Vandy Student Arrested After Pro-Hamas Sit-In Has Ties to the White House, Muslim Brotherhood-Linked Org

White House

One of the leaders of a group of students who held a sit-in at Vanderbilt University this week in support of Hamas is a long-time Democratic party activist with White House ties, as it turns out.

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Florida native Jack Petocz is one of three students arrested by campus police after the incident on a charge of assaulting a security guard. Those arrested were also expelled by the university, while one student was suspended and 22 more put on probation. After his expulsion, Petocz penned a rambling, whiny, and bigoted Twitter/X thread about the ordeal, claiming that he was expelled "for the ultimate crime of caring as 33,000 people have been murdered."


READ MORE: Pro-Hamas Student Gets Expelled, and You'll Need a Cigarette After Reading His Thread on It


Security footage, however, shows the crowd shoving a security guard as they forced their way into the building.

Petocz says he is not one of the people in the video shoving the guard and that he was nowhere near them.

The 19-year-old is no stranger to campus discipline, though, and has a long history as a semi-professional agitator. His evolution and its timeline are interesting and instructive when looking at the various astroturf protests around the country.

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It started in 2020 when young Jack was irritated by a local school board member who was, in his opinion, "recklessly tweeting COVID misinformation" right after his family had been infected with the virus. He was so irritated that he started the Recall Flagler County School Board movement, but quickly turned his focus toward advancing radical agendas.

By the fall of 2021, Petocz was holding rallies protesting "two local school board members’ attempt to ban books from school libraries" and routinely speaking at school board meetings, deliberately bringing national politics into the mix. That activism led to his inclusion in a January 2022 New York Times article about "the new tactics that conservative or reactionary groups are using to pressure school boards, including through social media, the politicalization of the challenges, the almost exclusive focus on books relating to LGBTQ or anti-racist themes, and the involvement of new pressure groups such as Florida’s 'Moms for Liberty.'"

When the (manufactured) hubbub over Gov. Ron DeSantis' alleged "Don't Say Gay" bill erupted in Florida, Petocz jumped right into the fray, organizing a statewide walkout in Florida high schools (around 30 schools participated, according to an interview Petocz gave NBC News). On March 5, 2022, the day of the walkout, Petocz was escorted from his school, Flagler Palm Coast High School, by security and was suspended. According to the NBC News story, "Petocz said he was punished for distributing 200 pride flags for the rally after having been advised not to do so by the principal," then claims his suspension was due to homophobia and bigotry.

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"I believe this attempt to threaten me and remove me from campus is riddled with homophobia and bigotry," said Petocz, who is gay. "You’re silencing a queer student standing up for what he believes in, in his rights, and you’re disciplining him for challenging you on the allowance of pride flags in a gay rally? It’s ridiculous. It truly is.

"And I think that they were just they were upset that I was organizing this to begin with, and they just used this as a crutch to go ahead and remove me from campus," he added.

Meanwhile, Petocz told the local ABC affiliate that school administrators gave him permission to stage the rally.

Eventually a level three infraction, "which is one of the highest levels of discipline in the Flagler County School District,” was placed on Petocz's permanent record, rendering him unable to run for Senior class President.

The notoriety led him to the national stage, though. 

Petocz received awards for his activism, one being the 2022 PEN/Benenson Courage Award from PEN America, a free speech advocacy group. 

He also received the 2022 Now Award for Youth Activism from "Them" magazine in June 2022 and was profiled in Teen Vogue. 

A few days after the Teen Vogue profile, Petocz was up in Washington, DC to meet with Joe Biden about issues facing LGBTQ students and attend the signing ceremony for Biden's "Executive Order on Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Individuals," snapping pictures with Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Pete Buttigieg, and more.

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Around that time Petocz took a position with Gen Z for Change, a radical progressive organization, as a mobilization coordinator. Through Gen Z for Change, he worked to attempt to defeat DeSantis in the 2022 election, then finished up his high school career before heading to Vanderbilt in the fall of 2023.

But, he visited the White House a few more times.


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Petocz, of course, has kept up his activism in Nashville. According to his Twitter/X screed, Petocz has some involvement with Vanderbilt's Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) chapters:

For months, administration has suppressed student voices fighting for Palestine.

This includes hyper-surveillance, discrimination towards our SJP and JVP chapters, and cancelling a student-led referendum to divest Vanderbilt Student Government funds from mass slaughter.

It's interesting that this openly gay man is "fighting for Palestine." Jack is either unaware of Hamas' stance on homosexuality, or perhaps he thinks that Hamas will treat him differently than they treat Palestinian gay men, which is quite a white-privileged thought to have.

SJP has been identified as a subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood and is being investigated in both Florida and Virginia for ties to terrorism. It was founded at Berkeley in 2001 by Professor Hatem Bazian, who "quickly grasped that open identification with the Brotherhood prevented large-scale recruitment" so he "establish[ed] SJP as an ostensibly progressive organization, whose agenda, uncoincidentally, was nearly identical to that of the Brotherhood." Bazian is now the chair of American Muslims for Palestine, another Muslim Brotherhood organization, "which provides financial backing for SJP chapters and shares personnel and donors with several Hamas fronts."

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Are students like Petocz just useful idiots, or are they complicit in the attacks perpetrated by Hamas? It's time to rid our college campuses of all of these terrorist fronts, and the students who support them.

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