ZOA Action Alert – Please Take Action to Stop the “Palestine Writes” Antisemitic, Anti-Israel Hate Fest at University of Pennsylvania
Action Alerts News Press Release
September 14, 2023

To Our Dear Activists:

As you may be aware, the University of Pennsylvania is hosting a terror-inciting, antisemitic anti-Israel hate-fest called the “Palestine Writes Festival” on September 22-24, 2023, featuring a “who’s who” of Israel-hating, antisemitic, terror-inciting speakers, sponsors and programs. This program is a danger to the University of Pennsylvania Jewish community and others. 

ZOA’s informative Open Letter to University of Pennsylvania leadership demanding cancellation of this horrific event is attached here and reprinted below.

We would appreciate it if you would also take a little time to write to and/or call any of the below individuals, or others whom you may think of, who may have influence and the caring courage to help stop this dangerous event. Please feel free to send us any further suggestions as to persons to contact who might help. We may update this list with additional contacts.

Please feel free to use any or all of ZOA’s open letter as your letter, or to write whatever you believe is appropriate.

We would appreciate it if you would share your letters and any results with us at Liz@zoa.org and/or info@zoa.org.

Thank you for your activism!

Wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year!

Sincerely, and with deep appreciation for your participating in this important effort,

Morton A. Klein, National President, Zionist Organization of America
The National Board, Zionist Organization of America 

Suggested Individuals to Write To:

University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill
One College Hall, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Rm 100, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6380
(215) 898-7221 president@upenn.edu

University of Pennsylvania Provost John L. Jackson, Jr., Ph.D 
122 College Hall, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-5000 or (215) 898-7227, provost@upenn.edu

School of Arts and Sciences Dean Steven J. Fluharty, Ph.D
One College Hall, Rm 116/6377
(215) 898-7320, sasdean@sas.upenn.edu

University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees Chair Scott L. Bok
(212) 389-1520, sbok@greenhill.com

University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees Vice Chair Julie Beren Platt
[Note: Ms. Platt is also Chair of the Board of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and holds other leadership posts in Jewish organizations] JFNA contact: (212) 284-6500; info@JewishFederations.org

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro
Ex Officio member of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees
508 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120
(717) 787-2500;  Online contact form: https://www.governor.pa.gov/contact/

The Below Two Groups Are Potentially Responsive Event Sponsors:

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts – (717) 787-6883 or RA-arts@pa.gov
Karl Blischke, Executive Director | kablischke@pa.gov | (717) 787-1530
Heather Doughty, Deputy Executive Director | hdoughty@pa.gov | (717) 787-1517
Christopher Duerr, Program Coordinator & Grants Specialist | cduerr@pa.gov | (717) 214-0057

Australian Embassy (re: Australian Council for the Arts sponsorship)
Ambassador Kevin Rudd 
1601 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 797 3000  twitter: @AmboRudd
Or New York Office (212) 351 6500
150 E 42nd St (34th Floor), New York, NY, 10017
Or the Public Diplomacy team: nycg.pd@dfat.gov.au


September 14, 2023


President Elizabeth Magill – president@upenn.edu
University of Pennsylvania
One College Hall, Rm 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6380

Provost John L. Jackson, Jr., Ph.D  – provost@upenn.edu
University of Pennsylvania
122 College Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Dean Steven J. Fluharty, Ph.D – sasdean@sas.upenn.edu
School of Arts and Sciences
One College Hall, Room 116
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Re:      University of Pennsylvania Must Cancel Terror-Inciting “Palestine Writes” Hate-Fest

Dear President Magill, Provost Jackson and Dean Fluharty:

As you are aware, the University of Pennsylvania is hosting an terror-inciting, antisemitic anti-Israel hate-fest called the “Palestine Writes Festival” on September 22-24, 2023.  We urge you to stop this event, which endangers University of Pennsylvania’s Jewish community and others. 

