Widgets Magazine

Students protest Palestine occupation, recent violence



Black duct tape over their mouths and cardboard signs bearing slogans in their hands, students gathered silently on the White Plaza stage Friday to protest the occupation of Palestine and the recent eruption of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — a student group working toward justice and the recognition of universal rights in Israel and Palestine — organized the protest, which was attended by members of many other student organizations.

The action aimed both to honor those who have lost their lives in this month’s events and to show that these events are part of a broader context of years of Israeli occupation, said Fatima Zehra ’17, co-facilitator of SJP.

“We want to…shed light on the fact that this occupation has been going on for years, and so this conflict is a symptom of that rather than a cause to maintain the occupation,” said Zehra.

“Settler colonialism has killed 7 Israelis and 32 Palestinians this month,” read one protester’s sign. Other slogans included “Israel is an apartheid state” and “Stop Israeli militarism.”

A banner spread over the steps of the stage quoted Nelson Mandela: “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

Many protesters duct-taped their mouths to symbolize the harassment and intimidation that pro-Palestine activists encounter on college campuses, as well as media silence on the topic of Palestine, said Kenneth Tea ’17, also an SJP co-facilitator.

“At Stanford, we have friends who have been called terrorists, members of Al-Qaeda, just for being more vocal than they’re expected to be,” said Tea.

“Because we think dialogue hasn’t really done much for the emancipation of Palestinians, we’re accused of being violent, militant, divisive,” added Zehra.

Cardinal for Israel (CFI), a student group dedicated to celebrating Israel’s achievements, hosted a vigil Sunday to commemorate Israelis killed this month. Zehra, however, found CFI’s emails advertising the event problematic because of they called Israelis who had been killed “victims of terror.”

“There’s implicit racism in that, because it’s like, all Palestinian Arabs are terrorists, as opposed to mentioning the 39 Palestinians who have lost their lives because of the [Israeli Defense Force],” said Zehra.

Every death resulting from the conflict is grievable and tragic, said Zehra, but these deaths must be examined in context.

“You can’t commit extrajudicial executions, home demolitions, you can’t maintain the illegal wall, you can’t bring in settlements and then name the people who are revolting as terrorists. There has to be some form of accountability,” Zehra said.

The protest gained support from so many other student groups — MEChA, the Black Student Union and Stanford Students for Queer Liberation among them — because these groups see parallels between their communities’ historical experience of state-sponsored violence and occupation and the experience of Palestinians, said Zehra.

As of Sunday, eight Israelis and over 40 Palestinians have been killed in this month’s eruption of violence, with many others wounded.


Contact Abigail Schott-Rosenfield at aschott ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Abigail Schott-Rosenfield

Abigail Schott-Rosenfield '18 is a news staff writer and graduate student outreach strategist at the Daily. Contact her at aschott 'at' stanford.edu.
  • Yaron

    I wish this was an Op-Ed, that way there would have been a justification to how bias this piece is :/
    Did it occur to the Deputy Desk Editor to try and get a response from CFI, rather than merely copying the group’s description from OrgSync?

    Any sort of violence is upsetting but not mentioning that the “40 Palestinians [that] have been killed in this month’s eruption of violence” were killed while being on a killing spree with guns, axes and knives in their hands is negligent at best. The writer is doing a major disservice to her readers who wish to get the whole picture from their Stanford newspaper.
    I can only hope that this matter will reach the desk editor so the students who might be the journalists of tomorrow will be uphold to a higher standard in the future.


  • skullbreathe

    “the recent eruption of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.”

    Where is the Israeli part of this ‘violence’ when their being stabbed in the neck or defending themselves in a fight for their lives?? Are there any editors around or un-biased journalists at the Stanford Daily? Would we consider women complicit in the ‘violence’ of a rape because they were attacked by the rapists?

  • BigSticksWalkSoftly

    Well israel is a racist terror state built on state violence,lies,intimidation,and misinformation…..a land without people for people without land was a big time lie.
    Palestinians are real Semites not fakes. And they didn’t do the holocaust for that matter.
    No wonder Teapublicans don’t like immigrants, they see what militant Zionists did to the Palestinians.

