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News > World

Palestinian Stanford Student Resigns After Post Critical of Zionism

  • 20-year-old Palestian student Hamzeh Daoud.

    20-year-old Palestian student Hamzeh Daoud. | Photo: Social media

Published 8 August 2018

The Palestinian student Hamzeh Daoud has received death threats after Stanford College Republicans said his post amounted to a "threat of violence."  

Hamzeh Daoud, a Palestinian third generation refugee and Stanford student, had to resign from his job as a resident assistant at the university campus after receiving a string of xenophobic and islamophobic threats of violence and of legal action in response to a Facebook post critical of Israel and Zionism.

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In an Op-Ed published by The Stanford Daily, the 20-year-old student who is also a member of the Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine explained what happened and described himself as a “third-generation Palestinian refugee… bear(ing) trans-generational trauma” before apologizing for the post.

A day after the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, approved the nationality bill, which many are calling an “apartheid” law because it recognizes the right to self-determination as an exclusive right for Israel’s Jewish majority, discriminating the native Palestinian populations, Daoud wrote a post criticizing the law and adding “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.”

To physically fight is an expression widely used on social media with an ironic tone to stress how serious they are about a statement or opinion.


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Despite that, Daoud edited his post hours later with the following clarification: “I edited this post because I realize intellectually beating zionists is the only way to go. Physical fighting is never an answer to or when trying to prove people wrong. Radical love. And a whole lot of smarts! Facts will get you hella far.”

The next day Stanford College Republicans shared Daoud’s original post without mentioning his redaction and warned it amounted to a “threat of violence.” According to Palestine Legal the story spread around alt-right blogs and Daoud later received a “barrage of harassing messages, threatening to shoot him, beat him up, and have him deported, some making reference to groups with a history of violence, including the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and the right-wing terrorist organization Jewish Defense League.”

Stanford College Republicans also called for Daoud to be fired arguing he represents a threat to students, especially incoming freshmen. Despite support by Jewish Students Association Board member Courtney Cooperman and other Jewish students, on Friday Daoud announced his resignation.

“I will be stepping down from my job as Resident Assistant at Stanford University to focus my attention on my studies and on processing the repercussions of my post,” Daoud wrote.

He also announced he was entering trauma-based therapy on campus. No announcements have been made about repercussions against Republican students who willingly distorted Daoud’s message and launched a campaign against him, or against the people who have issued death threats against him.

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