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Screenshot taken from Instagram of UHM's SFJP.

At University of Hawaii, one anti-Israel demonstrator allegedly threatened an innocent student

Anti-Israel activists held a ‘Day of Action Rally and Teach-in for Palestine’ at the University of Hawaii Manoa, demanding divestment and a call for a ceasefire.

One of the protesters reportedly threatened another student, saying: ‘The only thing keeping you safe right now is the community guidelines.’

by Emma Arns, Campus Reform, May 22, 2024

On May 3, anti-Israel protesters gathered at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) for a “Day of Action Rally and Teach-in for Palestine.”

UHM’s Students and Faculty for Justice in Palestine (SFJP) and the school’s undergraduate student government held the event, which took place at the Wise Lawn. SFJP wrote: “We will be rolling out demands to the UH admin, holding teach-ins, and there will be food, poetry and art activities and a study zone.” 

The demands included the withdrawal of “all UH funds from companies & institutions that complicit in” what the protesters called the “Israeli occupation, apartheid, & genocide of the Palestinian people,” a boycott of all “Israeli academic & cultural institutions,” an end to “Independent Study Abroad programs in Israel,” and a “Call for a Ceasefire Now.” 

Attendees were encouraged to “mask up to protect yourself from surveillance & to protect your comrades from illness.”

Jamaica Osorio, assistant professor at UHM, who frequently posts and shares anti-Israel posts on her X account, spoke to demonstrators at the “Day of Action Rally” and condemned the Jewish State. 

Talia Bongolan-Schwartz, a UHM alumna who attended a counter-protest in support of Israel on May 3, told Campus Reform that “many of the protestors are under-informed and entirely uninterested in hearing the Jewish and Israeli perspective. The only Jewish voices that were allowed to speak at the event were self-identified anti-zionists.”

Bongolan-Schwartz also stated that she “found the list of demands to be mostly illiberal and hypocritical,” and believes that “calling for a boycott of all Israeli cultural and academic institutions is xenophobic and anti-intellectual.”

She claimed that one protester threatened her, saying: “The only thing keeping you safe right now is the community guidelines.”

A UHM spokesperson referred Campus Reform to the university’s statement regarding the event, which said: “[O]ur hearts must be big enough to mourn the loss of lives and suffering in both Israel and Gaza. Minimizing the suffering of civilians and hostages, wherever and whoever they are, is not who we are at UH. Nor are we a place that can tolerate either anti-semitism or Islamophobia.” 

Campus Reform has contacted UHM’s SFJP  for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.


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