In a May 15 e-mail to the student body, the University condemned recent anti–Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) posters put up on May 11 that linked the SJP to terrorist organizations and anti-Semitism.
“While the University supports the expression of diverse points of view on issues of the day, defamatory statements about individual University community members and groups and targeted harassment of students are antithetical to our values and expectations of critical inquiry and debate,” Provost Daniel Diermeier and Dean of Students in the University Michele Rasmussen said in the e-mail.
SJP, J Street UChicago, and the University of Chicago Alliance with Israel (UCAI) have also condemned the posters.
“Members of Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Chicago are disgusted at the recent posting of flyers targeting SJP members and our community activist Rasmea Odeh,” SJP said in a statement. “These flyers, like those posted last fall, use racist imagery and inflammatory language to defame Palestinians and those advocating for Palestinian human rights, as well as Arabs and Muslims more generally.”
The posters included phrases such as “Students for Justice in Palestine—Hamas: a terrorist organization whose stated goal is to exterminate the Jews,” “Terrorist, Murderer, Hero to SJP and JVP: Rasmieh Yousef Odeh” and “#NoSupportForCampusTerrorists.” They were placed around campus by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a non-University affiliated organization.
This is not the first time the David Horowitz Freedom Center has posted contentious signs around campus. In October 2016, the University removed posters around campus placed by the group that claimed that pro-divestment activists were affiliated with “Hamas terrorists.” These posters targeted students involved in SJP, Jewish Voice for Peace, the Muslim Students Association, and U of C Divest.
The most recent flyers posted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center are currently being removed by the University.