Next week, StandWithUs and the UC San Diego pro-Israel student advocacy group, Tritons for Israel, will host a rather mysterious campus event. According to a speaker contract SWU uploaded to the web in March, it is a conference called, Rescuing Human Rights, featuring the Wall Street Journal’s leading anti-jihadi columnist, Brett Stephens, necon legal scholar Avi Bell who was one of the Goldstone Report’s harshest critics, anti-jihadi “human rights” lawyer Brooke Goldstein, and the anti-jihadi Muslim activist Zuhdi Jasser. He was the founder of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy, and featured star of several Clarion Fund Islamophobic films including Obsession and Third Jihad.
Mid-May is Apartheid Week across many American campuses and the suitable pro-Israel response seems to be to host events accusing Muslims of being the dark forces of the universe. That appears to be the origin of this pro-Israel campus event on May 15th.
Why is this so mysterious? Because I can’t find any online record of this event. I do know thanks to a tweet in his Twitter timeline that Zuhdi Jasser, at least, will be speaking on campus next week. Jasser is the go-to figure for the pro-Israel neocon right whenever it needs a Muslim who excoriates other Muslims who aren’t sufficiently right-wing or patriotic. He is a devout supporter of Israel and also supported the NYPD’s illegal surveillance of local Muslim community members. Jasser also makes common cause with the Tea Party types and has publicly attacked Muslim Americans running for office as Democrats and engaged in Muslim baiting. In short, Zuhdi Jasser is “our” sort of Muslim, a “moderate” one who can be counted on as a bulwark against the swarms of jihadist Muslims seeking to overrun western civilization.
StandWithUs’ speaker contract guarantees Jasser $4,250 for his May 15th campus appearance plus hotel and travel expenses. These fees will be jointly paid by SWU and Tritons for Israel. However, I found a UC San Diego student fund allocation for $4,280 for this event that went to Tritons for Israel. This may be funding Jasser or the other three speakers listed Students at UDSD will be interested to know that their student fees are paying for an Islamophobic campus hate fest.
Interestingly, I’ve found no online reference to the event itself notifying anyone where or when it will be held. I’m not even sure the conference for which funding was requested in April is still happening (though Jasser is certainly speaking). My guess is the sponsors are trying to keep it under the radar so it won’t generate the off-campus visibility I’m trying to offer to it here. They’re probably trying to isolate the promotion to campus. But I hope the local Arab/Muslim community will find out about this shandeh and turn out en masse to let the community know that it won’t stand still and allow Islamophobes define them.
In researching this post, I discovered that another ersatz pro-Israel human rights group, the UK’s Henry Jackson Society has held confabs featuring the same name for the past few years. They’ve also produced an essay by that name, written by a pro-Israel Tory solicitor arguing that international human rights law as practiced in Europe is fahrkochteh and should be scrapped. Of course, what especially irks him is that Israeli generals and politicians with blood on their hands may be arrested and indicted for war crimes if they step foot on British soil. This is yet another example of the international nexus of pro-Israel advocacy groups who take cover under the guise of human rights, but whose agenda is serving as a promoter of Israel’s nationalist agenda and an apologist for its faltering human rights record.