Pro-Palestinian activists in California claim that they faced harassment and intimidation from Israeli soldiers who were invited to their school last month amidst a weeklong anti-Zionist protest.
In May, University of California Irvine’s chapter of Students Supporting Israel invited members from the Israeli organization Reservists on Duty to campus. Their visit coincided with an “anti-Zionism week” being organized by Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, which involved setting up a mock wall modeled on Israel’s separation wall in the West Bank.
The local SJP group allege they were then “subjected to days of racial and sexual slurs,” according to the website Electronic Intifada.
One soldier was accused of calling a black student an “18-year-old punk-ass bitch” and taunting a “female demonstrating at the wall in a sexually threatening tone in Arabic.
Jewish student leaders deny the charges. “These are blatant lies, a load of baloney,” Kevin Brum president of UCI’s Students Supporting Israel, told the Algemeiner.
The website of Reservists on Duty says it was founded in 2015 by “Israeli reserve combat soldiers” with the mission to counter the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement on college campuses.
Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.
Israeli Soldiers Accused Of Harassing Campus Activsts