Jewish College Students Need Our Help, And They Need It Now
28 years ago, I was a sophomore at The University of Miami, walking to class through the breezeway outside of the Student Union on our beautiful campus in Coral Gables. Several tables were set up, displaying SWAG and fliers representing a mishmash of student organizations.
Wearing my Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity letters, jean shorts fastened by one of those braided leather belts that hung, and sandals, I rolled my eyes with my friends at these clubs, who were trying so badly to register students for volunteer opportunities. Key Club, Kiwanis Club, Rotary? Are you really asking that I sign a sheet, committing me to wake up at 7am on a Saturday to help build something?
And so we passed right through, chuckling amongst ourselves about these nerds, soaking up the warm November air.
I’m aging myself and noting what a dick I was, but that’s not the point.
See, I had the privilege of moving about campus completely carefree in my own world and comfortable in my own skin—the type of freedom that every college student deserves.
Boy, did I take that for granted.
Today, this college experience would seem so foreign, because I would need eyes in the back of my head, on my shoulder blades, spine, sternum, rib cages, knees and calves. Even that type of vigilance wouldn’t protect me from the rampant antisemitism on college campuses that has spread like a slow moving coup for the last two decades, but is now exploding into terror and violence.
Yes, we are in the actual fuck having this conversation in 2023 in America.
Here's a recap of what's happened to Jewish kids on or near college campuses in the last week:
Columbia University: An Israeli student was assaulted after confronting a woman for tearing down posters with photos of Israeli civilians being held hostage by Hamas.
George Washington University: “Glory to our Martyrs” was projected at night onto campus buildings.
Northwestern University: Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) staged a walkout, demanding that the university divest from organizations supporting Israel.
Tulane University: Pro-Palestinian “protesters” attempted to burn an Israeli flag and attacked Jewish students holding a peaceful counter-demonstration.
Cooper Union: A Free Palestine lynch mob pursued Jewish students, forcing them to lock themselves into the campus library.
Cornell University: The campus went on lockdown after receiving these messages on social media that are captured directly as written, grammar/spelling mistakes and all:
"Israel deserved 10/7, the genocidal fascist zionist regime will be destroyed. râpe and kill all the jew women, before they birth more jewish hitlers. jews are excrement on the face of the earth. no jew civilian is innocent of genocide."
“Allahu akbar! From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free! Glory to Hamas! Liberation by any means necessary!”
Then a mob of mostly Muslim extremists stormed the airport in Makhachkala in Russia, hunting down Jewish passengers who had just arrived from Tel Aviv. They couldn’t wait for the passengers to disembark, so they trampled through security, making their way onto the tarmac and literally scaling the aircraft’s wings to desperately be the first to kill Jews. This didn’t happen on a college campus, I know, but…antisemitic semantics.
The Anti-Defamation League reported a 388% increase in anti-Jewish incidents since October 7th compared to the same period of time last year.
November 8th will mark the 85th anniversary of the Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) pogrom, the prelude to The Holocaust in which the Nazis and other collaborators waged a destructive campaign of violence against German Jews. No, we are not living in Nazi Germany, but there are unnerving similarities: German Jews, once fully integrated into their societies and communities, saw their freedom snatched away in the blink of an eye while the world watched. Jewish students, once free to socialize, learn, grow, and develop on college campuses, are seeing their value and safety threatened in short order as their universities watch.
While there have been some arrests and condemnations from university presidents, they have been way too few and far between.
Jewish college students need our help, and they need it now.
What “Free Palestine” Groups Are Really Advocating For
Student organizations like SJP function under the guise of social justice, when they are nothing more than pro-terror groups.
They are pro-terror groups because they are celebrating the actions of Hamas, a terrorist organization, that rules Gaza.
Hamas is a terrorist organization, because it just killed more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and took at least 200 hostage. They buried and burnt people alive, they raped, and they murdered babies. They systematically gathered intelligence and drew up detailed plans to attack elementary schools and youth centers, specifically targeting women and children.
Hamas is a terrorist organization, because they are recognized as such by the United States, the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Hamas is a terrorist organization because their charter, established in 1988, contains 36 articles with explicit instructions to kill Jews, like number 7:
"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."
Students who dress like Hamas terrorists, waving Palestinian flags, shouting, “From the river to the sea! Palestine will be free!” are not fighting for freedom of any sort or a two state solution. No, this is the Jihadist clarion call for the establishment of the State of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea that can only be achieved by ethnically cleansing Jews and vaporizing the State of Israel.
The biggest lie ever bought and sold and glommed onto by the East and the West is that Israelis are white, European colonists committing genocide under an apartheid regime.
I know it’s difficult to let the truth get in the way of a good antisemitic story, but let me cut through the lies and provide a history lesson that Ivy League professors on the Qatari payroll (a country that is harboring Hamas leader, Ismail Abdel Salam Ahmed Haniyeh) aren’t teaching.:
- The Jews settled and developed the Land of Israel beginning in 1,000 BCE with the Kingdoms of David, Saul, and Solomon, which is almost 2,000 years before Islam was founded. It’s important to note that The Land of Israel and Palestine were used interchangeably, though Palestine represents a name only and not a nation.
