Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison held a candlelit vigil Friday night, June 4, “to honor the Palestinian lives stolen by Israeli violence” in the latest war started by the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas fired an estimated 3,440 rockets into Israeli civilian areas between May 10-18; in return, Israeli forces conducted pinpoint attacks on the terrorists, including on their launching pads and infrastructure. Hamas specifically places their bases in or near schools, hospitals, and densely populated areas so that civilian deaths will result. In addition, at least 20-30 percent of the Palestinian civilian deaths in the latest conflict were caused by the rockets misfiring and landing in Gaza itself.
Ironically, advertisements for the vigil stated, “Peace to a land that was created for peace and never saw a peaceful day.”
The protesters, which numbered about 50, unfurled a banner on the steps of the state capitol that read “Free Gaza.” The Gaza Strip is a self-governed Palestinian area on the southwest border of Israel. Gaza was an Egyptian territory until 1967 when it was captured by Israeli forces during the Six-Day War. Israel completely pulled out of the territory in 2005. In 2006, Hamas won a majority in the Palestinian legislative elections and assumed control of Gaza in 2007.
Hamas was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. in 1997.
The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter in Madison also recently sponsored an event called a “virtual processing space” for “Palestinians and their allies” to talk about the recent events in Israel and Gaza. Advertisements for the event said a university mental health counselor would be there for “those who need professional support.”
SJP is often referred to as “Hamas on Campus.” The group is the leading promoter of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement on U.S. college campuses. BDS has been deemed an anti-Semitic movement according to the State Department’s (and 31 other nations’) definition of anti-Semitism.
SJP calls for the dissolution of the State of Israel, engages in confrontational and often violent tactics, and disavows any dialogue with those it deems Zionists, who they regularly brand as Nazis and white supremacists. SJP activists intimidate and harass Jewish and pro-Israel university students and aggressively disrupt pro-Israel campus events.
SJP chapters nationwide, which number at least 200, support and have been linked to terror groups. They receive funding, in part, from American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), an Islamist organization that provides speakers, training, printed materials, and the so-called “Apartheid Wall” for SJP’s signature campus event, the annual “Israel Apartheid Week.”