On September 12th, University of Pennsylvania Elizabeth Magill, Provost John L. Jackson, and School of Arts & Sciences Steven J. Fluharty, Dean issued a statement acknowledging that “many have raised deep concerns about several speakers [at Palestine Writes] who have a documented and troubling history of engaging in antisemitism by speaking and acting in ways that denigrate Jewish people.” 

This acknowledgement is appreciated.  But unfortunately, the Magill-Jackson-Fluharty statement grossly downplays the problem.  Overwhelming numbers of speakers (not just “several speakers’) have a “troubling history of antisemitism” – to say the least.  The Palestine Writes speakers’ history of bigotry, hatred, terror-incitement, and promoting blood libels and antisemitic violence goes way beyond just “denigrating Jewish people.”   

Lamentably, the university leaders’ statement also cites “fierce support for the free exchange of ideas,” in order to avoid taking needed action to stop the dangerous terror-incitement and libels that will be fomented at “Palestine Writes.”  With due respect, this is hypocritical.  The University of Pennsylvania made enormous efforts to penalize Law Professor Amy Wax for expressing her controversial ideas about Black students’ achievement.  And Wax’s statements weren’t life-threatening. 

If the equivalent of “Palestine Writes” was being directed at any group other than Jews and Israelis, it would never be hosted at University of Pennsylvania.

Careful examination reveals that many of the “Palestine Writes” organizers and speakers spread anti-Jewish libels and hate; support, honor, incite and celebrate terrorists and the Intifada terror wars against Jews (in which thousands of Jews have been maimed and murdered in gun, knife, bombing and ramming attacks); and defend, praise and even assist designated foreign terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), IHH, the Fatah/PLO Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, and other Palestinian Authority terror groups.  At least one of the “Palestine Writes” speakers is even a convicted terrorist. 

In addition, many of the partner and supporting organizations of “Palestine Writes” promote intifadas, anti-Israel hatred, etc. 

It is thus a danger to the University of Pennsylvania community, especially the Jewish community, to allow the “Palestine Writes” hate fest to move forward.  Such a hate-fest inciting against any other group other than Jews/Israelis would never be permitted. 

And it’s not just the speakers and sponsors.  The whole “Palestine Writes” program is crammed full of speeches and “arts propaganda” (books, poems and film, etc.) that demonize and defame Jews and Israel, promote a “right of return” to overrun Israel, and justify antisemitic, anti-Israel terror

Even innocuous-sounding sessions are platforms for lauding the deadly anti-Jewish terror wars (Intifadas).  For instance, the “Language & History of Palestinian Dress” session, led by “resistance embroidery” teacher Wafaa Ghnaim, promises to teach about “Palestinian dress styles . . . that emerged during The First Intifada (1987-1993).” 

A “Palestinian Writes” preview video also explains that Palestinian embroidery has been used “in brilliant ways to evade colonizers” [meaning Israelis] by sending hidden messages to prisoners [convicted Arab terrorists].

“Palestine Writes” even seeks to indoctrinate children.  A children’s program includes a “Palestine Monopoly” game that places Israeli sites, including Jerusalem’s Old City [Jewish Quarter] in the “State of  Palestine,” to send children a message that Israel should be erased.

There is not even one session or speaker calling for peaceful co-existence with Israel.  Instead, there is session after session lauding terrorists and terror-inciting topics such as: a session promoting a book glorifying Ahed Tamimi as a freedom-fighting “lioness” (Tamimi seeks Israel destruction, and was convicted and imprisoned for assaulting an Israeli soldier); how to achieve a “right of return”; and “Palestine Hijacked: How Zionism Forged an Apartheid State from River to Sea,” with antisemitic author Tom Suarez, who demonizes Israel as racist, fascist usurpers and terrorists,  and compares Zionism to Nazism.

