Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism
“In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews," Hatem Bazian reportedly declared, "until the trees and stones will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him!"
That was in 1999.
Two years later, Bazian had co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine. Three years later, 79 members of his new SJP hate group were busted for disrupting a Holocaust Remembrance Day event.
At a rally to protest their arrests, Bazian told the mob to look at all the Jewish names on the buildings, "take a look at the type of names on the building around campus -- Haas, Zellerbach -- and decide who controls this university."
Time hasn’t mellowed Bazian.
Last year, the Islamist racist, who has done everything from defending an anti-Semitic mural, to accusing Jewish students of being ‘Zionist’ spies to fundraising for a Hamas front group, tweeted a stereotypical meme of an Orthodox Jew with the text, “Mom, LOOK! I IS CHOSEN! I CAN NOW KILL, RAPE, SMUGGLE ORGANS & STEAL THE LAND OF PALESTINIANS YAY #ASHKE-NAZI.”
Even UC Berkeley’s administration condemned Bazian’s “unacceptable anti-Semitism” while continuing to accept him. And now, Hatem Bazian has been appointed to Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission. The Commission, whose mission is finding peaceful alternatives to war, now includes a Hamas supporter.
Perhaps Bazian can help the Commission figure out “just” and “peaceful” ways of killing the Jews.
After Trump’s victory, the Commission had urged that Berkeley become a “Community in Resistance.” Instead it’s become a community of hate. Its leaders obsessively attack Trump while avoiding any inconvenient mirrors that might force them to look their own bigotry in the eye.
In 2016, Berkeley had the fifth highest hate crime rate of California cities. Berkeley’s mayor attempted to blame these numbers on Trump, but in a leftist city where 90% voted for Clinton and more people voted for BDS socialist Jill Stein than for Trump, It isn’t the Trump supporters who are committing the hate crimes. Hatem Bazian embodies Berkeley’s tolerance and support for racism and anti-Semitism.
During Bazian’s hateful heyday, anti-Semitic hate crimes had climbed shockingly in Berkeley.
"Two orthodox Jews were set upon and beaten, the Hillel center had a brick thrown through its window, and several synagogues received bomb threats. Flyers comparing the Israeli army to the KKK appeared around campus, and several had ‘kill Jews’ scrawled on them. The conditions were serious enough that many Jewish students removed their yarmulkes so that they would not be the next targets," David Horowitz had written back then.
This is the new face of Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission.
Bazian’s appointment is the work of Berkeley councilwoman Cheryl Davila, a BDS supporter who had previously faced protests from the Jewish community when she picked Bazian as her emergency standby officer.
And Bazian has agitated for her during at least one BDS event.
Bazian is also one of Davila’s donors. As is fellow anti-Israel UC Berkeley prof Andrew Gutierrez, who was caught heckling a Jewish rally against anti-Semitism after swastikas had turned on up campus.
Gutierrez, who gave the rally the middle finger and had to be blocked from the students by a female campus police officer, claimed that the student protest was a "propaganda campaign" meant to "suppress others under the guise of anti-Semitism”.
“Hatem Bazian was more responsible than any other student on campus for trying to make life miserable for Jewish students,” Rabbi Doug Kahn, the man in charge of Jewish outreach in San Fran, had once said of the SJP founder.
Ever since his San Francisco State University days to his UC Berkeley present, a series of academic institutions have empowered Bazian and his SJP hate group chapters to make the lives of more Jewish students miserable. Now the Berkeley city government will be doing its part to legitimize anti-Semitism.
The Peace and Justice Commission has been a traditional hangout for compulsive anti-war lefties like Bob Meola, who once wrote an outraged letter to the Berkeley Daily Planet over being wrongly identified as a veteran, but it has an educational role that makes Bazian’s presence on it particularly dangerous.
The Peace and Justice Commission is meant to advise the school board on social justice. Bazian’s appointment means that the man who made college campuses dangerous for Jews may be enabled to spread hate and anti-Semitism through Berkeley schools.
And it foreshadows a comprehensive effort to make anti-Semitism into the litmus test of public life.
Davila had previously been accused of firing Berkeley’s Transportation Commissioner over his refusal to support her anti-Semitic boycotts of the Jewish State, after first inquiring whether he was a “Zionist”. This closely resembles Bazian’s own alleged tactics when trying to drive Jewish candidates out of student government by demanding to know whether they were Zionists. It’s also a reminder that, like the Nazi boycotts to which it can trace its origins, BDS doesn’t just boycott products, it boycotts people.
BDS means that every Berkeley employee may end up having to endorse hatred of Israel to keep his job.
Bazian baked anti-Semitism into the college campus when he helped found SJP. Anti-Semitic harassment of Jewish students by SJP bigots has been normalized and mainstreamed.
SJP members have been involved in anti-Semitic altercations, harassment, threats and hate speech.
And it comes from the top down.
At Northeastern University, Muhammad Shahid Alam, the SJP faculty adviser, told its members to be proud of being called anti-Semitic. “If you are an academic or an activist, if they call you an anti-Semite, wear that as a sign of distinction,” he once said.
Alam’s own academic work follows that principle, as he claims that Zionism was the work of a “cabal of European Jews”, that “Jewish elites” manipulate governments using “the power of the Jewish lobby".
Hatem Bazian has, unsurprisingly, promoted Alam’s rants about the Jews.
These are the ugly and hateful ideas that Bazian, Alam and their student hate groups have brought to college campuses. Bazian’s elevation to Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission risks injecting this same toxic atmosphere of anti-Semitism into Berkeley schools and its city government.
UC Berkeley’s safe space for anti-Semitism has now become the Berkeley government’s safe space.
Berkeley likes to assert its moral authority in national and international politics. The very existence of the Peace and Justice Commission was a typically grandiose statement about its ability to have a say in national politics. Now that voice has been turned over to one of the worst bigots in America.
The Peace and Justice Commission recently celebrated its 30th anniversary of fighting for social justice. It never did achieve social justice.
So it had to settle for hating Jews.