This op-ed was written by Yoni Michanie, the research and data manager for the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM):
Last week, Hamas launched a devastating invasion of Israel by air, land, and sea. In an unprecedented moment in Israeli history, more than twenty southern border communities were overrun by hundreds of Palestinian terrorists and suffered unfathomable losses. Children were massacred in their beds, infants were decapitated and burned, women were raped on the corpses of the dead and around 200 people were dragged into captivity in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas’ actions have rightly been compared to atrocities carried out by both the Nazis and ISIS, and the Oct. 7 Iran-backed pogrom was indisputably the worst tragedy to befall the Jewish people since the Holocaust.
While these blatant crimes against humanity have been strongly denounced by most Western nations, demonstrators in many of their respective capitals have raised Palestinian flags in celebration of the killing of Jews. In front of the White House in Washington, D.C., protestors called for a renewed intifada against Israel; in Madrid, Spain, hundreds of marchers denounced the city’s decision to express solidarity with Israel, and in Sydney, a pro-Palestinian rally included chants of “Gas the Jews!”
At least 1,300 Israelis were slaughtered in the Hamas attack and no one claiming to be on the side of humanity can look at the images circulating on social media without feeling confusion, appallment, and fury.
Hamas, Iran, Qatar and other states in the region are invoking international humanitarian law to condemn Israel’s acts of self-defense in Gaza. This same hypocrisy is displayed by anti-Israel organizations on college campuses across the globe making thinly-disguised calls for more dead Jews.
For years, anti-Israel campus groups cloaked their antisemitism with universal progressive rhetoric. They have justified stabbing attacks against Israelis by invoking anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism. They have promoted the dismantlement of the world’s only Jewish state by distorting the international definitions of crimes against humanity, such as apartheid. They have even demonized Israel’s inherent democratic nature by arguing it is a facade to oppress Palestinians while minimizing global criticism.
University administrators have continually defended these groups’ right to freedom of speech and expression, arguing campuses are a marketplace for the free exchange of ideas. Following last week’s brutal Hamas slaughter of Israeli civilians, officials at these institutions must stop the years-long mental gymnastics used to shield students and faculty inciting violence against Jews.
The current demonstrations are not about fighting supposed apartheid. They are not about establishing a democratic Palestinian state that would uphold civil liberties. They are about championing a genocidal terrorist group that has just proven its unquenchable thirst for Jewish blood to the entire world. Those who support Hamas’ actions have shown their true faces, and allowing this charade to continue on college campuses endangers Jewish lives. Enough is enough!
At Harvard University, 31 student groups penned a letter alleging Israel was “solely responsible” for the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas. At the University of California-San Diego, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) released backing Hamas. At New York University, the president of the Law School Student Bar Association blamed Israel for the violence, and at Columbia University, twenty Palestinian “solidarity groups” issued a joint statement urging the university to end its ties with “apartheid Israel.”
Simultaneously, the national leadership of SJP called for a “National Day of Resistance” across the U.S., encouraging its members to continue “challenging Zionist hegemony,” claiming that “popularizing our resistance is a critical part of advancing our national movement.”
In recent days, the Israeli government has published photos of Jewish children burned to a crisp by barbaric terrorists seeking to “resist the Zionists.” Allowing students — or faculty for that matter — to openly support this sort of violence on campus challenges every principle of academic conduct held by universities across the country.
Students exemplifying such conduct must not only be publicly denounced by administrations, but also expelled without hesitation from the student body — if Al Qaeda, ISIS, and KKK do not have advocacy branches at universities across the U.S., then Hamas should not be the exception.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict might be a complex geopolitical issue that demands serious conversations and analysis.
Ostracizing and removing violent antisemites who celebrate the beheading of Jewish children, raping of Jewish women, and mass murder of Jewish civilians, however, is not.