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Stanford student who threatened ‘Zionist students’ blames ‘trans-generational trauma’ for vicious outburst

In a Facebook post late last month, an incoming residential assistant and former student-government member at Stanford University, Hamzeh Daoud, wrote that he would “physically fight Zionists on campus next year […] after I abolish your ass I’ll go ahead and work every day for the rest of my life to abolish [Israel].”

Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

A student at Stanford University who threatened to “physically fight Zionists” on campus next year has resigned from his post as a residential assistant at the school, while blaming “trans-generational trauma” for his vicious verbal outburst.

In a Facebook post late last month, an incoming residential assistant and former student-government member at Stanford University, Hamzeh Daoud, wrote that he would “physically fight Zionists on campus next year […] after I abolish your ass I’ll go ahead and work every day for the rest of my life to abolish [Israel].”

Daoud later amended his post to say he wanted to “intellectually fight,” explaining that he edited it “because I realize intellectually beating Zionists is the only way to go. Physical fighting is never an answer to when trying to prove people wrong.”

In an op-ed on Friday in the school’s newspaper, The Stanford Daily, Daoud, who claims to be a third-generation Palestinian refugee, further blamed the incident on “trans-generational trauma” stemming from his family’s purported displacement following Israel’s creation in 1948 and the recent nation-state law for renewing his anger.

“I recognize that I was projecting my own trauma onto others in a way that is never acceptable,” he wrote.

In a statement, Stanford University said that after an extensive review of the case, they determined that Daoud “does not pose a physical threat to other members of the community,” but noted that his “decision to step down as an R.A. puts the interests of the broader community first.”

The American Jewish Committee welcomed the decision by Daoud to leave his post.

“Mr. Daoud’s threat, even though later retracted, made it untenable for him to serve in a leadership role appointed by the university administration. Resident assistants are required to encourage students to engage others with differing views respectfully. They must also be trusted confidants and advisers for the students in their residence. Threats of violence are inconsistent with that duty,” said Rabbi Serena Eisenberg, AJC Northern California Regional Director.

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