Student activists make statement with wall


Photo by Wesley Beights, staff photographer

by Luke Henning

To kick off Palestinian Solidarity Month, San Diego State’s chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine set up a “Palestine Solidarity Village” at the intersection of the Campanile and Love Library walkways on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

The village includes a mock Israeli checkpoint and a large painted wall covered in art and information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as several tables set up by organizations that support SJP, such as Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlán and the Jewish Voice for Peace.

“Our aim is to inform students who may be unfamiliar with the conflict,” SJP President Nadir Bouhmouch said.

Aztecs for Israel, a pro-Israeli student organization, was also present at the event. Aztecs for Israel President and marketing junior Nirit Revzin said the group chose to make an appearance because they wanted to give students another viewpoint of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“They label us with words like apartheid and bigotry without letting us give our side,” Revzin said.

As the groups worked to gain the attention of students, tensions occasionally flared between members of each side.

SJP member Hassan Abdinur said the main disconnect between the groups is regarding a solution to the crisis. SJP backs a reunification of Israel and Palestine into a single-state, whereas Aztecs for Israel back a two-state solution.

“I think the Israeli’s are worried about a one-state solution because the Palestinians would have a legislative majority,” Abdinur said.

Revzin said this solution isn’t possible because the Israeli’s legally bought their land or won it during war giving them the primary right to the land.

“I think the Palestinians are easier to back because they are the underdog, and I honestly feel for them, but Israel legally owns the land now,” Revzin said.

MECHA member and English senior Christian Benavides said his organization backs the Palestinians because they have had a similar experience with the American border.

“MECHA stands in solidarity with groups that stand against human rights violations,” Benavides said.

David Deutsch, member of Jewish Voice for Peace said, unlike Aztecs for Israel, his group of concerned Jewish Americans aimed for a one-state solution to right the wrongs of those who fought to create an Israeli state.

“What they did to those people has caused 1,000 years of irreparable damage,” Deutsch said.

SJP will be holding a variety of other events throughout the rest of this month including the screening of the documentary award-winning documentary “5 Broken Cameras” on Monday night in the Little Theatre.

Photo by Wesley Beights, staff photographer