Kates and Khaled Barakat, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a US-designated terrorist organization, to speak on a publicly funded panel discussion.

In 2017, Northwestern University hosted a talk by Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist, who has been held responsible for the bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket in 1969 that killed two Israeli civilians.

And in 2021, San Francisco State University attempted to host Leila Khaled, a convicted PFLP plane hijacker, who also continues to spout violent anti-Jewish speech and remains unrepentant of her actions, saying in one webinar that “We are determined to continue using all means of struggle, including armed struggle,” implying the same sorts of violent attacks against civilians that she was convicted of.

In response to the IRGC’s talks, Alicia Kearns, a member of parliament in Britain, said that “In organizing such despicable talks, the Islamic Students Association of Britain acts at best as a willing propaganda arm of the Iranian regime, and at worst, as an agitator for state-sponsored terrorism.”

Sadly, it’s not just Iranian officials that are spreading this message. Heinous claims have been propagated on campus by UK academic David Miller, who lectured at the University of Bristol from 2018 to 2021. Miller’s employment was terminated after a disciplinary hearing found him to “not meet the standards of behavior” of the university.

Throughout his tenure at Bristol, Miller antagonized Jews by equating Zionism with “racism,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “Islamophobia.” Miller also targeted Jewish campus groups at Bristol, calling for “every single Zionist organization” to be “dismantled,” “ended,” or “de-Zionized.”

Jewish students on campus are witnessing crude and vile forms of antisemitism. Now more than ever, university administrators, student governments, and officials must thoroughly investigate and address the spread of antisemitic extremism on campus, and the link between anti-Zionism, antisemitism, and, in some cases, terror groups.

The author is a Campus Advisor for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting & Analysis (CAMERA).

Do You Love Israel? Make a Donation to Show Your Support!

Donate to vital charities that protect Israelis and help inspire millions around the world to support Israel too!

Now more than ever, Israel needs your help to fight – and win – the battle of public opinion.

Anti-Israel bias and boycotts are out of control. Israel’s enemies effectively use social media to incite brutal terror against innocent Israeli civilians. Please help us fight back!


The post Anti-Israel Student Groups Host Iranian and Palestinian Terrorists; Does Anybody Care? first appeared on United with Israel.
United with Israel