The very first Palestine Writes event is a horrific example of arts propaganda:  a screening of the 2021 film, “Farha,” and discussion with its director/writer.  Let’s take a look at this, as it is typical of the anti-Jewish blood libels likely to incite hatred and violence that are slickly promoted throughout “Palestine Writes”: 

“Farha” states that it is based on true events in 1948, but actually reverses reality, by turning Jews into the perpetrators of atrocities and Arabs into innocent victims.  In the film, a 14-year-old Arab girl, Farha, is hidden in a locked storeroom, as Israeli soldiers enter her previously happy Arab village, screaming “Get out or be killed in your houses.”  Through a crack in her hiding place, Farha watches Israeli soldiers (including a woman Israeli soldier) shoot an Arab family, including their young children, and leave a crying newborn Arab baby on the ground to die.  The head “Israeli” orders: “kill the baby, but don’t waste any bullets on it.”  Farha later leaves the now empty village with a knife in her hand – symbolizing that violence is now justified and/or that the Arabs are the ones who need to defend themselves.

The film’s portrayal of Jews committing atrocities against defenseless, peaceful Arabs is an outrageous reversal of what occurred in 1948.  In fact, the Arabs invaded and killed over 6,000 Jews in 1948, expelled Jews from their ancient homes in Jerusalem’s Jewish quarter and Judea-Samaria, destroyed 58 synagogues, massacred the Jews of Kfar Etzion after the Jews surrendered, massacred a convoy of 78 doctors and medical personnel traveling to Hadassah hospital, etc., etc.   In addition, in 1921, 1929, 1936-1939, Arabs murdered hundreds of Jews in pogroms in Hebron, Jerusalem, Tiberias and elsewhere.  And Arabs have murdered and maimed thousands of Jews since then.

Also, early in the “Farha” film, Farha overhears her father and another man worriedly speak about how they only have a few rusty old guns to defend themselves with.  That’s another reversal of reality.  In fact, the departing British gave their arms to the Arabs; and six well-equipped Arab armies invaded Israel.   It was the Jews who were woefully under-equipped, and who needed to defend themselves.

The film’s ending credits say that Farha’s father is believed to have been killed in the events of the “Nakba,” to further promote its “Nakba” falsehoods.  (“Nakba” is Arabic for “catastrophe,” and is used by Palestinian Arabs to describe 1948, the year of Israel’s re-establishment.  “Nakba” really means that Palestinian Arabs believe that it was a catastrophe that six invading Arab nations didn’t totally annihilate Israel and murder every Jew in Israel in 1948.)  

Israel’s former finance minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Farha’s “whole purpose is to create a false pretense and incite against Israeli soldiers.” Israel’s former culture minister, Hili Tropper, said Farha depicts “lies and libels.” 

The Featured Speakers’ Support for Terrorism:

Mays Abu Ghosh

Mays a.k.a. Mayss Abu Ghosh is a convicted terrorist.  She was convicted and sentenced to 16 months in an Israeli women’s prison, plus an additional suspended sentence, for: Bearing, possessing and manufacturing Molotov cocktails (firebombs); Meeting with Hezbollah in Lebanon; involvement with the designated terror organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)’s student affiliate Qutub, at Birzeit University (a terrorist hotbed); and planning to open a Qutub “summer camp” (likely to indoctrinate and train PFLP recruits).  Qutub explicitly supports violence as the “only road to Palestine.” 

Mays is also from a terrorist family: Mays’ brother, Hussein Al Ghosh, stabbed a 23-year-old Jewish girl Shlomit Krigman to death at a supermarket, and stabbed and seriously wounded another Jewish woman, and then was shot to death by a security guard.  Al Ghosh’s orchestrated stabbing attack also included planting bombs in the area.  May’s cousin, also named Hussein, was killed while perpetrating a car-ramming attack.

Sherene Seikaly

On the 20th anniversary of 9-11, Seikaly retweeted a call for “continuing the Unity Intifada” (terror wars against Jews) in “48 Palestine” [meaning all of Israel should be destroyed and is really “Palestine”].  Seikaly also celebrated the anniversary of the Intifada on Facebook, and specifically honored Palestinian Arab women who participate in the Intifada anti-Jewish terror wars.  Seikaly’s post included a picture of a woman who took off her heals to apparently throw something (probably rocks or Molotov cocktails) at Jews. 

