In an interview with the Journal two days after the appearance at UCLA of a spate of posters inscribed with the words #JewHaters that link the campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) with the terrorist group Hamas, David Horowitz — a well-known right-wing activist and founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center — for the first time admitted responsibility for the posters. After they first appeared on the Westwood campus on Feb. 22, the posters also showed up on multiple campuses across the United States.
The posters include variations on infamous photos of Hamas executioners with accused informers for Israel.
What follows is an edited transcript of the interview, in which Horowitz also explains how he believes Jews on campus should fight SJP. This was the first major public action in a new campaign by the Freedom Center called “Jew Hatred on Campus.”
Jewish Journal: Is it correct that you are responsible for these posters?
David Horowitz: That’s correct. It is part of a campaign that we are waging to raise awareness of the epidemic of Jew hatred on college campuses, like at UCLA.
JJ: Were the posters a launch action for your new project?
Horowitz: Yes. You’ll notice that SJP’s response is to lie about everything. They’re trying to accuse us of the hatred they’re guilty of...They claim to just be critics of Israeli policy. Baloney! They chant on the campuses, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Now what is that about? The river is the Jordan, which is the eastern boundary of Israel. The sea is the Mediterranean, which is the western boundary. Everybody knows what that means. No Jewish state...In the complaint on their website, they say the posters are anti-Muslim. It doesn’t mention Muslims. There’s no mention of Muslims. It’s not anti-Muslim or anti-Arab. There’s no mention of Arabs.
JJ: At UCLA, even the pro-Israel Jewish establishment has come out forcefully against these posters. What are your thoughts on that?
Horowitz: They are afraid of offending people whose agenda is their elimination. How sick is that? Let’s remember in the lead up to the Holocaust the Jewish councils in Eastern Europe organized the ghettos. They got everybody’s name so it would be easy for the Germans to exterminate them. Of course, they didn’t believe they would be exterminated. These Jews have the same delusion. They don’t want to recognize that they have enemies...I have no apologies for the posters. They were done in a sort of surprise way to attract attention, which they have succeeded in doing. I’m proud of being behind this. I hope that some of these Jewish students will wake up and join us.
JJ: Jews at UCLA who have been interviewed suspected these posters were from an outside organization, and it bothers them that an outside group is interfering. What are your thoughts?
Horowitz: Oh, hooey, hooey, hooey! That’s what they used to say about us when we were radicals in the ’60s. Come on, an outside organization? I’m a Jew! This affects me. If UCLA wants to support, as they do, financially...if they want to support Jew haters, the people who are actively abetting a second Holocaust in the Middle East, I’m going to oppose that. That I’m not a student now is not going to stop me. That is absurd.
JJ: Is there a goal beyond awareness? Do you want to get support from UCLA students?
Horowitz: I want SJP to be officially recognized as a hate group and its campus privileges and financial support removed as they would be if it were an anti-black hate group, or an anti-Hispanic hate group, or an anti-Muslim hate group. They would not grant them the campus privileges they have. They have offices; they have money; they have the ability to put on events and invite people and the ability to intimidate others, particularly Jews, and that’s why, or one of the reasons why Bruins for Israel is groveling at their doorstep. I mean, within the hour that the posters were discovered, Bruins for Israel was apologizing for them. I mean, how pathetic is that? It’s not as though this is the College Democrats, or a college arts group. This is a group whose agenda, whose mission, whose every activity is designed to delegitimize the Jewish state and soften it up for the armies of Hezbollah and Hamas.
(Note: Horowitz clarified that he does not want SJP’s free speech rights revoked by either the government or by UCLA, but that he wants it to be recognized as a hate group, which would revoke its official recognition as a student group.
JJ: Do you believe these posters are bringing you closer to your goal of having SJP recognized as a hate group?
Horowitz: Oh, I think we’ve already started the conversation, and we’ve only been at this for a week.
JJ: Did you check in advance whether putting up these posters was in accordance with rules on the campuses? Or with laws in general?
Horowitz: I know the university security there is of course investigating. And instead of investigating SJP, they are investigating us. This is a clear, absolutely indisputable free speech issue. That’s what it is. We have the right to express ourselves the way every other group has a right to express itself. It’s a state school. It can’t suppress our free speech. And if the student government—I don’t even know what the question implies, but if they want to haul me to their court because I put up posters without getting permission, fine with me.
JJ: Is there a list you could provide of all the campuses on which you put posters?
Horowitz: There’s not going to be a list of all the campuses we targeted because this was done in a way to protect the students who carried this out. So I’m not going to do that.
JJ: Did students post them at UCLA?
Horowitz: I’m not going to answer that. I have to protect these people.
JJ: The two different posters we reported on at UCLA imply that SJP is equivalent to Hamas executioners. Is that what you believe?
Horowitz: No. It makes a clear implication that SJP supports Hamas executioners, which it does. Go ahead, get a statement out of an SJP leader condemning Hamas for killing that Palestinian. Go ahead and try it. It doesn’t at all [make the implication you said]...They support both the terrorist government of Abbas on the West Bank and the terrorist government of Hamas in Gaza. And you will not find any evidence to the contrary. And that’s what they do. And that’s what these posters show. This is what SJP is not protesting, but is supporting.
JJ: The posters seem to imply that SJP equals Hamas. What about the one with the two masked Hamas executioners and the accused informer with a bag over his head, with the words, “Students for Justice in Palestine”, and the “#JewHaters” hash tag?
Horowitz: That’s all it said. And that’s the truth.
JJ: What’s the truth?
Horowitz: That Students for Justice in Palestine is a supporter of Jew hatred, a purveyor of Jew hatred.