On November 2nd Front Page Magazine reported that College Republicans at San Francisco State University, who were distributing Bush/Cheney campaign materials, were attacked by Palestinian and Arab students from the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS). A hostile mob gathered around the College Republicans’ table. Campus police arrived quickly but asked the Republicans to evacuate their table rather than protect them from their attackers.
A day later, the Palestinians again converged on the Republican students when they set up a table to recruit new members. Up to 300 people from the GUPS, Muslim students on campus and radical leftist groups such as International ANSWER mounted a noisy demonstration in which death threats were made against two of the College Republicans. Flyers were passed around accusing the College Republicans of “attacks on Arab women” and calling for their removal from campus.
One might expect in such a situation that SFSU President Robert Corrigan and his administration would act quickly to protect the campus community in general and College Republicans in particular from such organized mayhem. But through his spokeswoman, Ellen Griffen, Corrigan chose instead to hold the College Republicans equally accountable and to dismiss the FrontPage reports on both incidents calling the magazine a “sensationalist Internet site.”
The FrontPage stories were based on police reports of the incident, but SFSU officials called media unfamiliar with those reports to brand FrontPage’s reporter a “liar.” University officials continued to blame “both sides” for the incident, despite the fact that the College Republicans were the victims of an unprovoked attack. Corrigan’s knows the facts, because he has access to the police reports, but he has chosen to ignore them. One of the College Republicans, Victor Traycey, now faces disciplinary hearings the same as the GUPS members who attacked him. To see Corrigan’s spin letter click here.
I have taken President Corrigan’s letter sentence by sentence and transposed parts of it here so that Front Page readers can see the difference between what occurred in reality and what President Corrigan and Ellen Griffen spun for public consumption. My comments are in brackets.
Corrigan Paragraph 2: “…last week’s noisy and angry campus encounters between students of opposing political views have left me deeply disappointed with the behavior of some on both sides.” [Corrigan also denies there was a “mob” surrounding the College Republicans.]
According to the police report of the incident prepared by a SFSU Police Officer B. Hicklin who was at the scene: “Upon arrival, I saw a large group of people congregating around a Bush/Cheney supporter table…four unknown female subjects were having a loud verbal argument with approximately eight Bush/Cheney supporters. Approximately fifty other unknown individuals were surrounding the four unknown females listening to the argument…” [The tactic here – well-worn among Palestinian leftists -- is to put women to the front and then claim that the targets of their assault are harassing them.]
Hicklin’s superior officer at the scene, Captain Borja, ID #301, who listed his report as Incident #041054, stated the following about the same incident: “I saw a crowd of approximately 50 people…The crowd was getting larger and the discussion seemed to be getting confrontational. I could hear people shouting in the crowd, “F—k Bush!”…I was watching both sides of the table and watching the females becoming more and more agitated [Yet the officers never told the Palestinian females who were leading the attack to move on.]…I could hear people in the crowd also shouting at the men staffing the [Bush.Cheney] table. The volume of the yelling was so loud, and so many people were yelling at the men behind the table, I had trouble deciphering exactly what was being said…I looked down and saw that someone had poured a soft drink on one or more of the signs on the table.”
[Contrary to the spin of campus media spokeswoman Ellen Griffen, and President Corrigan, there was obviously an angry mob of 50 people threatening the handful of conservative students who merely set up an informational table to exercise their rights to free speech. The police reports fail to mention that the females and the Arab men were wearing keffiyahs – the headdress made into a symbol of jihad by Arafat and were thus dressed for battle not there as curious onlookers. Nor do they mention the terrorist threats by the women to blow themselves or the College Republicans up in suicide attacks because of the Republicans’ support of President Bush. Eyewitness reports to this are in the hands of the police and the FBI.]
Captain Borja continues his report of the first day: “I knew that at this point the crowd was so enraged that I had to act quickly to get the people who were staffing the table out of the area for their safety. I instructed them to gather their things and I would see them out of the area. I escorted two young men in the direction of the gym. As we were walking, I explained that I was doing this for their safety and mine. I explained to them that the crowd was hostile, and I wanted to make sure they were safe.” (Emphasis added.)