  • ThisIsPalestine

    I wonder how soon these SJP bastards are going to start beating up Jews and leaving threatening phone messages for student senators.

  • Guest

    Arabs are not the indigenous people of palestine folks. You are being lied to.

    “The Jews point with pride to the fact that over 500,000 Arabs in the 12 years between 1932 and 1944, came into Palestine to take advantage of living conditions existing in no other Arab state. This is the only country in the Near and Middle East where an Arab middle class is in existence.”

    Robert Kennedy March 1948

  • Dave Davis

    Yeah, I also heard that 8 Saudis were killed on September 11, 2001.

    Stanford Daily’s lack of context is disgusting.

  • skullbreathe

    Lucky for you there is digital txt. so you weren’t forced to write that ‘brilliant’ response in crayon..

  • Kudos to the Daily for publishing as “news” the most biased and distorted report about events in Israel that I have ever read in my 30-year affiliation with Stanford. It would be one thing if this article were an op-ed, though that too would be an insult to intellectual integrity. But to report as news the Orwellian rhetoric that it is not terror for ax-wielding, car-ramming maniacs to ram and hack-to-death innocent Israeli civilians, and to count the murderers as victims, is to distort the news so perversely as to render it as devoid of meaning as the senseless slaughter itself. And to report as fact that SJP is “a student group working toward justice and the recognition of universal rights in Israel and Palestine” when in reality it spends most of its energy demonizing Israel, advocating for its destruction, and bullying pro-Israel and Jewish students — is yet further evidence of this article’s extreme bias. The coup de grace of the article is that only 43 of its 482 words are devoted to the Jewish student vigil for the victims of terror, an event with an equal or greater attendance than the SJP rally, and to fail to report that the vigil ended with a song of peace for all — Salaam — while the SJP rally ended as it began: with hate. The Daily only fuels the fire of the Arab-Jewish divide on campus when it publishes such distorted “reporting.” For more info about SJP, see http://www.thetower.org/article/on-many-campuses-hate-is-spelled-sjp/

  • NL

    Shame on Stanford Daily for not reporting the truth! Paper loses credibility with such shoddy reporting. I was present at last night’s vigil and Isaac Winer’s critique below of paper’s coverage of it and everything else he says is spot on.

  • Maria Rutenburg

    Ok, I get it, there are Jewish haters out there who will go to extreme lengths to act out their hatred to Israel, but Stanford Daily? Shame on you, you are not only biased, you distort the truth and stand on the side of terrorists.
    After 9/11 did you write about violence on both sides and call for restraint of unruly Americans whose only crime was to live in their country? Did you call them agressors and occupants too?
    Learn history, my dear youthful hater, and get your facts straight.
    Arabs have more rights in Israel than they do in any other Middle Eastern country.
    “Palestinians” in Jordan live worse than in Israel.
    All Palestinians want is no Israel at all. All they do is hate.

  • Seth Watkins

    Open Letter to Abigail Schott-Rosenfield

    Thanks for your interesting article “Students Protest Palestine Occupation.”

    When I was a student journalist in the Communication Dept., Professor Marion Lewenstein reminded us that interesting is
    good – but we’re paid for accuracy. Readers trust an accurate
    reporter. A reporter pushing a cause loses readers and damages the
    paper. So, let me give you a few corrections.

    Your article refers to the “Palestine Occupation,” although there
    has never been an independent country of Palestine. Until the early
    1990s, Arab and non-Arab media called the West Bank “Occupied Jordan,”
    because Jordan owned it until losing it in the failed war of Jordan,
    Egypt and Syria, to exterminate the Jews of Israel in 1967. So, using
    the term “Palestine Occupation” without quotes is interesting, but
    inaccurate – kind of like referring to Georgia as “Occupied Confederate
    States of America.”

