A student from the University of California-Berkeley announced his plan to join the Israeli army after he graduates to “eliminate Palestinian nationalism and Palestinians from the world.”
Identified as Harel Fishbein, the speaker expressed his desire to “kill every last Palestinian until they no longer exist” during a student government committee vote on a resolution titled “Condemning Bears for Palestine for Their Display in Eshleman Hall Glorifying Violent Terrorists.”
Presented by a Jewish student senator, Milton Zerman, the resolution condemns a display by the Palestinian student group known as Bears for Palestine, which includes photos of Palestinian freedom fighters: Fatima Bernawi, Rasmea Odeh and Leila Khaled.
The resolution, which was voted down calls on the group to “significantly alter” or remove those photos. The 4-1 vote came a week after the committee adjourned a meeting earlier following an argument between pro-Palestinian members in the crowd and Zerman.
In a video posted on social media, Harel is heard repeatedly stating he will join the Israeli army and kill all Palestinians
A Facebook post by Wafaa, a student who attended the meeting, said: “One speaker, a scrawny white Zionist dude, wearing an orange shirt, and a curly ponytail, came up, and he said ‘this is my last semester, and after this I want to join the IDF [Israeli army], and I will make sure to kill every last Palestinian until they no longer exist.’ Then his coward ass exited the room, went down the stairs, and everyone that followed him to confront him, including me, couldn’t find him.”
Shelby Weiss, a Hillel member and the only student senator who voted yes on the resolution, denounced Harel’s comments after the meeting’s conclusion, saying they “do not reflect my feelings and I speak for most members of my community that we do not condone those words … Our support for the bill itself does not amount to those sentiments or those feelings of violence or hostility.”
“Clearly Berkeley is not united against hate,” said campus senior Nathan Bentolila during the meeting. “I honestly have very little to say, the Jewish community is beyond disappointed.”
A large number of Jewish audience members in support of BFP disagreed with Bentolila, calling out, “You don’t speak for us”.