The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) expressed gratitude today that Mohammad Hammad, a student and the president of the anti-Israel student group at San Francisco State University (SFSU) – General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) – is no longer a student at SFSU. The ZOA is also pleased to learn that the San Francisco Police Department has opened an investigation into Hammad’s murderous threats, which endanger the physical and emotional safety and well-being of SFSU students, particularly Jewish students.
In November 2013, GUPS hosted an event at which students were encouraged to use certain stencils in order to make signs. One stencil bore the image of a well-known terrorist. Another stencil contained the message, “MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS KILLED COLONIZERS” – plainly a reference to the killing of Jews because GUPS considers that Jews living in Israel, Judea and Samaria are colonizers who stole Arab land.
In addition, Mohammad Hammad, the president of GUPS, posted several messages on Tumblr which reflected his desire to murder Jews, Israelis, and supporters of Israel. He posted a photo on his Tumblr page, in which he is holding a knife with its sharp blade in the air. In a caption to the photo, Hammad openly threatened murder:
“I seriously can not get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.”
Hammad also threatened a specific Israeli soldier on his Tumblr page, writing that he wants “the head of this f- -king scum on a plate.” And he threatened “the heads of others like her, and all others like her who support the IDF.”
In December 2014, the ZOA wrote to SFSU President Leslie E. Wong, urging him to report Hammad to legal authorities and to expel him from SFSU immediately. The ZOA cautioned President Wong that “Mohammad Hammad has made it clear that he is a serious danger to others. You bear the responsibility of taking all necessary steps to protect the members of your university community.”
Thankfully, the entreaties of ZOA and others were heard. Hammad is no longer a student at SFSU and a police investigation is reportedly underway.
But the SFSU administration must do more – particularly in light of the dozens of violent social media postings by Hammad in 2013, as revealed by AMCHA Initiative, including the following:
“There are children shouting outside and I want to set them on fire.”
“I think about killing a lot/and some of you are usually the targets of my daydreams.”
Caption underneath photo of long sword: “I want it. Imagine me cutting off the heads of those in the IDF with this.”
“Oh/And, tomorrow is (hopefully) the day that I find out if I will be the President of the General Union of Palestine at my school/…Hopefully I’ll be able to radicalize half of our population and bring them back with me as fighters.”
On the Jewish student group, Hillel: “I hope they all trip down the stairs and break their necks.”
These postings and many others by Hammad are murderous terrorist threats against Jews. They pose a serious and continuing threat to the SFSU community, particularly Jewish students, requiring that President Wong do everything in his power to promote safety and good citizenship in accordance with SFSU policies, and assure, to the extent possible, the security and well-being of his university community.
The ZOA urges President Wong to take the following actions:
- GUPS is still listed on the SFSU website as a recognized student organization. This group should lose its registered status and all of the privileges that go along with it. In addition, if Hammad is still the president of GUPS, he should be terminated from the position immediately.
- In order to regain its registered status, GUPS must be required to publicly condemn Hammad’s conduct and all threats of murder and violence against Jews, Israelis, and supporters of Israel.
- President Wong and other SFSU leaders should hold a press conference at which murderous threats against Jews, Israelis, and supporters of Israel are publicly condemned. In addition, the perpetrator(s) of such threats must be publicly condemned so that the university community will know what is wrong, why it is wrong, and who is responsible.
- To make sure that the SFSU community understands that there will be a zero tolerance policy for such threats, an article signed by the SFSU president should be published in the university newspaper specifically condemning the conduct. Everyone in the SFSU community should have no doubt that when threats of violence against Jews, Israelis, or Israel supporters are made, they will not be tolerated and that the university will take the strongest measures possible.
This is the least SFSU can do in light of the frightening threats repeatedly made by Mohammad Hammad.