Contrast the above police report with the presentation by Robert Corrigan that the incident was just a shouting match between a few students or with Ellen Griffen’s claims that there was no “mob” and that the attackers who pounded on the Republicans’ table and shouted obscenities and threats were merely exercising “free speech.” During the second demonstration, the crowd besieging the College Republicans was reported to consist of as many as 300 people.
One of Republican students who was physically struck is now facing disciplinary hearings for defending himself and his property. Another who witnessed the event was grilled for three hours by Ellen Griffen and the campus police who even insinuated if he helped the College Republicans make an issue of their free speech rights being violated, it could jeopardize his future career. The student has asked his name be left out of this article for fear of reprisal.
According to Officer Hicklin’s report, the Palestinian female who started the altercation, Nala Gardizi, gave the campus newspaper an alias name as being Nala Mohammadi, spelling the name for the reporter. She told the officer who made the incident report that she was arguing about “ Iraq and Abbu.” Abbu is a reference to Abu Amar, an alias for Yasser Arafat. The police report fails to contain what several eyewitnesses told me after the event: Ms. Gardizi herself made terrorist threats and references to suicide bombings. Ms. Gardizi is an Afghan national and not a U.S. citizen, which might explain why she gave out an alias. Mazouza Assaf, a Palestinian-American student made additional threats that she would blow up the College Republicans at the second demonstration, according to an eye-witness report.
Officer Hicklin reports that Gardizi declined to press charges against College Republican Victor Traycey even though her girlfriends insisted she do so. However, that didn’t stop her from returning two days later with the GUPS again and distributing posters calling for the permanent removal of the College Republicans for “attacks on Arab women.”
Corrigan’s comment: “To label this encounter, largely between eight students, an anti-Semitic “Intifada” and the work of a “mob” is to “distort reality.” [The fact remains that the crowd accused the College Republicans of being Jews and its demeanor and attire are well-within the meaning of the word “Intifada.”]
Corrigan describes the second demonstration as a “noisy but nonviolent confrontation …that grew into an impromptu anti-Bush rally of 150-200 students. We have found no evidence that the GUPS (General Union of Palestine Students) initiated either this or the Monday event.”
But photos taken at the scene show members of the GUPS carrying signs and Palestinian flags and distributing leaflets calling for the College Republicans to be removed from campus because of alleged attacks on Arab women. This was hardly an “impromptu” demonstration. The Marxist-Leninist group International ANSWER a close ally of the GUPS on the SFSU campus, posted a call to action to aid the GUPS in a demonstration on the day after the election – again showing that this was no impromptu affair. (For an indication of how International ANSWER and the GUPS cooperate as part of the anti-globalist and pro-terrorist Palestinian movements, click here. “Calls to action” have been going on for years.)
Corrigan claims that “exchanging charges of “racism” and “anti-Semitism” with others because of their political affiliation rather than dealing with the substance of the political differences is a dishonest dead end…On this campus, free speech does not mean free rein.”
However, the Muslim student club on campus routinely passes out documents on campus attacking “Zionists” (Jews) without comment from Corrigan’s administration. Similarly, despite campus rules about posting club flyers only in designated areas, there are flyers posted on doors, lampposts, and every campus wall as part of International ANSWER’s and the GUPS’s anti-America and anti-Israel agenda. Neither group is ever disciplined or admonished for these breaches. The message in the public square at SFSU is always anti-American and anti-Israel. SFSU did not even celebrate Veteran’s Day choosing to conduct business as usual on the campus. But the campus does commemorate Caesar Chavez’s birthday. The student union building has a mural with the slogan “By any means necessary” written on it, a call to violence as a means of achieving political ends and used by organizations like the International Solidarity Movement – with prominent support on the SFSU campus -- as a euphemism to support terrorism and suicide bombings. All of this takes place on Corrigan’s taxpayer-supported campus where Jewish and now conservative students cannot feel safe. No wonder the police automatically chose to ask the College Republicans to leave rather than tell those harassing them to disperse. SFSU practically belongs to the GUPS and other radical groups as the result of an administration that looks the other way.
