University of Tennessee: Jew Hatred on Parade

On Tuesday night, the Freedom Center’s Stop the Jew Hatred on Campus campaign targeted Jew-haters and terrorist-supporters at the University of Tennessee with posters exposing the links between Students for Justice in Palestine and the anti-Israel terror group Hamas. While the majority of schools to make our list of the “Top Ten Schools Supporting Terrorists” are located on the East or West coasts, Tennessee is a significant but deserving exception.  

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has a highly active SJP chapter that hosts annual Israeli Apartheid Weeks on campus to demonize the Jewish state. Numerous members of the chapter have shared pro-Hitler and pro-terrorist comments on social media including “Wish Hitler was still around to show you guys,” “You dirty filthy Jew,” and “Hitler had a lot of great ideas.” Slogans on their most recent “apartheid wall” included endorsements of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and praise for terrorist violence against Israel. 

UTK-SJP has also displayed the genocidal series of maps created by Hamas which falsely depict a mythical Arab Palestine in 1947 being overrun and colonized by Jews. In fact, there never was a nation named “Palestine” and Israel was founded on land which had belonged to the Turks (who are not Arabs) for the previous 400 years. UTK-SJP has hosted numerous anti-Israel speakers including BDS activist Allison Weir and pro-terrorist poet Remi Kanazi. UTK-SJP has also disrupted pro-Israel events on campus.

The Freedom Center’s poster operation distributed posters across the campus which exposed the organization Students for Justice in Palestine as a campus front for Hamas terrorists and the Hamas intermediary American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). AMP was revealed in recent congressional testimony to be funneling terrorist dollars to Students for Justice in Palestine to support the Hamas-sponsored, anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in America. Images of the posters hung at the University of Tennessee and at other campuses across the nation may be viewed here.

The posters are part of a larger Freedom Center campaign titled Stop the Jew Hatred on Campus which seeks to confront the agents of campus anti-Semitism and expose the financial and organizational relationship between the terror group Hamas and Hamas support groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine. As part of the campaign, the Freedom Center has placed posters on several campuses including San Diego State University, Brooklyn College, San Francisco State University, and the University of California-Los Angeles. The campaign also recently released a report on the “Top Ten Schools Supporting Terrorists,” which may be found on the campaign website, The University of Tennessee is among the campuses listed in the Top Ten report. The section of the report demonstrating the University of Tennessee’s support of anti-Israel terrorists follows below.

Supporting Evidence:

2012-Present: Many UTK-SJP members have praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and made anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist comments on social media. In 2012, SJP member Mohamed Ali stated his admiration for Hitler in a tweet which read: “Had to write about a leader for DCL class. Wrote about Hitler. Cuz he’s a boss.” Fellow SJP member Eyad Hijr attacked a Jewish student on social media in 2014, stating “haha go kill yourself,” and “…I already hate you. You dirty filthy Jew. All your people do is f***ed s*** up. Wish Hitler was still around to show you guys.” Also in 2014, SJP member Hesham Annamer, who was later nominated for the board of the Muslim Students Association at UTK, wrote on twitter, “Hitler had a lot of great ideas. We need a guy like that in the White House.”  In 2015, UTK-SJP President Stori Nuri tweeted the following anti-Semitic joke: “Jew test: Throw a penny. If they pick it up they’re a Jew.” The joke was followed by three laughing emojis.

SJP-UTK members have also praised anti-Israel terrorism on social media. Amira Sakalla, the founder of UTK-SJP, retweeted the announcement of another twitter user, “Today marks the 26th anniversary of the First #Intifada #Palestine” to which she added, “About time for another one…”

June 02, 2016: UTK-SJP added its name to a letter from SJP National protesting a decision by the San Francisco State University administration to investigate the actions of a pro-Palestinian group known as the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) who disrupted a speech by the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, on April 6, shouting exhortations to terrorist violence. SFSU students involved in the protest entered the auditorium carrying Palestinian flags and wearing checkered kaffiyehs which are symbols of anti-Jewish terrorism. The demonstrators shouted “Intifada” - a call for terrorism against Israel’s Jews - and chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” a slogan calling for the obliteration of Israel (which is bounded by the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea) and its Jews. The letter stated: “We condemn SFSU President’s pledge to open a ‘full investigation’ into the protest and condemn the President’s pledge to prevent peaceful student dissent in the future. Such actions create a chilling effect undermining activism and freedom of speech for students advocating for justice and freedom in Palestine.”

April 04, 2016: UTK-SJP hosted an event featuring two students from Birzeit University and Al Quds University to speak about “their experiences as students under Israeli occupation as well as Israel’s systematic obstruction of Palestinian education and access to education.” Both Birzeit and Al Quds are well-known recruitment grounds for Hamas and both schools have hosted Hamas rallies.

March 02, 2016: SJP created and displayed an “Israeli apartheid” wall as part of Israeli Apartheid Week on campus. Slogans on the wall included the phrase “To Exist is to Resist” a justification for anti-Jewish terrorism. The wall also contained a series of Hamas propaganda maps purporting to show a non-existent Palestinian state in 1947 subsequently being overrun and colonized by Jews. These fraudulent maps were designed by Hamas to justify the extermination of the Jews, as called for in the Hamas Charter, and the destruction of the Jewish state. Statements on the wall further denigrated Israel – the only tolerant democracy in the entire Middle East – as an “Apartheid State” and supported the BDS movement. They included an appeal to the University to “de-shelve Sabra Humus” – an Israeli product – because it “profits off the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

February 22, 2016:  When the Judaic Studies program at Tennessee hosted a talk by Professor Michael Brenner on “The Idea of a Jewish State from Herzl to Netanyahu,” fifteen student protestors from SJP disrupted the event by holding signs with pro-Hamas sentiments such as “Israel is an apartheid state.” The protestors also distributed flyers which “defined Israeli occupation, pointed out the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism and highlighted the undertones of ethnic cleansing inherent in the history of the state of Israel.”

October 25, 2015: UTK-SJP hosted the pro-terrorist poet Remi Kanazi. Kanazi has called Israel “a racist state built on stolen Palestinian land” and falsely claimed that Israel is “maintained through ethnic cleansing, occupation, bombing campaigns, draconian laws, settlements, outposts, colonizer roads, siege, blockade, chemical warfare, an apartheid wall, home demolitions, control of borders/imports/exports/water aquifers/air/sea/taxes/currency, the denial of family reunification, jailing of children, night raids, administrative detention, uprooting olive groves, restriction on movement, denying refugees the ability to return, and much more.”

April 18, 2013: UTK-SJP joined UTK’s political science department and several campus organizations to sponsor a talk by anti-Israel activist Allison Weir on “What the Media Leaves Out.” In her speech, Weir stated, “American taxpayers give Israel 8 million dollars per day… And yet most of us don’t know about that. I saw people being destroyed with American money. Americans don’t know they’re doing this to them. Our media doesn't tell us.” In fact US aid is used to provide Israel with anti-missile defenses against the 100,000 Hezbollah and Hamas rockets aimed at the Jewish homeland.

2013: SJP was created as an official student group at UT-Knoxville. The faculty advisor for the group at its founding was Dr. Brian Barber, who heads UTK’s Center for the Study of Youth in Political Conflict. Barber is a 1996-1997 grant recipient from the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine, now called the Palestine Center, which is the educational arm of the Jerusalem Fund, an organization that holds regular events supporting the BDS movement to strangle the Jewish state, and condemning the “occupation” of Israel. The current faculty advisor is Dr. Drew Paul, a professor of Arabic language and literature.