Peace with Realism

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Canned Palestinian Children Meat

This poster appeared on the campus of San Francisco State University. The legend on the can reads:

Made in Israel

Palestinian Children Meat

Slaughtered According to Jewish
Rites Under American License

Is this simply "anti-Zionism," legitimate criticism of Israel? Hardly. First, the image is diabolically ironic, since not one Palestinian child has been deliberately targeted by the Israeli army, while Palestinian terrorists intentionally murder Jewish children and rejoice when they do so. Beyond that, the image is a revival of the blood libel charge in modern form, recalling the hatred of Jews that this charge has always expressed. The message attacks the Jewish people under the guise of criticizing Israel. And Jews who have openly identified as Jews on the campus have been targets of intimidation.

Laurie Zoloth, Professor of Ethics and Director of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State, reports that such posters, as well as posters proclaiming "Jews=Nazis," have become common. She also states: "I cannot fully express what it feels like to have to walk across campus daily, past posters of cans of soup with labels on them of drops of blood and dead babies, labeled 'canned Palestinian children meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites.'"

In an open letter Zoloth described what happened at a "Peace in the Middle East" rally sponsored by SFSU Hillel on May 7, 2002 when a group of students, numbering around 50, remained to chant afternoon prayers. The following account has been confirmed by other witnesses:

Counter demonstrators poured into the plaza, screaming at the Jews to "Get out or we will kill you" and "Hitler did not finish the job." I turned to the police and to every administrator I could find and asked them to remove the counter demonstrators from the plaza, to maintain the separation of 100 feet that we had been promised. The police told me that they had been told not to arrest anyone, and that if they did, "it would start a riot." I told them that it already was a riot.

Finally, Fred Astren, the Northern California Hillel Director and I went up directly to speak with Dean Saffold, who was watching from her post a flight above us. She told us she would call in the SF police. But the police could do nothing more than surround the Jewish students and community members who were now trapped in a corner of the plaza, grouped under the flags of Israel, while an angry, out of control mob, literally chanting for our deaths, surrounded us. Dr. Astren and I went to stand with our students. This was neither free speech nor discourse, but raw, physical assault....

There was no safe way out of the Plaza. We had to be marched back to the Hillel House under armed S.F. police guard, and we had to have a police guard remain outside Hillel.

Anti-Zionism or anti-Semitism?


Editorial: San Francisco Riots." ChronWatch, May 17, 2002.

Fleischer, Tzvi. "Blood Libel on Campus." Review of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, June, 2002.

Podhoretz, John. "Hatefest by the Bay." New York Post, May 14, 2002.

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