- In 586 BCE, the Babylonians, under King Nebuchadnezzar, destroyed the First Temple and exiled the Jews to Babylon.
- Following the Persian and Hellenistic rules, in came the Romans who destroyed the Second Temple in 70 CE.
- To world history’s chagrin, no matter how hard empires, imperialists, and marauders have tried to eliminate Jewish existence, we’ve always found a way to survive. Even after The Crusades, a centuries-long period when Jews were systematically executed, the Jewish community experienced a revival as many rabbis and Jewish travelers made their way to Jerusalem and the Galilee, enriching the region's Jewish presence and culture.
- Over the span of three centuries, renowned rabbis set up communities in places like Safed and Jerusalem. By the start of the 19th century, even before the rise of modern Zionism, the areas now known as Israel were home to over 10,000 Jews.
- In 1517, the Ottoman Empire took control of the region and ruled it until the early 20th century.
- In 1882, when there was a significant influx of Jewish immigrants to the region, the Arab population was less than 250,000, many of whom had settled there only in the recent past. Though Arabic became the dominant language after the Muslim conquests in the 7th century, Palestine was not solely an Arab domain. No independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed.
Now let’s now fast forward to key events of the 20th century:
- The Balfour Declaration - Britain conquered the land from the Ottoman Empire—who ruled from 1516 to 1917—and issued the Balfour Declaration, which supported the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people, laying the foundation for the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
- The War of Independence - On the day the British Mandate was officially terminated, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel and would become its first Prime Minister. Then the Arab League, consisting of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Transjordan, Egypt, contingents from Sudan, and Palestinians attacked a fledgling Israel with a makeshift army, including European Jews who had just survived the Holocaust and had nowhere to return to except their ancestral homeland. Please pause and understand that many who fought were men and women, who in the previous 10 years, were stripped of their businesses, ripped from their homes, transported by crowded trains to death camps, separated from their children, witnessed and experienced horror and evil beyond comprehension, and were reduced almost to skeletons. Against all odds, they lived. They endured years of brutal labor, torture, typhus, malaria, dysentery and starvation, and as soon as they were nursed back to health, they deferred their trauma, and fought like hell and defeated the sophisticated Arab militaries on multiple fronts for statehood.
- The Six Day War - In 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, a vital maritime route for Israel. Based on intelligence that an invasion from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria was imminent, Israel struck first, not only defeating all three nations, but also capturing the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.
- The Yom Kippur War - On October 6, 1973 (nearly 50 years to the day of the October 7 Hamas attack), Egypt, led by President Anwar Sadat, and Syria attacked Israel’s forces in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights during Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews. Israel won the rematch and agreed to a ceasefire and recognized UN Resolution 340, and withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula.
Of import: since Israeli independence, Palestinians have rejected the opportunity of statehood five times.
So, back to Gaza.
As mentioned above, Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip after the War of Independence. Though Israel won the land outright in The Six Day War, it offered to withdraw in exchange for a peace agreement which its Arab neighbors rejected. As a result of the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel redeployed (moved away from) large portions of Gaza and the West Bank, leaving 99% of Palestinians living under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. Then, in 2003, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced that Israel would fully withdraw from Gaza by 2005, as well as some small settlements in the West Bank. Mind you, there were 8,000 Israeli civilians living in Gaza, many of whom were forcibly removed from their homes by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers.
Though Hamas was formed in 1987, it won legislative elections in 2006 in the Palestinian territories and violently overthrew the leadership of the secular Fatah party. As per its charter, since 2007, Hamas has conducted a multitude of terrorist attacks, notably in 2008, 2012, 2014, and of course just last month. Hamas has enjoyed generous financial support from Iran and Qatar, becoming the third richest terrorist organization in the world.
Hamas has never made its people a priority, refusing to invest its riches in education, housing, health care, and commerce to benefit its population of just over 2 million, almost half of which are children.
What professors like Russell Rickford at Cornell, who called the massacre of 1,400 Jewish civilians, “Exhilarating” and who offer extra credit to students who march in antisemitic rallies omit from their Middle Eastern Studies curricula is that Hamas has an investment portfolio of real estate and assets worth $1 billion, while sustaining an unemployment and poverty rate of 47% and 80% respectively.
What professors like Harvard University’s Marshall Ganz conveniently exclude is that Hamas spends 70% of its budget on improvised explosive devices, short- and long-range rockets and mortars, small arms, kidnapping operations, rocket-propelled grenades, man-portable air defense systems, anti-tank missiles, unmanned aircraft systems, armed drones and motorized paragliders in attacks, not on Israeli military personnel or stations, but strictly civilian targets. Hamas also uses its money to add to its 300-mile tunnel network used explicitly for assaults and holding Israelis and Americans hostage.
