Stanford Jewish students on taking photo of man with Hamas headband on campus: 'We were just in shock'


A viral image of a man on the Stanford University campus wearing a headband that looks similar to the one worn by Hamas terrorist fighters was taken by two Jewish students concerned the school has not cracked down enough on antisemitic behavior. 

The two friends, who wished to remain anonymous for safety reasons, said they were walking near White Plaza, the center of the northern California campus where anti-Israel protesters have set up an encampment, on Friday when they spotted someone sitting down at a picnic table. 

After moving closer to the unidentified person, they realized the headband he was wearing was the same type worn by members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. 


“We were just in shock that somebody could be like that in the middle of our campus,” one of the students told Fox News Digital. “I only went up to take the photo because I was there with my friend.

“We thought about going up to him and saying something, but then we figured it wasn’t worth it and, if anything, it might just be dangerous.” 

The image of the man sitting at the table wearing the green headband with Arabic writing and a face covering quickly made the rounds on social media, catching the attention of university administrators. 

“We have received many expressions of concern about a photo circulating on social media of an individual on White Plaza who appeared to be wearing a green headband similar to those worn by members of Hamas,” the school said in a statement Wednesday. “

We find this deeply disturbing, as Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the United States government. We have not been able to identify the individual but have forwarded the photo to the FBI.”


An anti-Israel agitator on Stanford University’s campus

Fox News Digital has reached out to the university. The FBI’s San Francisco field office declined to comment on the matter. 

Like many college campuses across the country, Stanford has seen pro-Palestinian protesters either straddle or cross the line of free speech with rhetoric some consider antisemitic over Israel’s military offensive in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip following the terror group’s deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israeli communities.  

“People can disagree with things, and that’s OK. We’re at a university,” the second student who snapped the image told Fox News Digital. 

He noted that some of the protesters aren’t even able to articulate their reasons for opposing Israel. 

“It’s just very frustrating. You ask people where Israel and Palestine are on a map. They won’t even know where it is,” he said. “If you’re in that tent (encampment), you should know what you’re advocating for.”

More concerning to them was that someone could wear a headband worn by a designated terrorist group on an American college campus. 

Both students said they want Stanford administrators to take a more aggressive stand to stamp out speech that incites violence. 

An anti-Israel agitator on Stanford University’s campus

“It is definitely tough to be a Jewish student on campus now,” one of them said. “It’s tough to see your peers, some of whom either willingly spewing hate or knowingly doing stuff that is wrong, but others are kind of following along because it’s what they think is right.”

In another statement to Fox News Digital about the protests at college campuses, the FBI said it was in “close contact with state and local law enforcement partners and, as we do in the normal course of business, we will share any information regarding potential threats.

“We respect the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights, and the FBI investigates individuals who violate federal law through violence or other criminal activity,” the agency said. 

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