Stanford undergraduate threatens to ‘physically fight’ the ‘Zionist students’

Simon Wiesenthal Center says Jewish students are subject to intimidation on many campuses and demands university ‘takes all necessary steps to denounce and counter this threat’

The main quadrangle of Stanford University. (Wikimedia Commons via JTA)
The main quadrangle of Stanford University. (Wikimedia Commons via JTA)

A student at Stanford University on Friday threatened on Facebook to “physically fight” the “Zionist students” following Israel’s passing of the nation-state bill.

Hours later, Hamzeh Daoud, 20, who will be a junior at the university, amended his post to read “intellectually fight,” but not before the original post had been saved in screenshot by at least one campus organization.

In his original post, Daoud wrote, “I’m gonna physically fight Zionists on campus next year if someone comes at me with their ‘Israel is a democracy’ bullshit. And after I abolish your ass I’ll go ahead and work every day for the rest of my life to abolish your petty ass ethno-supremacist, settler-colonial state.”

Under the post he included a link to an article from Haaretz titled “Jewish Nation-state Law Makes Discrimination in Israel Constitutional.”

SCR is disgusted by a threat of violence issued by Hamzeh Daoud, a rising junior at Stanford University, toward…

Posted by Stanford College Republicans on Saturday, July 21, 2018

Some four hours later he amended it to read “intellectually” instead of “physically” and added a comment: “I edited this post because I realize intellectually beating zionists is the only way to go. Physical fighting is never an answer to when trying to prove people wrong.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday expressed outrage over Daoud’s threat, demanding direct action from the university’s president.

In a statement, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the anti-Semitism watchdog’s associate dean, said that, despite Stanford’s longstanding and positive relationship with Israeli academia, “Jewish students and other supporters of Israel have been subject to intimidation, harassment, and virulent campaigns demonizing the Jewish state on many of America’s finest campuses.”

“We hope you will take all necessary steps to denounce and counter this threat,” Cooper added.

Daoud is an active member of the campus group Students for Justice in Palestine and identifies as a “third-generation Palestinian refugee,” the Stanford Daily reported. He previously served on the undergraduate Senate.

On Saturday, the Stanford College Republicans called on the university to fire Daoud from his residential assistant position over the threat, and posted a screenshot of Daoud’s original post to Facebook.

In an email to the student newspaper, Daoud said he was “appalled” over the law passed by Israel’s Knesset and “took to Facebook to share my pain.” In a second email to the newspaper he wrote: “I apologize if I made anyone feel unsafe. That was not the intent and will never be an intent of mine at all.”

University spokesperson E.J. Miranda told the student newspaper that Stanford officials are aware of Daoud’s post, and that Student Affairs staff are “following up” on the matter.

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