(JNS.org) A group of pro-Israel student leaders at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) slammed a documentary film screening event on campus that was hosted Nov. 30 by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and attended by former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, an outspoken anti-Israel activist.
The documentary film—“The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel's Public Relations War on the United States”—is produced by Sut Jhally, a communications professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and narrated by Waters.
The film, which focuses on pro-Israel public relations efforts in the U.S., seeks to explore “how the Israeli government, the U.S. government and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel's favor,” a description of the event on Facebook said.
In an open letter published in UCLA’s Daily Bruin student newspaper, the pro-Israel students write that the film peddles in “centuries-old anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” that “a group of powerful, manipulative and domination-obsessed Jews have gained control of politics and media through a combination of wealth, power, influence and deceit.”
“By choosing to screen this film, Students for Justice in Palestine has unabashedly endorsed and legitimized this perception of the Jewish people,” the statement added.
The pro-Israel students said their goal is not to silence the viewpoints expressed in the film, but to “combat bad speech with constructive speech.”
“Along with their right to screen this film comes our moral responsibility to call it what it is: inflammatory, anti-Semitic propaganda,” they wrote.
The joint statement was signed by Jackie Schaeffer, the strategic policy director of the Bruin-Israel Public Affairs Committee; Amir Kashfi, legislative director of the Bruin-Israel Public Affairs Committee; Arielle Yael Mokhtarzadeh, president of Bruins for Israel; Noah Wallace, finance chair of the Hillel at UCLA Student Board; Hannah Tudzin, president of the Hillel at UCLA Student Board; Ariel Rafalian, financial support commissioner of the Undergraduate Students Association Council and Inbar Goren, president of Students Supporting Israel at UCLA.