August 2, 2018
Hon. Jeffrey F. Rosen
Santa Clara District Attorney
District Attorney’s Office – South County
17275 Butterfield Blvd., Suite A
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Re: Request to investigate threat and hate crime against Jews at Stanford University
Dear District Attorney Rosen,
In July 2018, Stanford University student Hamzeh Daoud, posted on his Facebook page the following:
im gonna physically fight zionists on campus next year if somone comes at me with their “israel is a democracy” bullshit. : ) and after i abolish you ass I’ll go ahead and work every day for the rest of my life to abolish your petty ass ethnosupremacist settler-colonial state (Emphasis ours)
In so doing, Daoud violated California Threat Law P.C. 422(a) and California Hate Crimes Law P.C. 422.55.
Penal Code §422(a) provides as follows:
- (a) Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety
The threats made by Hamzeh Daoud are specific and immediate and cause Stanford students who are supporters of the State of Israel to fear violence. As such, the elements of the crime are satisfied, and for the protection of Stanford students, we request that the DA take steps to prosecute Mr. Daoud for violation of P.C. §422.
In addition, because the threats target “Zionists” who happen to mostly be Jewish, the threats also qualify as a hate crime under Penal Code §422.55.
Further, Mr. Daud’s threat is exacerbated by his being employed by Stanford on the campus as a Residential Assistant.
Unfortunately, many Jewish supporters of Israel feel threatened in university campuses because of individuals such as Hamzeh Daoud. While the First Amendment protects speech, even when it is hateful, the First Amendment does not protect threats of violence.
Too many grade-school and university students in our nation have already lost their lives to individuals whose propensity for violence was already known by authorities who were supposed to protect them.
We are confident that you will open an investigation into these crimes.
Founder and President
The Israel Group
The Israel Group Legal Task Force
Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President, Stanford University
Jay Boyarsky, Chief Assistant District Attorney
Jack Saltzberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org