OpinionSchools & Higher Education

A Syracuse University professor’s history of support for ‘all forms of resistance’

The Swiss government has terminated support for an organization co-founded by Syracuse professor Osamah Khalil.

An illustrative image of Syracuse University. Source: DeepAI.
An illustrative image of Syracuse University. Source: DeepAI.
Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian is an Israeli-American entrepreneur and president of the Syracuse Jewish Parents Council. 

Professor Osamah Khalil is chair of the International Relations Undergraduate Program at Syracuse University. He is also co-founder of Al-Shabaka/The Palestinian Policy Network, which is funded in part by George Soros’s Open Society Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Following the Oct. 7 massacre, the Swiss government terminated its support for Al-Shabaka, saying the group engaged in “an apology for violence” in response to the attacks. The watchdog group NGO Monitor has linked Al-Shabaka to the PFLP terrorist group and described Al-Shabaka as “belittling, if not justifying” the Oct. 7 atrocities.

Al-Shabaka has most certainly belittled and justified the murder of Jews. Its employees have made dozens of declarations to this effect.

According to NGO Monitor, on Oct. 8, the group tweeted, “Al-Shabaka rejects the Israeli Regime’s colonial borders that work to fragment and ultimately erase Palestinian existence. Breaching these boundaries expands the Palestinian imaginary [sic] for possibilities of both resistance and collective freedom. We recognize that decolonization is not a metaphor; it is not merely statements or analysis, but an active process that demands the dismantling of colonial power and the reclamation of land. We stand alongside those committed to this effort and to the liberation of Palestinans [sic] worldwide.”

Khalil himself has yet to condemn the massacre. On Oct. 9, before any major Israeli military operations, he called for a ceasefire while bodies were still strewn across southern Israel. He has endorsed “all forms of resistance”—including, one presumes, terrorism—against Israel. In 2014, he signed a petition calling for the complete suspension of military aid to Israel.

Al-Shabaka’s rhetoric is virulent and poisonous. It includes accusations of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid,” “genocide,” “collective punishment,” and “war crimes.” It also supports a Palestinian “right of return” that would transform Israel into an Arab supremacist state.

Khalil himself has repeatedly encouraged Oct. 7-style attacks. In a 2008 article, he proclaimed of Gazans breaking through the wall on Gaza’s Egyptian border, “The destruction of the Rafah wall was quite simply a victory of, and for, the Palestinian people. One can only hope that this time will be the first wall of many to fall in Palestine.”

He also said, “That Palestinians went over that line again and again illustrates the powerful urge for freedom from oppression and occupation. More importantly, it demonstrates what Palestinians can do when they act as a collective body.”

On Oct. 7, the Gazans demonstrated precisely what they could do.

Khalil has also endorsed Hamas rule, saying, “They are and they were elected to represent the Palestinian people. And what most Palestinians want, I think … is also that they want a national unity government between Fatah and Hamas.”

He has also called for a carefully planned and organized campaign of violence, saying, “As has been demonstrated repeatedly in Palestinian history an intifada without a unified leadership or a strategy is doomed to fail with dire consequences for the future. Merely calling for an intifada is not the same as planning and preparing for one.”

Khalil’s radicalism is intense and violent. In 2008, for example, he slammed the terror-supporting Palestinian Authority for its supposed moderation.

“The P.A. won’t even embrace BDS,” he complained, “they give it lip service.” He derided the P.A. for its diplomatic efforts, calling them “ridiculous thinking” and “childish.” It “prevents us from looking at how deeply embedded the P.A. is in the occupation system, in the apartheid system and the benefits they get from it, and it prevents the Palestinians from actually moving forward.”

He further rejected diplomacy and a two-state solution outright, saying, “We need to abandon partition logic and negotiation logic. The Palestinians accepted a compromise; it was forced on them effectively by the international community. … They all told them that’s the only game in town at this point. And that compromise has proven to be a Trojan horse, because what effectively happened is, they [the P.A.] got wrapped into this negotiations game. Come negotiate; and then we’ll keep negotiating for the next 25 years. And that’s effectively where they are today; let’s keep negotiating about these increasingly smaller pieces of the pie, and smaller and smaller rights and smaller and smaller freedoms. So, the question is how do you step out of that box?”

On Oct. 7, Hamas demonstrated how to “step out” of Khalil’s “box.”

In short, the head of Syracuse University’s International Relations Undergraduate Program is a Soros-funded, Hamas-supporting advocate of violence. Given this, the systemic antisemitic violence on college campuses should come as no surprise.

What is terrifying is that this could be America’s future. Khalil’s students will end up working in newsrooms, government and business throughout the U.S. and the world. The damage they could do is immense.

Neither Syracuse University nor Mr. Khalil have responded to requests for comment. It is unclear whether Khalil will be allowed to continue to indoctrinate students. If history is any guide, however, Syracuse will defend him with everything it has.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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