newsIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Chikli: Talk of Pal state post-Oct. 7 sign of US moral collapse

Such an eventuality would "embolden Hamas and make the PLO irrelevant," the Israeli minister told JNS.

Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Amichai Chikli. Photo by Reuven Kapochinsky.
Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Amichai Chikli. Photo by Reuven Kapochinsky.

Talk emanating from the halls of power in Washington of creating a Palestinian state in the aftermath of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre illustrates the moral collapse of America, Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Amichai Chikli told JNS on Wednesday.

Such an eventuality would “embolden Hamas and make the PLO irrelevant. It would turn [Hamas terror chief in the Gaza Strip] Yahya Sinwar into the David Ben-Gurion of the Palestinian people,” he added.

“It is tantamount to telling Palestinians that if you murder babies and rape women, you will be rewarded with a state. It is absurd,” said Chikli during a CAMERA mission to southern Israeli communities devastated on Oct. 7.

The event was attended by JNS journalists including Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Tobin and Jerusalem Bureau Chief Alex Traiman.

Chikli said that this moral collapse was evident at universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, whose presidents caused a firestorm late last year by telling the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce that calls for genocide against Jews might violate their university guidelines depending on the “context.”

In December, Chikli told JNS in an interview that Harvard University had become synonymous with antisemitism and the collapse of core academic values spreading like wildfire on American campuses.

“Universities that were unable to issue an unequivocal condemnation of October 7 are in a colossal crisis from a moral point of view,” he said. “Moral relativism has created a moral abyss. Truth has become a relative term.”

Claudine Gay resigned as president of Harvard University on Jan. 2 following the Dec. 9 resignation of Penn president Liz Magill. MIT president Sally Kornbluth has resisted calls to submit her resignation.

Kornbluth on Tuesday announced the suspension of the anti-Israel student group Coalition Against Apartheid/CAA, an offshoot of Students for Justice in Palestine, for violating campus protest rules.

Administrators at Columbia University received a demand for documents on Monday, joining other Ivy League institutions facing scrutiny from Congress for the failure to protect Jewish students following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) wrote to Columbia that the House Education and Workforce Committee she chairs has “grave concerns regarding the inadequacy of Columbia’s response to antisemitism on its campus.” She pointed out that the school’s “environment of pervasive antisemitism” goes back long before last fall, citing instances of “assaults, harassment and vandalism.”

Chikli advocated increased pressure “by all means” on academic institutions that tolerate antisemitism, adding that the strong backlash across the political spectrum against the university heads’ testimony created an opportunity for change and showcased the massive foreign funding of American universities by Qatar that many Americans did not know existed.

In the interview, the Diaspora affairs minister noted that the antisemitism that has burst out in the open on American campuses in the wake of the war against Hamas in Gaza has led to a concomitant increase in Jewish identity.

“We are witness to a dynamic in which anti-Jewish hate is leading to an increase in Jewish identity,” he said, citing a slogan that read: “The more you hate us, the Jew-isher we get.”

The Biden administration is bucking decades of U.S. foreign policy by considering a plan to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, despite deep opposition to the move within Israel.

Both Axios and The New York Times recently reported about this potential major shift in the American approach towards Palestinian statehood, which hitherto has emphasized direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed support for “tangible steps” towards the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip during a meeting with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

According to the most recent “Peace Index” survey released by Tel Aviv University, when Israelis were asked whether they support the creation of a “Palestinian” state alongside Israel, 66% of Jewish respondents said they opposed such a move, while 27% expressed support for the creation of a “Palestine.”

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