    A good reporter examines her sources’ credibility to avoid being
    duped into her source’s agenda. Your article did not. Referring to
    Israel as an “apartheid state,” your source falsely implied that Arabs
    killed in the recent violence were innocent although half died while
    axing infants, women, children, and two elderly men, and the others died
    during attempted murders.

    Your source suggested that the Jewish victims of these attacks –
    infants, among them – are not victims of terror, but of frustration.
    Yet for weeks, Arab preachers and the Palestinian Authority television
    have urged mobs to “Kill, kill, kill! Stab, stab stab! Knife, knife,
    knife!” women and children. (For one example, see http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/5098.htm .)

    Your activist source refers to the “illegal wall,” without quotes, although no court has found the fence – not a wall – illegal.

    Now please don’t get me wrong. You put together a wonderfully
    interesting piece. But at the same time, it was highly inaccurate,
    biased, and devoid of effort to ascertain your activist source’s
    credibility or to gather corroborating or refuting facts.

    And there is a place for such writing: a P.R. campaign. But at the
    same time, it would have gotten you an F from Professor Lewenstein.
    You’re a Stanford student. You can certainly do better than putting
    out an anti-Jew hit piece.


    Seth Watkins

  • BigSticksWalkSoftly

    It is time for you to grow up and move out of mommy’s rat infested basement couch unless you are too busy being balls deep in your neighbors stolen goat.
    Don’t you have a racist israeil aprtheid wall to build schmuck for brains

  • Prg234

    Outrageously biased and factually incorrect! You should be ashamed.

  • cardcounter

    BigSticks, I see you are the voice of reason for bringing people together. Your attitude is very helpful.

  • cardcounter

    In that picture I see a bunch of young, gullible kids with no idea about the events in Israel. This is a great country that even people with no understanding of the world can express their views.

  • Jenny

    Poorly written article without any context. Seems like a mouthpiece vehicle for the organizers of this warped anti-Israel event.

  • StanfordStudent

    AND here comes all the bullying and harassment against the author and the publisher of this piece, only because they dared to freely cover an event organized by Stanford students. What is so amusing is how much hate, bigotry, and intolerance is incorporated in these comments that supposedly call for peace and love. Carry on, bullies. And when you’re done, go watch Fox News. It will serve your ideology better.

  • M2000

    Your comments on Jews being stabbed and shot to death are were????

  • M2000

    This is the typical promotion of the pro-Palestine movement, to demonize Israel. They’re scum. You’d expect this, Yasser Arafat’s uncle was pro-Nazi during World War II.

  • Because You Asked

    Here you go!



    It ranges from justified (just stabbed somebody) to “in cold blood” (minding his own business).

  • skullbreathe

    Get help. There may be a mental institution that will take you…

  • mxm123

    And I also hear a few Israeli settler terrorists went “hunting”.

  • mxm123

    Heard of Israeli apartheid Maria ? Or do you just du and paste your talking pints.

  • mxm123

    Because you say so. Watch Fox News mich?

  • Saba

    Want to know why this “news” are biased? Because you have not interviewed even one person from the CFI group. Shame on you.Grandpa

  • Penguin

    Stanford students for queer liberation protesting for jihadis who would kill them for existing. HOW STUPID, SELF LOATHING IDIOTS CAN BE? What’s it like having room temperature IQ? Dolts. Morons.

  • Penguin

    Also look at the stupid lefty groups supporting palestinian terror. Black student union supports islamic terror? LGBT groups do? How stupid can one possibly be? That’s like Vegan Jews supporting hitler for being vegan. how did such stupid people get into Stanford?

  • Penguin

    Do you need to run to your safe space you coddled wuss?

  • Penguin

    If referring to the Palestinian leader, the Grand Mufti, he pleaded with Hitler to kill Jews. Begged him to do it.

  • Penguin

    Dear lefty wing antisemite. Until muslims allow non muslims to set foot into entire cities like Mecca, STFU. Go worship your jihadi pets in hell.

  • M2000

    Yes, that’s who I was referring about. And the Palestinian supporters want to continue the quest to massacre Jews.

