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Davis, California

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Guest Opinion: Response to ASUCD Senator Azka Fayyaz’s Letter to the Community

ASUCD Senator Azka Fayyaz’s “Letter to the community” (Feb. 3), purportedly explaining an anti-Israel comment she posted on her Facebook account, is itself offensive, as it trivializes anti-Jewish hate and brutality.

Ms. Fayyaz recently voted in favor of an anti-Israel resolution. The resolution unfairly blamed Israel for the impasse in peace efforts, ignoring the fact that Israel has repeatedly offered the Palestinians a state on virtually all of the territory in dispute, only to see the Palestinians respond with rejection and terrorism. Following the vote, Ms. Fayyaz posted a picture of supporters waving Palestinian flags on her Facebook account and boasted: “Israel will fall. insha’Allah.” and “Hamas & Shariah law have taken over UC Davis.”

Ms. Fayyaz’s letter to the community does not address her statement that “Israel will fall,” which appears to call for the destruction or annihilation of the world’s only predominantly Jewish state. However, she “explains” that her apparent endorsement of Hamas was merely “satirical.” Even if that is true, however, it merely compounds the offense.

Hamas is a terrorist group whose charter calls for the murder of all Jews everywhere. It also expressly calls for Israel to be “eliminated.” Toward that end, Hamas has carried out dozens of terror bombings that have deliberately targeted and killed Israeli children in homes, schools, buses, discos, malls and pizzerias. Hamas terrorists have also shot Israeli babies in their strollers, lynched and physically torn apart Israelis and then showed off their blood-soaked hands to cheering crowds, burned pregnant Israeli women alive, and fired rockets at homes and schools in Israel while hiding behind Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Hamas’ victims include Marla Bennett, a UC Berkeley graduate and peace advocate who was killed in the Hamas bombing of an Israeli university cafeteria.

Endorsing Hamas in jest, as Ms. Fayyaz now claims to have done, trivializes the group’s extreme anti-Semitic hate and incomprehensible brutality. To put this into perspective, imagine that ASUCD had just passed a resolution attacking African-Americans, and then Ms. Fayyaz posted a comment purportedly celebrating the KKK taking over the campus. Even if she later claimed the comment was merely “satirical,” no one would find it funny, nor would anyone think it was any less ignorant or hateful. The same is true of Ms. Fayyaz’s explanation of her Hamas comment.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., famously observed: “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.” These attacks on Israel are fundamentally expressions of hate, pure and simple. They were going on when I was a student at UC Davis more than 20 years ago, and they continue today. It is time for the UC Davis administration, and all students and faculty with the courage to do what is right, to condemn anti-Semitic hate.


Graphic by Jennifer Wu


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