“Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP) were not expecting opposition to their very first official meeting on the Cal State Fullerton campus last Monday night, when five of us, Christians, showed up. SJP has a huge presence at University of California, Irvine.
The meeting began with the Academy Nominated documentary “5 Broken Cameras.” Read the promotional ad here and then I’ll give you my opinion:
“When his fourth son, Gibreel, is born, Emad, a Palestinian villager, gets his first camera. In his village, Bil'in, a separation barrier is being built and the villagers start to resist this decision. For more than five years, Emad films the struggle, which is lead by two of his best friends, alongside filming how Gibreel grows. Very soon it affects his family and his own life. Daily arrests and night raids scare his family; his friends, brothers and him as well are either shot or arrested. One Camera after another is shot at or smashed, each camera tells a part of his story.” Written by Guy Davidi (one of the documentary directors).
I felt that the documentary was playing on emotions as we followed this village family; watched Gabreel (a very cute Palestinian boy) grow up; have birthday parties; witnessed his first haircut; grieve with him as his relatives suffer; etc. The film is slanted, showing what seemed like a daily “duty” for these villagers of Bil’in (West Bank) to protest opposition to the separation barricade that was placed on their border between them and Israel. Each time, the camera recorded them returning to their homes with casualties—sometimes fatalities—in return for their “efforts.”
But one must establish some facts before being drawn into such manipulation. The barricade or “security fence” was built in 2002 to prevent suicide bombers from driving across the border killing Israelis. And then, another issues is the “border,” which is really an armistice line drawn in 1967—not a border. In the movie, the Palestinians were actually crossing the “border” and attacking the Israeli Defense Force with words, rocks, etc. The film really doesn’t show what provoked the IDF to shoot bullets. As the Israeli’s attempted to defend themselves, there were injuries and at times, casualties. The film is truly one-sided and meant to evoke emotions of pity, anger, outrage, etc.
After the documentary was over, it was clear that most of the students in the room were pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionists (against Israel). We Christians were silent at first, listening to their positions.
Prior to this meeting, four of us Christians met together for prayer. We prayed that we would only speak if the Lord prompted us; that we would speak truth and in love; that we would at the very least, put questions in the heads of those attending. And then a few Christians spoke up. It was clear that the Palestinian supporters had not expected any opposition. Their defense just didn’t add up. Clearly they had not studied both sides to the issues presented, but were swayed based on emotions and faulty thinking.
One student began to fixate his eyes on me. Even though I had not said a word yet, he stared me down, perhaps as an intimidation factor. I prayed and God reminded me that “Greater is He Who is in me, than he anyone who is in this room.” I relaxed and allowed his gaze to continue without any effect on me.
“Students for Justice in Palestine” groups are meeting all over our campuses in the United States. They are getting stronger and gaining momentum with their pro-Palestinian/anti-Israeli agendas. They are swaying the minds of the youth.
What can we do? As a result of that one meeting, there is momentum to begin a Zionist (pro-Israel) club at Cal State Fullerton. Please pray as there are requirements for leadership, student requirements, and funds needed. As Muslims gain momentum right here in Southern California, we encourage you to understand the truth. The issues they raise WILL become your issues and you will soon need to take a stand one way or the other.
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