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Hamas’ Education of the Ivy League

Filed under: Anti-Semitism, Operation Swords of Iron

Hamas’ Education of the Ivy League
A sign at the Columbia University encampment (CC0)

This article originally appeared in Israel Hayom on April 30, 2024.

The massive Pro-Hamas protests at Columbia University in New York City have not come as a complete surprise. Columbia has long been a hotbed of anti-Israel activism. Professors and PLO activists Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, and Joseph Massad had for decades erased Israel’s legitimacy in their Palestinian activist approach to Columbia’s Middle East Studies. Since the late 1970’s Said’s “Orientalism”, which became required reading in Middle East studies on hundreds of North American Universities, cast Israel and Zionism as the last outpost of Western Colonialism. Said, America’s most recognized Palestinian voice until his death in 2003, rejected the 1993 Oslo Accords as a Palestinian “sell out” to White America and Israel. His sympathies for Hamas as Palestinian community builders punctuate his Palestinian Liberation legacy that today dominates courses and University discourses on Israel and the Palestinian cause.

What is surprising is how clearly Columbia’s Israel-erasure studies helped lead to the October 7, 2023 massacres, mass rape, and kidnapping in Israel and transformed Columbia, Harvard, Yale, and scores of other US universities into hotbeds of Hamas Jihadi activism and support. October 7 has crowned Hamas over Mahmoud Abbas’ and his Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority as the true Palestinian leadership in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria ( former Jordanian-occupied West Bank) and across American campuses.

Hamas’ refrain, “From the River to the Sea Palestine Will be Free” – a clarion call from its 1988 charter to take up arms and destroy Israel today serves as Palestinian National and Islamic “Anthem” on hundreds of North American Universities. Massad called Hamas’ October 7 Massacres “Awesome.” Rashid Khalidi said Palestinians had “no alternative” than to commit the October 7 atrocities. One hundred Columbia professors signed a petition of support for Hamas’ “Military actions”. Major funding for these Hamas solidarity protests comes from far-Left organizations including American Muslims for Palestine, Students for Justice in Palestine, and even radical Jewish groups including Jewish Voice for Peace, and WESPAC its fiscal sponsor as well as Within Our Lifetime.

Hamas’ long arm to US university Campuses

The mainstreaming of Hamas rhetoric on campus began well before October 7. For nearly two decades, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Marxist Leninist terror group PFLP that famously executed skyjackings in the 1970s and mass murders in Israel since the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000 and their US supporters have dominated Palestinian activism on North American University campuses. This has not been “pro-Palestine” activism: No mention of Palestinian statehood, no chants for two states for two peoples, and no demands to complete the peace process. Rather, today’s calls for Jihad in Arabic and English, such as “Israel is a settler colonial occupying state”, “gas the Jews,” “rape is resistance,” and “Burn down Tel Aviv, Death to Zionism” have characterized pro Hamas campus messages.

Hamas decade’s longtime support on US university campuses via organizations such as Students for Justice in Palestine( SJP) and the Palestinian Solidarity committee explain campus sympathies for Hamas’ mass rape, torture, and murder of some 1200 college-age students in Israel six months ago. Columbia protestors promised “10,000 more October 7th massacres” as one keffiye-shrouded loyalist punched visiting Israeli Arab activist Yosef Haddad in the face.

This is only the beginning of a metastasizing phenomenon. We are currently witnessing what many in Israel and the United States in the traditional Jewish and Christian communities would not have believed to be a possible scenario until October 7, 2023: the mainstreaming of Hamas in US Cities and campuses. This is the intersectionality of jihad: Pro-ISIS, Pro-Qaida, Pro Hezbollah and pro-Hamas protesters are demonstrating for “resistance” against the Israeli “oppressor,” which they have branded an apartheid, Nazi genocidal state that should be destroyed.

There are lessons to be learned from Hamas’ PLO- PA’s “education” of America that today targets not only Israel but Jews, America, and the West as a whole. Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and Yasser Arafat before them have for decades educated American Universities to jihad. For the past 30 years of the Oslo peace process the “Moderate” internationally legitimized Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leaders, Yasser Arafat and, subsequently, Mahmoud Abbas, created and amplified a narrative of jihad (holy war) Israeli apartheid Genocide and Nazi and Soviet conspiracy theories against Jews, not merely Israel. Furthermore, the PA’s policy of paying incentive annuities for murdering Israelis has, over the past three decades, fashioned a generation and a half of Palestinian youth who have become radicalized and ready to commit murder for money and sacrifice themselves as shahids (martyrs) and gaining support in the West as heroes

Israel erasure propaganda in America is more than 50 years old. Yasser Arafat’s infamous 1974 speech at the UN accusing Israel of being a racist and illegitimate state, his “gun-and-holster” speech was followed by the notorious 1975 UNGA “Zionism is Racism” Resolution 3379, which remained on the UN’s books for 16 years. The Israel-apartheid libel was carried forward to the UN-sanctioned 2001 Durban I Conference that recast Israel as a racist, genocidal war criminal state to be eliminated from the community of nations.

Years of genocidal rhetoric on university campuses have now come full circle to hunt and to haunt US Jewry. Both official Israel, Israeli NGOs, and the diaspora Jewish leadership have failed to counter decades of the massive campaign to vilify, delegitimize, and dehumanize Israel. Many in Israel and the pro-Israel community turned a blind eye and even legitimized this Israel-erasure campaign, characterizing its rhetoric as “legitimate political criticism”.

October 7 provides the context and the evidence for the convergence of this discourse of Israel’s destruction together with the eradication of Israelis and Jews wherever they live. Jihad’s genocidal rhetoric is not limited to Israel. It knows no boundaries. Ghazi Hamad, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said: “The Al-Aqsa Flood is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.” Another senior Hamas official, Mahmoud az-Zahar, has threatened to target Jews “wherever they are.” Hamas’ rhetorical attacks have already spilled over into the United States and other Western countries, where pro-Israel and Jewish facilities and communities are now targets.

Hamas’ Nazification of Israel and the Jews must be taken seriously. It constitutes a real threat not only to Israel and the Diaspora Jewish community. It targets America and the West. The new mainstreamed Jihadi discourse on US Campuses and cities encourages and energizes Hamas and other Islamic terror organizations to attack the West with impunity. It sets a precedent. Hamas’ extremist ideology rooted in Islamist, Nazi, and Soviet propaganda is inciting violence against Jews and Jewish institutions across North America today.

Over the past several decades, Israeli governments and many in the Diaspora Jewish leadership failed to grasp the gravity of these deadly accusations and the implication for the massive outbreak of antisemitism and violence against Jews.

Now is the time for unity and action. Israel must now work with US federal and local officials to shutter every one of SJP’s campus chapters while enforcing Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This initiative must be maximized by a massive media campaign in the US exposing the terrorist roots of this jihadist-backed and supported organization that constitutes one of the greatest threats to Israel Jews and the United States itself since the Nazi era.