A resident assistant (RA) at Stanford University stepped down from his position after he posted on Facebook saying he would “physically fight Zionists.”
Hazmeh Daod, a member of Stanford’s Students’ for Justice in Palestine, wrote on Facebook that “I’m gonna physically fight Zionists on campus next year if someone comes at me with their ‘Israel is a democracy’ bullshit. And after I abolish your ass I’ll go ahead and work every day for the rest of my life to abolish your petty ass ethno-supremacist, settler-colonial state,” according to the Stanford Daily.
Zionists are people who support a Jewish national state in Palestine.
The July 19th Facebook post came in response to Israel passing a law declaring Israel a Jewish nation-state. Daod also linked an opinion piece called “Jewish Nation-state Law Makes Discrimination in Israel Constitutional,” according to the Stanford Daily.
After this original post, he edited the post a few hours later by replacing the word “physically” with “intellectually.”
“I will be stepping down from my job as Resident Assistant at Stanford University to focus my attentions on my studies and on processing the repercussions of my post,” Daod wrote in an August 3 op-ed for the school’s newspaper.
In the op-ed, the third-generation Palestinian refugee explained the situation.
“On July 19, 2018, the Israeli legislature passed a new law that adversely affects Palestinians. Regrettably, in an emotion-filled moment thinking about how extended members of my family would be directly impacted by the legislation, I shared an article about it on Facebook along with the comment saying that I would ‘physically fight Zionists on campus next year.'”
Daod is working with Stanford and its community to “take accountability and rebuild trust through education and dialogue,” according to his op-ed.
“I apologize from the bottom of my heart to everyone who was triggered by it. I recognize that I was projecting my own trauma onto others in a way that is never acceptable,” he wrote.
Stanford issued a statement on the situation on August 3. The school says “threats of physical violence have absolutely no place in the Stanford community.”
Stanford also noted, “we are a learning community, and just as the author of the post has told us he intends to do, we must all work together to learn from it.”
Stanford College Republicans (SCR) screenshotted the original post and put it on Facebook. SCR wrote “threatening to assault other students who hold a different point of view is anathema to a free society and any kind of education.”
After the Facebook post came to life, someone started an online petition calling for Stanford to remove Daod as an RA. “No threats of violence should be tolerated from RAs at Stanford, who are appointed and employed by the University to guide students under their charge,” the petition says. More than 1,000 people had signed the petition.