Seikaly also tweets support for the Hamas terror organization (including claiming that Hamas was being “demonized” – while Hamas was shooting rockets at Israel).  Seikaly also tweeted support for the 6 terrorists who escaped from an Israeli prison, and bemoaned the terrorists’ recapture. Seikaly repeatedly promotes antisemitic anti-Israel libels, hatred, incitement; and BDS.

Maytha Alhassen

Alhassen tweeted pictures and praise for convicted terrorists/murderers Rasmea Odeh and Marwan Barghouti, and complained about Odeh’s deportation from the U.S. for lying on her government entry forms.  (Rasmea Odeh confessed to masterminding a bombing that killed two college students in a Jerusalem supermarket. She also attempted to bomb the British consulate.  Marwan Barghouti is currently serving five consecutive life sentences for his role in suicide

bombings and shooting attacks that killed five Israelis during the second Intifada.  Barghouti led the Palestinian Authority terrorist Tanzim force and founded the terrorist Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. He also financed the guitar-case bomb used in the Sbarro Cafe massacre, where 15 civilians were killed and 130 injured, including many women and children.) 

Alhassen is a frequent speaker for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).  (SJP is the main antisemitic, anti-Israel BDS campus group.  It harasses, intimidates and sometimes physically attacks Jewish students; and disrupts Jewish and pro-Israel events.)

Diana Buttu 

Buttu is a former PLO spokeswoman and major supporter of the PFLP-allied “Dream Defenders.”  Buttu defends Hamas’ terror rockets launched at Israel; defends Hamas’ hiding of rockets in UNRWA schools; blames Israel for Hamas’ rocket launches into Israel; demonizes Israel with every imaginable blood libel; and advocates for antisemitic BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions); etc. 

David Palumbo-Liu

Palumbo-Liu promotes blood libels to justify, excuse and incite terror against Jews.  For instance, in an article in HuffPost, Palumbo-Liu justified the “knife Intifada” wave of Palestinian Arab stabbing attacks against innocent Jews as a “response to an on-going [Israeli] campaign to desecrate and destroy holy sites that anchor non-Jewish peoples to their faiths” and as a response to Israeli “purposeful destruction of religious institutions. . . targeted acts of intimidation and brutality, and as racist and bigoted in nature as the burnings of black churches.”  Palumbo-Liu further justified anti-Jewish violence with the claim that Jews who seek to pray on the Temple Mount (Judaism’s holiest site) are not seeking to practice their religion, but rather, are “appropriating” Muslim holy sites. 

Palumbo-Liu further claimed that Israeli soldiers, police and settlers commonly murder Palestinian youths “at demonstrations and checkpoints, but also on quiet streets, and with clear pre-meditation.”  Palumbo-Lui trotted out still more vicious anti-Israel libels, to justify Palestinian Arab violence (“no wonder they resist”) and to promote BDS.  Palumbo-Liu also supports BDS and SJP, and spoke at the 2018 SJP conference which celebrated violence, with chants of “Long Live the Intifada! Intifada! Intifada!” and whose website stated: “[t]he reason we can have hope is that Zionism…can be destroyed.”

Marc Lamont Hill

CNN reportedly fired Marc Lamont Hill in 2018 after Hill gave a speech at the United Nations calling for Palestinian Arabs to use violent tactics; defaming Israel with Nakba and other slanders; and calling for Palestine to be “free from the river to the sea” (the well-known chant calling for Israel’s extinction).  Hill also declared that “we must offer more than just words,” and that instead Palestinian-Arabs must be allowed to engage in “revolts,” “resistance” (the well-known euphemism for Palestinian-Arab violence and terrorism), and “tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi” (meaning, violent tactics). He also called for millions of Arabs to be allowed to move into Israel, which would end it being a Jewish State.

