Op-Ed: Statement from ASSU Executive candidate Kimiko Hirota

April 9, 2019, 11:12 p.m.

It has come to my attention that a tweet I failed to recognize as anti-Semitic and quoted last year has circulated online, hurting many of my friends in the Jewish community. The quoted tweet assumes that anyone who supports Israel automatically supports violence against Palestinians. When this tweet resurfaced, I realized that this could not be further from the truth. Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of getting to know several members of the Jewish community, including my running mate, Bryce Tuttle. I have come to understand that Israel is central to the identity and heritage of many Jewish people, including many who disagree with the same Israeli military actions that I originally sought to condemn.

I regret now that I was not more informed about the nuances of Israeli and Palestinian relations at the time. I take full responsibility for not thoroughly vetting the website that I quote-tweeted from. Until tonight, I did not understand what Electronic Intifada meant or even the significance of the term ‘intifada.’ I have much to learn about this issue, and I recognize I cannot be an ally against anti-Semitism without understanding it. I look forward to actively reaching out to the Jewish community to gain deeper knowledge of the complicated nature of anti-Semitism.

I want to be clear that I condemn all forms of violence and hatred. During my time at Stanford, I have consistently fought against hate. When Robert Spencer and Dinesh D’Souza were invited to campus, I stood in solidarity with the communities deeply hurt. In addition to these events, I recognize that there has been a pattern of anti-Semitism both on campus and in our country. As this painful incident illustrates, it is critical that we implement more educational opportunities for people to learn about anti-Semitism. I myself am committed to fostering and partaking in these opportunities. If anyone would like to speak to me personally about this, please reach out: [email protected].

—Kimiko Hirota ’20, ASSU Executive Candidate

Contact Kimiko Hirota at kimikohi ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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