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Pro-Palestine Student Org Founder Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Meme Retweets

A University of California, Berkeley lecturer who helped found a major pro-Palestine student organization apologized after retweeting anti-Semitic memes, Haaretz reported Monday. Hatem Bazian, who teaches in Berkeley’s Asian American and Asian Diaspora studies department said “the image is offensive and does not represent my views or the anti-racist work that I do,” after the university said the memes “crossed the line” into anti-Semitism. One of the images features an Orthodox Jewish man, boasting of being among the “chosen ones,” with the caption, “I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs and steal the land of Palestinians.” The other features North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un wearing a kippah with the caption: “I just converted all of North Korea to Judaism. Donald Tlump [sic]: Now my nukes are legal and I can annex South Korea and you need to start paying me 34 billion a year in welfare.” Bazian, who co-founded the national student group Students for Justice in Palestine, told the Jewish News of Northern California that he didn’t read the text very carefully, saying “as a Palestinian, my issue is with Zionism and not with Judaism or Jews.”