In fact, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs from President Corrigan’s administration was present during the first attack and approved the police decision to ask the College Republicans to leave rather then having the police deal with the attackers. telling police to tell their attackers to move along.
Captain Borja’s police report: “I made contact with Dr. Bowman, (Associate Vice President for Student Affairs) who was standing in the crowd and informed him that I was going to ask the College Republican Student Club to leave the area for their safety as well as mine. I had two officers to assist me with the hostile crowd of about 50 students. The four women, including Gardizi were shouting “f—k you” at the men behind the table, pounding on the table, and becoming more agitated. Dr. Bowman acknowledged that I would be asking the men behind the table to leave.”
Why did Dr. Bowman just observe? Why didn’t he tell the four Arab women screeching obscenities and menacing the students to move on or face discipline from his office or the police? Why didn’t he respect the free speech rights of the College Republicans? And given the police report, why is he placing disciplinary charges against the victims?
The General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) has other chapters in Europe and Gaza. Many former GUPS are now members of Fatah, the terror organization that was run by Yasser Arafat until his death. Saeb Erekat, Yasser Arafat’s right hand man was a former GUP at SFSU and Hatem Bazian, a Palestinian professor at UC Berkeley who recently called for an Intifada in America was a member of the SFSU chapter of GUPS as an undergraduate. In the past, the GUPS website at SFSU linked to HAMAS and even the Holy Land Foundation shut down by the US government for funding Al Qaeda.
Given this history, is it any wonder that members of the GUPS organization on the SFSU campus were confident enough to attack the College Republicans?
SFSU and the Corrigan administration already have a shady past in dealing with the GUPS. Two years ago after Jewish students who were peaceably demonstrating for Israel on campus were attacked by the GUPS so ferociously that it was necessary to call 25 off-campus city police officers to escort the Jewish students to safety. While Corrigan wrote a statement after that event as well, also accusing the media of “sensationalizing” the attacks and again laying partial blame on the victims of the GUPS, his response to the attack was to create a new Muslim Studies Department on the SFSU campus. (At the same time he had to close down the School of Engineering for budgetary reasons.) In this incident Tatiana Menaker, a Soviet Jewish refugee and middle aged mother of three children, was brought up on disciplinary charges. Ms. Menaker’s crime was to respond verbally to an attacker who said “Hitler didn’t finish the job.” The university punished her by requiring her to do 40 hours of community service, but specifically not for Jewish organizations (this was a demand made by the GUPS).
Corrigan’s academic expertise, it should be mentioned, is on the anti-Semitic poet Ezra Pound. Corrigan was one of the founders of Ethnic Studies – the centers of ideological politics on American university campuses. On my last visit to the San Francisco State campus I noted that the Ethnic Studies Department had a banner with a communist red star and a fist through it at its entrance and a bulletin board encouraging visits to Communist Cuba with a picture of a machine gun-toting guerrilla.
In an article that appeared on FrontPage about anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist activities on the SFSU campus I reported how Tatiana Menaker was falsely accused by administrators of making “death threats” against an anti-Israel English professor. Menaker had asked the professor – a Jew – if she realized that her Palestinian allies would kill her within an hour of their victory. Menaker was banned for five years from the campus causing her to seek legal help and support outside the campus which resulted in her reinstatement.
The GUPS have been granted a private office in the SFSU student union building for 15 years by the Administration. Other campus groups must rotate their offices because of the lack of space. Even after the violent threats on Jewish students two years ago caused Corrigan to respond by holding back the group’s funding for a year, they never were made to relinquish their office. Their privileged status no doubt is an encouragement to their aggressive agendas.
The situation at San Francisco State University cries out for reform. Unchecked, the forces that the university administration allowed to grow will result in real violence sooner or later. It’s time for Governor Schwarzenegger to convene a commission to look into the situation at San Francisco State.