The mock eviction notices taped on more than 200 dorm room doors at Florida Atlantic University last week are part of an ongoing campaign by an anti-Israel campus group to raise awareness to its cause through shock tactics.
Student leaders of FAU’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter said that the fliers are designed to show how Palestinians experience eviction from their homes by the Israeli government. The students also indicated that they had received prior approval from the Housing and Residential Life Department at the university.
SJP is a student organization with more than 75 chapters at American universities. As the primary organizer of anti-Israel activity on campus, SJP has consistently demonized Israel, describing its policies toward the Palestinians as racist and apartheid-like, and compared Israelis to Nazis.
This is not the first time SJP members have used mock eviction notices on campus. In April 2011, similar mock eviction notices were distributed in student dormitories at Yale University to criticize the “actions of the Israeli state” and to promote the group’s upcoming events. The group said in a press release that it aimed to startle Yale students and give them a sense of what evicted Palestinians must feel.
A month later, students from the University of Chicago’s SJP similarly distributed the eviction notices throughout three residence halls as part of SJP’s annual “Nakba” Commemoration Week.
During the 2011 American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) National Conference, a virulently anti-Israel organization that aids and assists SJP activities nation-wide, University of Chicago SJP president Sami Kishawi took credit for his SJP chapter’s method of activism. He also claimed that the mock eviction tactic has proven to be as effective as SJP’s use of mock-checkpoints, which Kishawi explains also helps expose daily Palestinian humiliation to a large number of students.
As was the case at the University of Chicago and at Yale, the eviction fliers at FAU were seen by some students as disrespectful and intimidating.