Robert Gardner rarely heard anything about Israel growing up in South Los Angeles. But at UCLA, he started learning about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — and seeing parallels with conflicts close to home.
The African American senior likened Israeli crackdowns on Palestinian protesters to police violence against black Americans. So he joined Students for Justice in Palestine and an international movement known as BDS, which advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against companies deemed players in Israeli human rights violations.
Earlier this year, though, he was shocked to see — on a poster outside a Westwood market — his name listed as one of 16 UCLA “Jew haters” and terrorist allies.
Since then, he says, “I’ve received death threats online, and people have followed me.”
The poster was part of a multimillion-dollar effort to combat the BDS movement, led by Las Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam.
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