‘War Criminals’: Pro-Palestinian Student Group Demands University Call Off Israel 75th Anniversary Event

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A Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter is demanding Rice University (RU) cancel its event commemorating the state of Israel’s 75th anniversary, according to an Instagram post.

RU announced that its Baker Institute for Public Policy will be holding the “Israel at 75” conference on April 27 to discuss the relationship between the U.S. and the Jewish state, but the university’s SJP chapter is calling for the event to be canceled. The event is set to feature “diplomats, subject-matter experts, policymakers, and stakeholders” from Israel, the U.S. and Palestine to discuss the “binational relationship” between the two countries and “explore the challenges and opportunities Israel faces internally and abroad.” (RELATED: Ivy League School’s Faculty Revolt Over Planned Israel Campus)

The chapter condemned the event in a Thursday Instagram post, accusing the school of “platforming major Israeli war criminals.”

“A full-day conference glorifying 75 years of Israeli colonization, ethnic cleansing, and the apartheid against the Palestinian people,” the student group wrote. “Rice Univeristy is platforming major Israeli war criminals whose political careers are defined by bombings on Gaza, mass imprisonment of youth and daily state-sanctioned murders of Palestinians.”

Israel became an official state on May 14, 1949, and next month will mark the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence from the British mandate. Special guests at the university’s conference include Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides and Former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority His Excellency Salam Fayyad, Ph.D.

One of the topics of the conference center on the Israel-Palestine debate, but despite this, SJP launched a petition that has garnered 213 signatures as of Friday telling the university to “unanimously call for the immediate cancelation” of the event.

“The ‘Israel at 75’ conference, which marks the 75th anniversary of Israel’s colonization of Palestine, glorifies al-Nakba, or The Catastrophe, in which 400 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed and over 1,000,000 Palestinians forcibly displaced from their homeland in order to create the state of Israel,” the chapter argued. “For over 75 years, the Palestinian people have resisted the most barbaric forms of Israel’s violence — from daily home demolitions, to mass arrest of Palestinian youth, to illegal military blockades that deny Palestinians freedom of movement on their own land.”

In addition to canceling the event, the group’s demanded the university release a statement alongside the Baker Institute ” with the Baker Institute reaffirming the university’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” and supporting more Palestinian “initiatives” in the future.

Rice University and SJP did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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