But this was just the latest shocking display of support for the Islamist group since its inception in 2001.
The group was founded by Hatem Bazian, a controversial lecturer in Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies who has repeatedly justified terror attacks against Israel and Intifada (uprising) in the US.
Bears For Palestine (BFP), named after the notoriously leftist school’s mascot, is the founding chapter of SJP, a network of pro-Palestinian student groups across the US that has been accused of demonizing Jewish students.
Shortly after Hamas’ attack left thousands of Israelis dead, the group issued a statement saying it supports ‘the resistance, the liberation movement, and indisputably supports the Uprising.’ They also held a a vigil for ‘martyrs in Palestine’ on Friday.
SJP, called BPS in Berkeley, was founded in 2001 by Hatem Bazian, a controversial lecturer in Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the school
The University of California at Berkeley’s Bear for Palestine is set to host a vigil for ‘martyrs in Palestine’ today after Hamas killed over 1,000 Israelis on Saturday
Student members often keep their identity anonymous and cover their faces, as they see themselves as freedom fighters targeted for their beliefs
On Friday, the group’s founder Bazian shared a video titled: ‘Here’s why Hamas says its attack on Israel wasn’t unprovoked.’
The Detroit Free Press once quoted him as saying: ‘The Day of Judgment will not happen until the trees and stones will say, “Oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.”‘
Bazian also once apologized after sharing a cartoon of a stereotypical Orthodox Jewish man celebrating the murder and rape of Palestinians and another of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un wearing a kippah and demanding money from the U.S.
SJP student members often keep their identity anonymous – with pictures of their faces covered or turned from the camera posted on social media and hard-to-find lists of it members. They frequently use images of Islamist fighters to promote their events, as they see themselves as freedom fighters targeted for their beliefs.
In 2020, BFP displayed images of convicted terrorists Fatima Bernawi, Rasmea Odeh and Leila Khaled, a plane hijacker, calling them ‘Palestinian leaders.’ Calling the display a glorification of terrorism, Jewish students demanded it be taken down, but Berkeley’s student government voted down a resolution condemning the display.
‘It just never ceases to amaze me the trivialization of Jewish death on this campus,’ said Shelby Weiss, who is Jewish and was the only student senator who voted to condemn the display.
In 2022, the group held a gala ‘in honor of the unity intifada,’ an uprising that saw Palestinian leaders call for riots and attacks against Jews and Hamas launching thousands of rockets into populated areas in Israel amid tensions in Jerusalem over a property dispute.
Every year, BFP hosts an event it calls ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ with the Berkeley Law Students for Justice in Palestine, a group that often joins and co-signs its activities, including the letter supporting Hamas.
Both groups repeatedly use the phrase, ‘From the River to the Sea’, demanding the land from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, meaning the end of the State of Israel.
This year’s Apartheid Week, held in March, included events such as ‘Apartheid: The Matrix of Control’.
A representative who asked to remain anonymous ‘for security reasons’ told The Daily Californian the event was important for Palestinians ‘directly affected by the occupation.’
‘As Palestinians, we’re always attacked when we try to speak about our injustices. The truth is hard to hear, and many choose to be ignorant,’ the student said.
Every year, BFP hosts an event it calls ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ with the Berkeley Law Students for Justice in Palestine
This year’s Apartheid Week , held in March, included events such as ‘Apartheid: The Matrix of Control’ an ‘apartheid wall assemble’
BFP has remained unapologetic of their explicit support of what the see as Palestinian’s right to defend themselves from ‘Israeli occupation.’
‘We invariably reject Israel’s framing as a victim. Whereas to demonize and condemn indigenous resistance is to overshadow the decades of oppression, ethnic cleaning, and destruction of the Palestinian people,’ their letter, signed by 50 other groups, read.
‘We echo the call to action for all Arabs and Palestinians in the diaspora to rise up to support the liberation of our occupied people. From the River to the Sea, we will continue to support resistance until we are able to return home to a unified Palestine. Glory to Palestine, glory to the resistance, and glory to our martyrs.’
The statement was signed by 51 students organizations in total, from colleges across the country, including several other groups in the notoriously leftist campus, like Koreans for Decolonization, Jewish Students for Palestine, the Iraqi Student Union and Central Americans for Empowerment.
Organizations from other schools in the state that also signed the letter include various groups at UCLA, such as the Arab Student Union and the Asian Pacific Coalition.
Various SJP chapters from other schools in California and other states also supported the statement.
UC-Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ sent a letter saying on Wednesday saying she was ‘heartbroken by the terrible violence and suffering in Israel and Gaza,’ as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
‘As a moral matter, we condemn all terrorism and mass atrocities. This includes the deliberate attack on civilians this weekend by Hamas,’ she wrote.
Bears for Palestine , named after the school’s mascot, issued the statement on Saturday
Organizations from other schools in the state that also signed the letter include various groups at UCLA
The statement was signed by several other groups in the notoriously leftist campus, including Koreans for Decolonization and Central Americans for Empowerment
DailyMail.com has reached out to UC Berkeley for comment about the group’s plans.
American elite universities have found themselves in hot water after Hamas’ horrific attack on Israeli civilians was met with praise by various student groups, particularly by SJP chapters.
Tufts’ Students for Justice in Palestine group called the terrorists ‘liberation fighters paragliding into occupied territory,’ adding they had ‘especially shown the creativity necessary to take back stolen land.’
Harvard University faced massive backlash after 31 of its student societies issued a joint statement ‘holding the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.’
In their statement on Sunday the groups said the attack, which left more than 1,000 dead ‘did not happen in a vacuum’, and claimed the Israeli government has forced Palestinians to live in ‘an open-air prison for over two decades’.
Columbia University’s Students for Justice in Palestine also released a statement blaming Israel for the terrorist attacks, claiming that Hamas’ actions were a ‘counter-offensive against their settler-colonial oppressor.’
The group’s statement was first shared on Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League New England chapter, who called it ‘obscene’
The first space of the statement released by the Students for Justice in Palestine and a Jewish Voice for Peace out of Columbia University
The Ivy League schools were also joined by a group from Northwestern University named Justice in Palestine who said that they ‘stand unwavering in our commitment to highlighting the profound injustices faced by the Palestinian people.’
Meanwhile, the president of New York University’s Law School Bar Association president had a job offer from a pro-LGBTQ+ law firm rescinded after she stated that Hamas’ slaughter of children in Israel was ‘necessary.’
Ryna Workman, 24, a non-binary student at NYU’s School of Law sent a weekly newsletter saying the murder of innocent Israeli children, women, and citizens this past week was is Israel’s ‘full responsibility.’
On Tuesday, the law firm Winston & Strawn – which regularly highlights its legal work representing the LGBTQ + community – told DailyMail.com in a statement that their offer of employment to Workman has been rescinded.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Bazian for comment on this story.
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