Pro-Israel Student Assaulted on Temple’s Campus

A student was hit after an argument near the Students for Justice in Palestine table on Temple’s move-in day. The stories diverge from there.

A Temple student was assaulted on move-in day on Wednesday afternoon. Police say the victim was called an anti-Semitic slur and punched before the assailant ran away.

“And then this kid just rocks me in the face as hard as he can,” the victim, Daniel Vessal, told Truth Revolt, a site by the David Horowitz Freedom Center. “My glasses flew off. After a two-second blur I had no clue what had happened. I couldn’t believe the kid actually hit me.”

The assault happened near the table for the Temple chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. That group released a statement saying a former student unaffiliated with SJP slapped the pro-Israel student.




"Temple SJP condemns this act of physical violence, just as we condemn the violence that is committed against Palestinians by the state of Israel on a daily basis. While the former student who slapped Vessal is an acquaintance of SJP members, he has not been involved with the group in the past and is not a member."

SJP denies the use of racial slurs before the incident. It quotes the former student who slapped Vessal, but does not name him: "I'm sorry for what I did. I admit that I lost my temper, because he kept saying 'you're protesting for terrorists, your whole table is pro-terrorist information.'"

Meanwhile, Temple released a statement on the incident:

Temple University is investigating a report of an attack against a student late Wednesday afternoon on main campus. The attack is alleged to have included physical violence and anti-Semitic statements and religious slurs. As part of its investigation, Temple asks that anyone with information about the incident contact Campus Safety Services immediately at 215-204-1234.

Temple University unequivocally condemns the disparagement or assault of any person based on religion or nationality. The university will not tolerate violence of any kind directed against members of the Temple community.

Vessal told Truth Revolt that police arrived, but did not detain the assailant. “I don’t understand why after physical assault he just got sent home," he said. "This was not anti-Israel at all, it was completely anti-Semitic.”

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  • miquon

    Where is a Temple PD statement that anti-semitic slurs were used? The Temple PD statement says that there is an allegation that slurs were used.

  • Presbyton

    This is at least the second time someone associated with that group has committed a hate crime.

  • mldoyle

    It appears that Mr. Vessal is a fellow with CAMERA, which is defined by the Israeli newspaper, Haaratz, as a right-wing pro-Israel media watch-dog based in America. Given that there is, by many accounts, a pro-Israel bias in most American media outlets, one might say that this “right-wing media watch-dog” attempts to prevent a more objective discussion on the matter of middle east peace. While the claim of media bias has always been controversial, the articles discussing this incident come from a profoundly one-sided perspective that fails to provide objectiveness. Every major media outlet in Philadelphia, begins describing an assault by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), during which anti-semitic remarks were made. Many outlets in Philadelphia led with Mr. Vessal’s version of events and also included comments from his attorney and Jewish leaders. Yet, they failed to present the accounts of many of the bystanders, in favor of leaders of Jewish organizations that condemned this as anti-semitic. When reading those accounts, a full picture can be seen. Two Palestinian-American females, Iman Sultana and Samantha Pinto, were seated at a booth for SJP. According to the females, they were approached by Mr. Vessal and accused of being terrorists. An argument ensued. According to Mr. Vessal, he began to walk away and returned in order to tell them he was hoping to have conversation regarding the issue at a later time. At this point, he was allegedly struck by a bystander, who was not associated with SJP and his race, religion and cultural background have not been released. Miss Sultan indicated that she was scared during this event. Specifics will obviously vary to some degree, but a fellow with CAMERA was unlikely to have approached this booth with an intent to come to mutual understanding. These articles could just as aptly been described as “Temple Student Punched after Calling Minority Students Terrorists.” Instead, he has received and attorney willing to assist him, without charge, in this matter, named Michael Wildes. Obviously, nobody advocates physical violence and Mr. Vessal should not have been struck, unless someone felt he posed a physical threat to themselves or others. However, when both parties have alleged to have been attacked by offensive remarks related to race, religion and/or stereotypes, portraying this as a one-sided racist attack is irresponsible. Undoubtedly, this puts SJP in an extremely negative light (despite their lack of support or involvement in the physical altercation). This will surely please Mr. Vessal and CAMERA.

    • Presbyton

      SJP frequently incites violence and goes to the extreme in their activism. Most Temple students, many of whom are very pro-palestine, will quickly admits this is the case.

      • mldoyle

        Assuming what you say is correct, though I find your manner of defining this subjective, it does not change the fact he approached them and allegedly called them terrorists. Yet there is no comments or questions about his behavior. My experience is that an individual of Palestinian decent is supposed to be called a terrorist and take it without saying a word. If they respond, they are accused of inciting the violence. The Palestinians in this country, are without a doubt, the minority in this country that is overwhelmingly pro-Israel. They should be just as protected from hate speech as any other minority. Instead, Mr. Vessal’s comments are ignored and this is considered acceptable hate speech.

        • Presbyton

          According to the students from SJP, but according to Mr. Vessal, he said they were supporting terrorists (Hamas), which is a bit different. That’s a bit different from calling someone an outright slur.

