Anti-Zionism Posters Cause Controversy

Posters and flyers related to Anti-Zionism Week have been appearing all over campus for the past few weeks, some of them stirring much debate.

David Pilz
Guardian

MSA Treasurer Muslema Purmul and Revelle freshman Salma Shabaik on Monday morning removed a poster that stated “”Anti-Zionism is inherently Anti-Semitic.””

Purmul said she saw the poster as an attack on her, personally.

“”It’s almost a deliberate attempt to misrepresent our image, to make us look like racists when really we’re anti-racist.””

Marcia Strong, adviser to MSA and the Union of Jewish Students, said posters not bearing the name of the organization sponsoring them may be taken down.

Purmul said she had been told that rule and therefore thought it was legal to take the poster down.

“”It’s a free speech area,”” she said. “”It’s my right to take it down. I’m not ashamed of [having taken it down]. It was a direct attack on me.””

She added that she had no intention to destroy the poster and that she took it straight to the A.S. Council offices to ask about the legitimacy of the poster.

UJS member Lila Hollman said the removal of the poster was an act of disrespect.

“”It upsets me because we’re talking about freedom of speech here and it should be respected,”” she said. “”To have them come and take our stuff is really hurtful and ridiculous.””

The poster is back up in the Price Center, with the words “”Sponsored by Union of Jewish Students”” added to it.

Flyers bearing anti-Jewish statements have also appeared in the Price Center over the past couple of days. The flyers bear no name or author.

Purmul called the flyers bigoted and racist and said that no MSA or Arab Student Union member would have posted them.

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph Watson issued a statement Wednesday in response to the flyers.

“”On Tuesday, a number of anonymous flyers were posted on the UCSD campus,”” he stated. “”The unsigned flyers appear intended to anger the Jewish community and incite tensions between Muslim and Jewish members of the UCSD community. The flyers represent cowardly and disrespectful speech that conflicts with the UCSD Principles of Community and the campus’s commitment to those principles.

“”I ask that all members of the community reject these flyers and any other communications and actions intended to promote discord and hatred.””