Also nixed from Duke University Professor Miriam Cooke’s courses is this report from NBC News:
“Hamas has filled its coffers with hundreds of millions in international aid, overt and covert injections of cash from Iran and other ideological partners, as well as cryptocurrency, taxes, extortion and smuggling, according to current and former U.S. officials and regional experts.”
Here’s what else academia doesn’t lecture about while demonizing Zionism:
- Trucks carrying food and fuel entering the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt are not being used to feed Palestinian civilians or power their homes and hospitals. Rather, they are seized by Hamas for the welfare of its terrorist killers and their weapon systems.
- Israel has a long-standing blockade in place to help deter further bloodshed on its people. Funny how you don’t hear a peep about the same blockade by Egypt, because, you know, they don’t want Hamas invading their country either.
- The Palestinian Authority pays salaries to every single terrorist and to anyone who is arrested fighting Israel in what is known as Pay for Slay.
You cannot be occupiers of the Gaza Strip when you haven’t been there for almost 20 years.
You cannot govern as an apartheid regime when Hamas, not Israel rules Gaza, when Israelis and Palestinians work side-by-side at SodaStream, Wix, WhatsApp, and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, and enlist together in the IDF, when neither Israelis nor Palestinians are jailed for eating together, walking the streets of Jerusalem together, living together, and parenting together.
I have a message to the following people and entities:
Rashida Tlaib and the rest of The Squad; UN Secretary-General, António Guterres; The New York Times, MSNBC, and CNN who take the word of the Hamas-run Health Ministry of Gaza; Pod Save America; Jon Stewart, Mark Ruffalo, and other Jewish celebrities; SJP; antisemitic college professors and their enabling university presidents; and the bastards tearing down fliers of the Jewish kidnapped and tortured:
How dare you.
How dare you appropriate Jewish suffering. How dare you accuse Jews of genocide when we are the victims of millennia of genocide. How dare you fight for equality, civil rights, a woman’s right to choose, and LGBTQ freedoms while siding with the starkest violators of these causes.
Queers for Palestine activists? Are you kidding me? See how long your head stays attached to your spinal column the second you step foot into Gaza. Tell me how many gay bars you find if you manage not to be mutilated. Find me a university where you could freely protest for your right to exist. Explain to me how you’re on Team Butcher when in democratic Israel you have the freedom of religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, voting rights, and the opportunity to work in the world capital of innovation.
Jewish Students Are Scared Shitless
At best, they see Swastikas and “Die Jews!” spray painted all over and are bullied in class by their peers and professors. At worst, they are violently attacked by SJP students, and their pleas for protection are being ignored by university leadership hiding behind the pretense of "freedom of expression." It doesn't take a Constitutional scholar to determine that violence is not protected by the First Amendment.
Imagine if this was the response the day after the Proud Boys marched in Charlottesville in 2017: The University of Virginia-sanctioned Students for White Supremacy organized rallies, chanting, “Free The Proud Boys! Death to the black and Muslim terrorists! All hail our Confederate heroes! Praised be the freedom fighters who extinguished Heather Heyer!” Then, over the course of the next three-and-a-half weeks, this galvanized hundreds of Students for White Supremacy rallies at universities throughout the country—encouraged by white nationalist professors—that violently terrorized black and Muslim students. And then not only did the presidents of these universities not condemn the Proud Boys or Students for White Supremacy, they completely shunned the cries for help from students fearing for their lives.
This type of response would never ever happen, because no college, no student, no professor, no municipality, no state legislature, and no Jew would tolerate it.
Why in the ever living hell is this shameful double standard acceptable when it involves the victimization of Jewish students?
What You Can Do
If you are Jewish or a person with a conscience on the up and up, you’re probably feeling helpless.
I feel a little less helpless and empowered when I write about this. I am also a member of my synagogue’s Combating Antisemitism Task Force, and I’ve been leveraging the resources provided by the Anti-Defamation League, Lawfare Project, JUF, StandWithUs, Stop Antisemitism, and AIPAC. These Jewish and Israel advocacy groups are fiercely pressuring universities, governments, law enforcement, and other leaders and entities of influence to protect Jewish students. They are holding in-person events and webinars and sending daily email blasts and posting to social media actionable steps to stay informed and join the fight.
Here are links:
It is heartening to see there have been some consequences: Stop Antisemitism is on the prowl, doxing students and professionals who have been posting hateful messages on social media or caught on camera vandalising properties and harrassing and attacking Jews. Companies are holding students to account, rescinding job offers and terminating the employment of offenders.
I understand that absorbing all the news of Jewish hate is excruciatingly fraught, but we have an obligation to stay abreast and accept nothing less than the right to safety for our Jewish students.
Because those who ignore the past are condemned to repeat it, and they are repeating it in real time.
Because 2023 is frighteningly mirroring 1933.
Because Never Again is right now.
About the Author, David Telisman
I am a Writer and Content Creator, and I work with businesses to inspire their customers to buy from them. I believe that my clients deserve to feel proud of how their content marketing looks and what it says, and I deliver by providing expert copywriting and marketing solutions.
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