University of California-Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian was recently accused of using his social media presence to promote hatred of the Jewish people. Last week, Bazian re-tweeted images of a man with a black hat and side-locks, with the caption: "Mom, look! I is chosen! I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs, and steal land of Palestinian people! #Ashke-Nazi."
Another image re-tweeted by Bazian depicted North Korean despot Kim Jung Un wearing a Jewish skullcap, with the caption: "I just converted all of North Korea to Judaism. Judaism 101-we teach it. God chose me. Donald Trump: Now all my nukes are legal & I can annex South Korea & you need to start paying me $34 billion a year in welfare."
When confronted with his use of Twitter to promote false and hateful messages, Bazian responded in an email to the Jewish News of California saying that, "In the future, I will make sure to include that retweets don't represent an agreement or support for the ideas that are shared and only my own postings reflect my positions on issues." Bazian also announced that his posts were "wrong and offensive and not something that reflect my position, be it in the past or the present."
Bazian, who identifies as Palestinian and refers to himself as a "de-colonial Islamic thinker," has in the past openly called for "intifada," a term some view as a code word for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Land of Israel. Bazian also announced at a gathering on campus, "Take a look at the type of names on the building around campus — Haas, Zellerbach — and decide who controls this university," reported the Jewish News of California.
Bazian's recent Twitter posts were met with swift condemnation from organizations such as Tikva, a pro-Israel student group at Berkeley. In response, Bazian maintained, "My issue is with Zionism, and not with Judaism or Jews."
In addition to his statements online and at public gatherings, Bazian also served as chairman of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which helps fund Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a group Bazian founded that was deemed a "terror-affiliated anti-Semitic network" in a 52-page report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Among the revelations in the report are claims that SJP is a campus front for Hamas and that SJP's backers include financial patrons, founders, and ideological supporters connected to Islamist terror organizations such as Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
According to Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, AMP's leaders and speakers, for their part, "have been exposed for engaging in racism, homophobia, support for terrorism, and genocide denial."