The Israeli-Palestinian debate is an intense one, packed with questions of history, demography, and land disputes. But why does it always seem like it’s one side of the debate that’s shutting down events, making violent threats (or actually taking violent action), and just generally acting really immature?
Students from numerous universities gathered in October for the 2017 National Students for Justice in Palestine Conference at the University of Houston. Some of them weren’t just pro-Palestinian, but have spread misinformation and actively incited violence, watchdog group Canary Mission found.
Take Samer Alhato, for instance, a Saint Xavier University student and workshop leader at the 2017 NSJP. Alhato tweeted “Barack Obama, shut up about gay marriage and go kill all the Jews.” He’s also made no secret that he’s a fan of terrorist group Hamas, saying “YES I SUPPORT HAMAS!” and “Hamas promotes peace.”
When discussing the tragic shooting of children in Israel, Alhato lies by omission, saying “Marah al Bakri a 15 year old girl shot by Jewish settlers & the Israeli police, accusing her of carrying a knife,” leaving out the part when al Bakri stabbed the Israeli policeman who proceeded to shoot and injure her in self-defense. The student also said “Jewish settlers in east Jerusalem executed 3 school children…one of them was a 14 year-old boy,” but didn’t include the part after the attack where the teen reportedly said he “went there to stab Jews” nor any of the footage showing him and his brother chasing after a man with knives.
Also present at the NSJP Conference was Halima Eid, a member of San Diego State University’s Muslim Students Association. It’s perfectly okay if a person doesn’t agree with the concept of Zionism, but Eid takes what could be an interesting conversation a little bit further, suggesting that “we should just stone all the Zionists to death, Palestinian style,” saying “I would never kill a human or animal…only Zionists cuz they are neither,” and really seeming to get into it with “let your killing go crazy…Zionist Massacre…Make them all drop.”
For the record, the term Zionist has been twisted into a pejorative by both Palestinians and the Left. Zionism, in reality, is a belief in the self-determination of the Jewish people and their right to a homeland in Israel. Gee, who else believes they have a right to their own nation on legal and historical grounds? Could it be just about every people on the planet, including Palestinians?
Vigorous debates, peaceful protests, these things are what college is about. But calling for violence, making it impossible for the speakers to speak, those tactics won’t solve anything. And regardless of your political beliefs, after seeing events on campus the past couple of years, it’s clear that the left has a lot to learn.