August 3, 2018 — New York
AJC (American Jewish Committee) welcomes the Stanford University announcement today that one of its students, Hamzeh Daoud, has resigned his position as a Resident Assistant due to his earlier online threats against other students. Daoud, in his Facebook postings, had threatened to “physically fight Zionists on campus.”
“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 advisors for the students in their residence. Threats of violence are inconsistent with that duty,” said Rabbi Serena Eisenberg, AJC Northern California Regional Director.
Stanford University’s administration is to be praised for acting quickly to condemn Mr. Daoud’s harmful remarks, which many Jews on campus took as directed against them. AJC appreciates Stanford’s commitment to using this episode as a springboard for campus-wide instruction in the importance of civility. AJC appreciates, too, that Mr. Daoud had the grace to recognize that his remarks would have made it impossible to fulfill his duties as a Resident Assistant.
“This episode should be a lesson for the entire Stanford community, indeed for colleges and universities across the United States, that fostering and maintaining an environment of peaceful and respectful discussion and inquiry is the essence of a university,” said Eisenberg. “This incident was not about the Middle East, Israelis or Palestinians, but about the way ideas are debated on Stanford’s campus and the world beyond.”