          • mldoyle

            According to Mr. Vessal, he approached them at them the table and accused them of supporting terrorism. The decision to believe his version, over that of multiple other accounts, seems arbitrary. In fact, to some it may appear that he is being believed over the others, based upon race, religion and/or cultural background. It seems that this may have been a mutual confrontation, in which a bystander became angered and struck him. All parties should be scrutinized for wrong-doing, rather than simply pointing to one party based upon preconceived notions.

          • Presbyton

            Sure, but even if Mr. Vessal provoked the altercation, only Mr. Vessal was the victim of violence.

          • mldoyle

            Yes, and I said that the physical act by the bystander was wrong. But when someone makes remarks about your race or religion and retaliation occurs, you cannot call it a hate crime or assert that you were a victim of a hate crime. You were punched (or slapped) becomes you made disparaging remarks. Wrong to hit—yes, we agree on that. Defining him as a victim of a hate crime when just as much (if not more) evidence points to him making the first derogatory, racist remarks is the problem. Dismissing that factor as irrelevant is irresponsible.

          • Presbyton

            If he was struck and attacked with slurs, it is a hate crime, period. Even if he said mean things first. That’s how it works.

          • mldoyle

            A hate crime, is one motivated by race, religion, color or national origin. If the act is motivated by someone else calling another a terrorist, as opposed to the earlier factors, it is not a hate crime. In your opinion, it appears that discrimination against certain minorities is alright. It is readily evident by your statements.

          • Presbyton

            False, but you are determined to see it that way.

          • mldoyle

            I base this upon my belief that if an individual came up to a desk that was Pro-Israel and began making statements that they were supporting war crimes, or possibly being war criminals themselves, you would see that as the intimidation of a minority, even if the Pro-Israel student was the only one to throw a punch. Maybe you would be just as vocal, I am not giving you enough credit. However, I believe that your response would be “well in this case its justified” or “in this case its different” in an attempt to reassure yourself it is not.

          • Presbyton

            The blame belongs with the puncher, period.

          • mldoyle

            Certainly, I said this many, many times. It cannot be stressed enough that I said that. But claiming this is a hate crime, is false. This was not “based upon someone’s real or perceived race,” as this is what differentiates a hate crime from an assault. Instead, it was based upon an argument. The defendant will, and should, be prosecuted for assault-if a punch was thrown. My issue is, and remains to be, that this is being used to suppress views of minorities that conflict with your views. Much like when slave-owners called abolitionists violent extremists, when western expansionists called Native Americans “savages,” or when Joseph Goebbels called Jewish terrorism a world-wide threat, events are being used to promote stereo-types of Palestinians being savages.

          • Presbyton

            Considering the language used, it is a hate crime, not to mention that SJP does condone violence explicitly.

          • Bill_Levinson

            You are not allowed to strike somebody no matter what he calls you, unless he accompanies his words with a physical threat.

          • mldoyle

            Absolutely correct. I am sure that saw that I said that in my remarks. Your decision to refer to Palestinians as apes is evidence of how acceptable racism is when directed at who you deem to be the right party.

          • Bill_Levinson

            To what RACE (Caucasian, Asian, Negro) are you referring? Palestinians are the same RACE as us (Caucasian).

            A behavioral CHOICE, specifically the choice to act like a screeching, excrement-throwing, and violent jungle ape is not a RACE. As Martin Luther King said, you should judge people not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character, which is what I did.

          • mldoyle

            You do not find yourself to be prejudicial or bigoted in your comments? Once again, agreed that behavioral choices is a valid basis for judging someone. I doubt that same description would be used to discuss the actions of the 3 teens that burned the 16 year old Palestinian boy alive. You are the made from the exact same cloth of all other bigots, but you feel your justifications are excusable. Think again.

          • Bill_Levinson

            I would describe those three as criminals who also belong in ape cages. The difference is, of course, that the culture in which they live recognizes such behavior as criminal, while Palestinian jungle culture encourages it. Did you ever see Farfur, the Mickey Mouse rat imam, teach young children how virtuous it is to engage in violence and kill Jews, and also that Islam will rule the world?

            A society like Israel takes out its own trash. Palestinian dirt culture glorifies the trash.

    • Bill_Levinson

      SJP does give verbal support to terroristic violence by Hamas. SJP should not receive funding from student activity fees, thus leeching off Temple students like the parasite it is.

  • thethetk

    Kudos for saying that David Horowitz Center is behind that Truth Revolt (barf) site,but it’s maybe worth detailing how hateful DHFC is:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Horowitz_Freedom_Center

  • Bill_Levinson

    You can take the ape out of the jihad, but you cannot take the jihad out of the ape.

    “I’m sorry for what I did. I admit that I lost my temper, because he
    kept saying ‘you’re protesting for terrorists, your whole table is
    pro-terrorist information.'” The jihad ape, therefore, believes it is entitled to hit somebody, and maybe kill him in its natural habitat in the Middle East, because it does not like what that person is saying. A Pakistani jihad ape in New York thought it had the right to beat its wife to death for serving it the wrong meal, so it is now in an ape cage for 25 to life.

    There is a video of a Palestinian sow in Miami screaming for Jews to go back to the ovens. If Americans behaved by the standards of the Temple jihad ape, the sow would have been beaten to a pulp along with many of those with her, but that is not how we do things outside Third World cesspools. If the knuckle-dragging jihad ape at Temple does not understand this, it should be sent back to the Middle Eastern or Central Asian cesspool it came from.