Today at my old alma mater Rutgers, a time-honored college tradition was observed.
No, I’m not talking about gearing up for finals, or the excitement that comes from winning a big game in a new division (well, maybe not at Rutgers), or even the open and civil exchange of new ideas that shape the thinking of our future leaders.
I’m referring to continual, perpetual, trite hatred of Jews and Israel. You see, while the Rutgers Hillel and the AEPi fraternity was handing out information with facts about Israel, denouncing terror and hatred and attempting to have a civil conversation about the facts, the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (or International Solidarity Movement or whatever they are calling themselves these days) were staging a “Die-In” at the same time.
What exactly is this event supposed to accomplish? How is this supposed to bring a just and peaceful solution to a very difficult conflict? Who, precisely, is going to benefit from more hatred, more empty slogans, more propaganda and more bullying? How do these students even think that they are furthering their own goals?
For all the nonsensical half-truths, propaganda and outright lies about Israel that they parrot during their events, why not also take aim at the fact that Hamas, in the midst of firing thousands of rockets at Israeli women and children, also dropped 475 rockets on Palestinians. Shouldn’t this also be the subject of an event from a group that purports to care about Palestinians? Even if we grant their premise that they are simply “people of conscious” (sic) who “cannot and should not stand by and watch Israel conduct its heinous crimes” – why aren’t they concerned with the actual heinous crimes of Hamas, or ISIS, or Iran?
During “Palestinian Awareness Week” there are precisely…zero events dedicated to the suffering of Palestinians in Syria, where they are regularly slaughtered. There is no discussion of the very real discrimination Palestinians face in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere where there are actual laws preventing their integration into mainstream society. I see no events about the harsh military campaign Egypt has undertaken to demolish hundreds of homes along its border with Gaza.
These are all examples of specific Palestinian suffering, to say nothing of the nightmare of daily life in the Middle East (in every country not named Israel) for Yazidis, Kurds, Ba’Hai, Jews, Christians and many Muslims. None of these things matter to these “human rights” and “peace” advocates? Do they not know about them? If so, perhaps they should surrender the mantle of “Pro-Palestinian activist” to people like me who actually care about the topic and aren’t treating this situation as a “fun-filled” week of activities.
“Palestinian Awareness Week” and “Israeli Apartheid Week” and every other name these groups have come up with over the past 15 years is nothing more than a marketing ploy designed to cover up the real goal of these events. That is hatred of Israel and of Jews.
Lest you think this is about Rutgers or that this situation is in any way unique, it’s not new nor is it limited to Rutgers.
When I was a student at Rutgers, the pro-Israel activists reached out to our counterparts across the aisle in an attempt to calm tensions and work on an event that would spark dialogue between both sides. We wanted to bring in two representatives from an organization called One Voice for Peace. This group has speakers from both sides of the conflict who share their personal stories about how they have suffered as result of the fighting. The “pro-Palestinians” were not interested however. They refused to co-sponsor a civil event with their enemies, preferring instead to stage obnoxious events like today’s die-in or storming Hillel events featuring Israeli Arab speakers. And you thought that acrimony in Washington was bad.
This behavior goes back to at least the nasty days of the 2nd Intifada, when the college campus virtually burned as the fires of terror literally burned in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya and nearly every other Israeli city. When the great refusenik Natan Sharansky came to Rutgers in 2003, a “pro-Palestinian” threw a pie at him. In fact, the hostile environment at Rutgers has been prevalent for so long that the Zionist Organization of America’s Center for Law and Justice expended considerable efforts to bring a complaint under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act against the University.
And Rutgers is actually quite tame by comparison with colleges like Emory and Temple being home to acts of violence or vandalism against Jewish students.
How sad we are that we have to look at acts of violence and say “well at least it’s not that bad.”
This is not advocacy, this is simply hatred by a different name.