Hill also publicly demanded that “every Black activist should stand with” PFLP terrorist Rasmea Odeh, and glorified Odeh as “a Palestinian freedom fighter being railroaded for her commitment to justice.”  (Odeh was convicted for planting bombs at a supermarket, which killed two Jewish students; and at the British consulate in Israel.)  Hill also stated that he was “incredibly blessed” to have shared a platform with designated terror organization PFLP’s front group Addameer. 

Hill also repeatedly praised, donated money to and personally raised funds for PFLP terrorist Ali Jiddah on social media (e.g., “I’m always excited and inspired to spend time with my dear brother and comrade Ali Jiddah. A true freedom fighter. #afropalestine).  Ali Jiddah was convicted and spent 17 years in Israeli prison for planting four grenades in downtown Jerusalem that injured nine people.

In 2014, Hill stated on CNN that Hamas’ kidnapping and murder of three young Jewish teenagers, one of them an American citizen, wasn’t “terrorism”, but “resistance.”  And at the USCPR 2018 National Conference opening plenary, Hill said that people should not “romanticize non-violence,” and promoted violence against Israel.

Laila Al Arian

Al Arian is an Al Jazeera propagandist (senior producer of libelous programs that demonize Israel).  She is the daughter of Sami Al Arian, the deported former U.S. leader of designated terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  She is married to Israel-demonizer and BDS leader Jonathan A.C. Brown.

Refaat Alareer

Alareer justified Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, on the hate site Electric Intifada, using outrageous falsehoods.  Alareer called the Hamas terrorists “Palestinian resistance fighters,” and wrote that they were just reacting to constant Israeli assaults by “eventually [] firing volleys of homemade missiles at Israeli military targets. By doing so, they are affirming the Palestinian right to self-defense and liberation.”  Alareer also said in 2018, “Are most Jews evil? Of course they are.”  Alareer also frequently shares or posts social media content inciting against Jews, such as stating that “Israel justifies butchering these [Palestinian] children “because someone happened to be their relative, because someone a year ago walked that street, or because they simply breathe.”

Roger Waters

The Palestine Writes website boasts that infamous singer Roger Waters is an active supporter of anti-Israel BDS, including a total cultural boycott of Israel; urges other artists not to perform in Israel; calls out other artists if they do perform in Israel; and promotes defaming Israel as an “apartheid state.”

Last May, Waters came under investigation for performing in Berlin in a Nazi uniform; and comparing Holocaust victim Anne Frank to Palestinian propagandist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was accidentally shot while she was embedded with terrorists in Jenin.

Huwaida Arraf (event organizer and speaker)

Arraf collaborates with, trains, glorifies terrorists and personally assists terror operations, including the Gaza flotillas and Bethlehem Church of the Nativity hostage siege.

Arraf and her husband Adam Shapiro co-founded the “International Solidarity Movement” (ISM) in 2001.  Arraf acknowledged that ISM “cooperates with Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”  (At the time, Arraf incongruously claimed that ISM was cooperating with these violent, designated terror organizations on “nonviolent resistance” despite the fact that none of these terror groups’

“resistance” is “non-violent.”) 

Arraf participated in planning meetings, and trained and instructed Turkish IHH terrorists on flotillas how to break the joint Israel-Egyptian weapons blockade of Gaza.  (IHH is designated as a terror organization by multiple countries.)   Arraf was a “delegation leader” for a flotilla,  participated in the “Freedom Waves for Gaza” flotilla, and incited confrontations by refusing to heed warnings to stop from entering the blockade zone. 

In 2002, during the Second Intifada, Arraf and other ISM terror-collaborators assisted the 40 terrorists from designated-terror group Fatah/PLO Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades who took hostage 200 civilians, including priests and nuns; barricaded themselves inside the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem; and planted bombs and booby traps at the church. Arraf admitted that she and fellow ISM activists brought in food for the terrorists and provided “an international civilian shield” protecting the terrorists.

