Florida State University's student government tapped a student who called an Israeli a "stupid Jew," among other anti-Semitic online remarks, to replace as president a member they ousted for expressing his Catholic beliefs in leaked private messages.
FSU's student senate impeached president Jack Denton for expressing Catholic teaching on abortion and transgenderism in conversations on the group messaging app GroupMe. The student government appointed Ahmad Daraldik, who created a website calling Israel's existence a continuation of the Holocaust, to take his place as student senate president.
In two separate posts, Daraldik wrote, "f**k Israel," and "stupid Jew," as captions. He also created a website connecting the "occupation of Palestine" to the Holocaust, writing that "the Holocaust never ended, it just moved to Palestine." The website also draws a comparison between the Gaza strip—an area controlled by the Palestinian Authority and the terrorist organization Hamas—and concentration camps in Nazi Germany.
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An anonymous FSU student created a Change.org petition calling for Daraldik to be removed from his leadership position. "These anti-semitic remarks are not welcomed on FSU's campus, in the United States, and most important on this Earth," the petition reads. "There is no justification for his remarks, and [he] needs to be removed from his position of power." The university's Hillel organization told the Washington Free Beacon they were concerned about the anti-Semitic claims made by Daraldik.
"These claims go beyond legitimate criticism of Israeli policies and into modern reincarnations of centuries-old ‘blood libels' that have been used as the justification for the murder of thousands of Jews over the past millennium," said FSU's Hillel executive director Dan Leshem. "We are calling on the Senate President to immediately address these issues and commit himself to learning how and why this type of discourse is so hurtful to Jews and damaging to public discourse."
Daraldik did not respond to a request for comment.
The FSU student senate will vote Wednesday on whether to remove Daraldik for his comments. The scheduled vote comes less than two weeks after a vote of no confidence ousted Denton.
In a Catholic student union GroupMe chat group, Denton said that some policies embraced by Black Lives Matter, Reclaim the Block, the ACLU, and other left-wing groups "advocate for things that are explicitly anti-Catholic." He pointed to how some advocates defend laws protecting abortions and affirming transgenderism—both of which are at odds with the teachings of his faith.
"I don't mean to anger anyone.… It is important to know what you're supporting when you're Catholic. If I stay silent while my brothers and sisters may be supporting an organization that promotes grave evils, I have sinned through my silence," Denton said. "I love you all, and I want us all to be aware of the truth."
Denton's texts were posted in a student opinion newspaper that deemed his words "disqualifying." Both Denton and his lawyers at the religious liberty law firm Alliance Defending Freedom declined to comment.
A Change.org petition was started soon after Denton's texts were published, calling on the student senate to remove Denton for his "transphobic" and "racist" remarks. Lauren Callahan, the FSU student who created the petition, told the Free Beacon that Denton's views could not be justified with his role as student body president.
"Denton's use of the word ‘transgenderism' was an indication of his ignorance towards queer points of view and lack of understanding of the complexities many queer college students face," Callahan said. She declined to answer questions about Daraldik's anti-Semitic posts.