SWC Condemns Anti-Israel Statements Made by El Camino Community College Student During Graduation Speech

June 13, 2023

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemns the tirade by El Camino community college student Jana Abulaban who dedicated parts of her graduation speech last Friday to making anti-Semiticstatements about Israel’s alleged treatment of Palestinians. “I gift my graduation to all Palestinians who have lost their life and those who continue to lose their lives every day due to the oppressive apartheid state of Israel killing and torturing Palestinians as we speak,” Abulaban told the crowd. She claims she was “inspired” by a City University of New York (CUNY) Law School student who delivered an anti-Semitic about Israel and “white supremacy” in late May. 

Abulaban, who identifies as Palestinian woman, was born in Jordan and immigrated to the US at age 12.

“It is no surprise that the anti-Israel hate and tropes used by the graduate from El Camino College closely mimic those deployed earlier this month at the CUNY Law School graduation. These are talking points of individuals and organizations that are extremists, anti-peace and whose main goal is to demonize the lone Jewish state and her supporters. This is not about speech, but about propaganda and ideas should be freely exchanged on campuses and in the classroom. The Jewish community is right to protest and be deeply concerned that these high profile ceremonies are hijacked by anti-peace propagandists and the kind of hateful rhetoric normally associated with Hamas which contributes to the toxic anti-Jewish environment on many of the campuses across the United States,” stated Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action.


“It is also no surprise that CAIR rushes to the defense on the basis of freedom of speech in both of these cases. It also needs to be noted that when it comes to issues of freedom of speech, that only extends to when they can critique and attack Israel but that same zeal for freedom of speech never extends to any critics of the Palestinians or Islamists,” concluded Cooper.


For further information, please email Michele Alkin, Director of Global Communications at malkin@wiesenthal.com or Shawn Rodgers at srodgers@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).

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