Also during the Second Intifada, Arraf and her husband co-authored an article in “Palestine Chronicle” accusing Israel of carrying out “vicious and diabolical atrocities . . . to kill and injure unarmed civilians,” and then asserted: “we accept that Palestinians have a right to resist with arms . . . The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics — both nonviolent and violent.  But most importantly it must develop a strategy involving both aspects.”  Arraf’s strategies for “non-violent direct action against the occupation” [against Israel] included blocking “settler roads” [Israeli roads]; removing Israeli security roadblocks; antisemitic boycotts; refusing to obey curfews; etc.  Arraf noted about her “nonviolent” strategies: “Yes, people will get killed and injured.”

Arraf also wrote on Facebook that she was “honored” and “privileged” to serve as one of terrorist Rasmea Odeh’s attorneys.  Arraf also whitewashed senior PFLP operative Khalida Jarrar:  Arraf falsely tweeted that Jarrar was “harassed, abused & jailed by Israel for her political activism.” 

Alice Rothchild

Rothchild is an activist with the virulently anti-Zionist “Jewish Voice for Peace.”  Rothchild demonizes Israel, conducts anti-Israel speaking tours, promotes BDS and elevates Palestinian terrorists over their victims.  For instance, Rothchild wrote an article supporting the IHH terrorists’ Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza, and blaming the Israeli inspectors who boarded the ship for the terrorists’ deaths.  (In fact, the IHH terrorists attacked the Israelis, who then had to defend themselves.)  Rothchild also participated in violent Bil’in demonstrations against the security fence (built to curb terror attacks).   Rothchild’s  article about this condemned Israel and praised Palestinian rioters for “bravely fighting back despite endless losses.”

Wafa Ghnaim

Ghanaim “celebrates Palestinian embroidery as a powerful form of resistance art.”  Ghnaim also wrote that she “intends to fan the flame of the Palestinian resistance in the diaspora through embroidery and the arts.”  “Resistance” is the commonly used euphemism for terrorism. 

Susan Abulhawa (Executive Director of Palestine Writes)

Abalhawa frequently calls for Intifada terror wars and Israel’s destruction; glorifies Palestinian Arab terrorists, writes books and “Nakba novels” demonizing Israel; falsely claims that there is no evidence that the Jewish Temples (which stood for close to 1,000 years) ever existed; and likens Israel to Nazis.  Her recent tweets include:

  • “Yalla [Let’s go] intifada! Yalla thawra [revolution]! Yalla the end of Zionist colonialism and apartheid!”
  • “Someday we will demolish this racist colonial zionist military ‘state.’ And the world will be a better place for it.”
  • “Israel’s always inventing ways to outdo Nazi sadism without rousing too much international outcry.”
  • “y’all can call me whatever names you want. Israel is not so different than Nazi Germany, nor are Israelis different than Germans of Nazi Germany.”
  • “Zionists are to Palestinians as Nazis are to Jews. The horrors of Zionism, past and present, will someday be just as well known as the horrors of Nazism.”
  • Abulhawa’s website contact page photo showed her in front of photos of terrorists Dalal Mughrabi (who murdered 38 Israelis including 13 children and wounded another 71 Israelis in the Tel Aviv Coastal Road Massacre) and PFLP spokesman Ghassan Kanafani, who was also linked to the Red Army attackers hired by the PFLP to perpetrate the Lod Airport massacre (in which 26 people were killed and 80 wounded).

Incidentally, terrorist Kanafani’s work is being celebrated in a session of Palestine Writes.

Noura Erakat

Erakat calls for Israel’s destruction as the only solution, and portrays Israel as irredeemably evil.  She whitewashes terrorism, claiming for instance, that the Gaza “March of Return” (in which 30,000 Arabs violently attempted to breach the border fence, with maps in their hands of Jewish kindergartens to attack) was not “terroristic.”  Erekat persistently incites anti-Israel hate by demonizings Israel with every calumny in the book: apartheid, racism, Jewish supremacy, etc.  She uses, and teaches others to use the 1975 UN “Zionism is racism” resolution, even though this heinous resolution was revoked in 1991. 