  • Mitch Joe

    This article is so biased. Not one quote from the other side of the issue. Disgusting.

  • BigSticksWalkSoftly

    so by your reasoning I shouldn’t be allowed into my local movie theatre until the local country club admits me…..
    Your attempt to justify an illegal occupation and state violence that thrives off of fear and racism, by obfuscating and distracting from the truth of what is going on, is not only disgusting, but just shows how desperate unconditional Israeli supports are, and shows how little knowledge you have of the situation.
    Please learn how to google and find out the truth about Palestine.
    Palestinians (many of whom are not even Muslim btw) deserve human and civil rights free from apartheid segregation, discrimination, disenfranchisement, Jim Crow laws, illegal Gaza siege, refusal to allow refugees to return…..
    It is an American principle: no taxation without representation that Palestinians are fighting for….even your most conservative Republican should understand that logic.

  • BigSticksWalkSoftly

    You mean the institutions that rejected even you…..
    Palestinians have a right to have their stories told by them and not by Zionist lies, misinformation, obstructions, and fear mongering.
    a land without people for people without land is a lie
    Iraq had no nukes
    The land of Palestine has been around for quite some time
    And the Zionists of 1948 did ethnically cleanse the Palestinians during the nakba.
    Reading Books and learning how to google are not good for brand Israel nowadays.
    the truth hurts I know

  • Shameful

    If a black student rammed his car to a group of white students outside Tresidder, and then got out of the car and stabbed several others. Would the Black Student Union justify the attack because of Ferguson, Michael Brown, etc? Would they blame the white students?

    That is exactly what SJP is doing. SJP is saying that these attacks which are committed against Israeli civilians, children, mothers and fathers or justified because of the political situation. It is Israel’s fault that it’s children are being hacked to death with meat cleavers according to SJP.

    If that black student who murdered the white students were killed in the act. Would the Stanford Daily report: “Black student killed by Stanford Police?”

    Because equating the Palestinian terrorists who were killed with their victims is exactly what the daily is doing here.


  • Sean M

    I think many of these comments are quite rude to the author and are based on ad hominem attacks at the author and at this group rather than actually looking at this article for what it is. The author just reported on an event that occurred on campus. To get mad at her because she reported on something you disagree with or on an issue you don’t agree with doesn’t mean this report is not informing. While people across this campus may not agree on the issue at hand, the author’s job was to report about an event that was going on and to talk with those putting on the event and get their point of view, which she did.

    The personal attacks against her character or her just as a person are not necessary and do nothing to push forward any true dialogue on the issue. If there are points that people disagree with talk on those points but calling her an idiot or terrorist because see reported on people who you don’t agree with is highly problematic.

    I personally do think there is a lot to the issue at hand and that there is violence being perpetrated on both sides of the conflict. Senseless murder is not right no matter who is committing it. Yet we also should look at what other underlying issues there are that need to be addressed to help resolve the conflict. Moreover, I feel as members of the Stanford community we should be willing to talk to one another and work together not berating each other and hurling insults.

    Also with addressing the article, the Washington Post reports “Palestinian assailants have killed 10 Israelis, mostly in knife attacks, while 47 Palestinians — including 26 identified by Israel as attackers — have been killed. The others died in clashes with Israeli security forces.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/the-latest-israeli-army-2-palestinians-killed-after-attack/2015/10/21/865a6eca-77af-11e5-a5e2-40d6b2ad18dd_story.html
    This shows that Israelis have been killed but it also shows of the Palestinians killed only 26 were definitely attackers and the others “died in clashes with Israeli security forces” which does not inherently mean they were terrorists but could be people protesting that somehow lead to conflict or any number of options that we might not know because we weren’t there. We also should take into account that this conflict and escalation in killings has been going on longer than a month and odds are many innocent deaths have not been addressed before now because of a lack of media attention. I think as a community we could do a lot more if we talked about issues without hurling insults.

  • jack


  • jack

    yeah that’s right keep quiet arabs!

  • jack

    I’mma protest SJP by drawing muhammed all over stanford campus