Maysoun Batley, co-president of @UMassSJP, made headlines for her participation in a pro-Hamas protest at @UMassAmherst. The controversy escalated as Batley accused Israel of genocide and passionately advocated for the university to adhere to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Who is Maysoun Batley?

Maysoun Batley, holding the role of “Placement Case Aid” at Jewish Family Services, became a focal point of attention due to her strong condemnation of Israel for alleged Hamas terrorist war crimes in October 2023. Beyond accusations, Batley actively called for a boycott of Israel and co-led an anti-Israel protest on her campus.

The inciting incidents unfolded in the aftermath of a series of heinous Hamas terror attacks on October 7, 2023, targeting Israeli civilians with mass murder, torture, rape, beheadings, and kidnappings. The attacks claimed the lives of around 1,200 Israelis, left hundreds kidnapped, and thousands wounded, prompting Israel to respond with the military campaign named “Swords of Iron.”

Hamas, founded in 1987, has garnered international condemnation as a designated terrorist organization by the U.S., Canada, European Union, Israel, and other nations. The group’s history includes the killing of thousands of Israeli civilians through mass shootings and suicide bombings, as well as the kidnapping of children, families, and the elderly.

Maysoun Batley’s active involvement in an anti-Israel protest at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, on October 25, 2023, drew attention. The protest, reportedly co-organized by UMass Amherst SJP and UMass Dissenters, resulted in the arrest of 56 students. Batley, serving as the co-president of UMass Amherst SJP during the October 2023 protest, expressed her views in an interview with a local news channel.

During the interview, Batley called for the university administration to align with BDS principles, urging the termination of relationships with Israeli companies. Additionally, she sought a statement of solidarity from Chancellor Reyes regarding what she perceived as the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the alleged genocide.

As of November 2023, Batley is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sociology at UMass Amherst, with an expected graduation in 2024. Her LinkedIn profile also indicates full-time employment as a “Reception and Placement Case Aid” at Jewish Family Services in Springfield, Massachusetts, since June 2023.