Erakat praised her “baby cousin,” 28-year-old terrorist Ahmed Moustafa Erekat, who was killed after ramming his car into an Israeli female soldier and wounding her.  A video showed that the car driven by Ahmad Erekat approached a checkpoint, and then abruptly accelerated and turned toward a group of police. Erekat’s car then rammed into a female officer, who was knocked into the air, before colliding with a booth and coming to a stop.  The terrorist exited his car, and was shot .  Israeli medics gave Ahmed Erekat medical attention within minutes of when he was shot.  Yet, Noura Erakat denied that her cousin perpetrated a car-ramming attack (calling this “trash, coward, lies”), and falsely posted on Facebook: “Israeli cowards shot him multiple times, left him to bleed for 1.5 hours and blamed him for his death.”

Aya Ghanameh

Ghanameh started an SJP chapter at RISD and has been involved with “Within Our Lifetime” – a violent group that promotes “globalizing the Intifada.”  Ghanemeh tweets support for violence and terrorists, and espouses threats and hatred.

On the day in January 2023 when Palestinian Arab terrorists murdered 7 Israeli civilians outside a Jerusalem synagogue, Ghanemeh tweeted: “resistance is justified when people are occupied” and “when they pretend to be shocked it’s always so funny like what”; and responded to someone who commented that the victims were civilians: “it’s good thing settlers aren’t civilians.”

Ghanemeh posted Noura Erakat’s praise for terrorist Ahmad Erekat, who was shot after ramming his car into and wounding a female Israeli soldier.

Ghanameh’s recent violent tweets also include:

  • “yeah i support violent resistance and what about it? liberation by any and all means necessary”;
  • “resistance by any means necessary and i stand by everything i said!”;
  • “israeli civilians’ don’t exist. . . . no all lives mattering resisting a settler superpower.”
  • “wanna fight zionists irl [in real life] find me on risd’s campus im ready.”;
  • “if a zionist breathes near me today i will destroy you.”;
  • “zionism is racism and all zionists are racist ethnonationalist genocide deniers.”;
  • “Till my last breath, i’ll hate israel.”
  • “death to israel.”;
  • “saying ‘death to israel’ is perfectly normal & acceptable & it’s funny that zionists get mad…wishing for the dismantlement & ‘death’ of a colony is good, actually.”

Ghanameh also:

Tweeted to “bully zionists or smthn [something] omg”

Tweeted admiration for PFLP terrorist and hijacker Leila Khaled, and “f**k the americans, zionists, and arab governments. long live the revolution”

Tweeted that her book “These Olive Trees” for young children is about “colonialism. expulsion, displacement etc. due to colonialism, occupation etc.”

Palestine Writes’ Terror-Supporting Sponsors and Partners:

The “Palestine Writes” sponsors and partners include a “who’s who” of Israel-haters, terror supporters and leading promoters of antisemitic terror, BDS and a “right of return” to demolish Israel.  These include:

  • American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) – hosts rallies calling for “intifada” (deadly terror wars against Jews) and promotes BDS. AMP leaders expressed support for and raised money for Hamas.
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – an unindicted co-conspirator involved in funneling money to Hamas; whose leaders have also defended Hamas and Hezbollah, equated Israel to ISIS and Nazis, and were suspected of funneling money to al Qaeda.
  • Islamic Relief USA (IR-USA): IR-USA and its affiliate Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) have a record of providing material support for and intertwinement with terror groups, especially Hamas. (See, e.g., MEForum Report: “Islamic Relief: Charity/Extremism/Terror”; Center for Security Policy report on IRUSA; NGO Monitor report on IRW; and International Project on Terrorism article including photos and information tying IR-USA Chair Khaled Lamada to the Muslim Brotherhood).  Israel and the UAE designated Islamic Relief as a terror-financing organization.  Russian authorities accused Islamic Relief of supporting terrorism in Chechnya.  Swiss bank UBS and British Bank HSBC closed Islamic Relief’s accounts and blocked donations to it reportedly over terror financing fears.  Israel’s General Security Service (Shin Bet) confirmed that Israel banned Islamic Relief “based on information that has been accumulated over years, that the fund is a central player in financing of Hamas.”  In 2020, the U.S. State Department and Combating Antisemitism Envoy condemned the “consistent pattern of spreading the most vile anti-Semitic vitriol by IRW’s leadership.”
  • Mondoweiss – a website that spreads anti-Israel hatred and foments violence, including with articles honoring PFLP terrorists Leila Khalid and Rasmea Odeh and PA terrorist Marwan Barghouti; an article during the deadly antisemitic knife intifada saying that “intifadas are good”; and articles accusing Israel of emulating Nazi tactics; etc., etc.
  • Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) – demonizes Israel and promotes BDS in Christian churches.
  • Judith Butler – a leader of the extreme anti-Zionist “Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP) and antisemitic BDS movement; says that Hamas and Hezbollah are simply “progressive social movements” (ignoring that they are designated terror groups that seek Israel’s annihilation); etc.
  • Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP – Penn Law and Temple branches) – SJP activists intimidate, harass and have even physically assaulted Jewish and pro-Israel students. SJP aggressively disrupts pro-Israel events – and screams for Israel’s destruction and Intifada! Intifada! (the murder of Jews). The New York State Appellate Division opined that Fordham University’s decision to deny official club status to SJP was appropriate because “the proposed [Fordham SJP] club, which would have been affiliated with a national organization [SJP] reported to have engaged in disruptive and coercive actions on other campuses, would work against, rather than enhance, respondent’s commitment open dialogue and mutual learning and understanding. . .” (Awad, et al v. Fordham Univ., N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept., Dec. 20, 2022.)
  • Al Awda (Palestinian Right of Return Coalition) – calls for Palestinian Arabs to “return” and thereby destroy Israel. Co-founder Lamis Deek repeatedly praises FTO (foreign terrorist organizations) that have killed and maimed thousands of Israelis, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Islmic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Al Quds force, as “freedom fighters.”
  • American Friends Service Committee (AFSC; the Quakers) – a major leader of antisemitic BDS; researches Jewish and Israeli companies to target with boycotts and maps; partners with SJP and JVP to train students to initiate anti-Israel activities; calls for removing Hamas from the U.S. foreign terror organizations list; falsely accuses Israel of dropping 1,000 bombs on Gaza for every rocket Hamas launches; worked with the PLO during the height of PLO terror attacks; etc.
  • Palestine Museum (in the U.S.) – features a metal ammunition box full of rocks, and says this is to highlight the “asymmetry of the conflict.” (Maybe they should also feature Palestinian gunmen, knife-wielders and vehicles rammers who murdered innocent Israelis.) Also features a “Nakba” count calendar showing the time that has elapsed since the “Nakba” (the Palestinian Arab term meaning that it was a catastrophe that six invading Arab nations and local Arabs didn’t murder every Jew in Israel in 1948; the Arabs “only” murdered over 6,000 Jews then).  The museum also features anti-Israel children’s art; a mural honoring anti-Israel ISM activist Rachel Corey; and a group of people yelling “Free, free Palestine.”

Further information is available at:

  • Canary Mission’s collections of social media postings and other information on many of the speakers and organizations.

Conclusion:   The hateful, terror-inciting backgrounds of Palestine Writes’ speakers, organizers and sponsors, and the dangers of the Palestine Writes program are undeniable.  We accordingly urge University of Pennsylvania to act responsibly by cancelling this horror show.


Morton A. Klein, ZOA National President
Elizabeth Berney, Esq., ZOA Director of Research & Special Projects


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