OpinionSchools & Higher Education

Pro-Palestinian student groups hail Hamas terrorism

These emotional terrorists can no longer be allowed to threaten Jewish and pro-Israel students with impunity.

A post by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Source: screenshot/Douglas Sandoval
A post by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Source: screenshot/Douglas Sandoval
Douglas Sandoval
Douglas Noel Sandoval
Douglas Noel Sandoval is managing director of CAMERA on Campus, the campus wing of the media watchdog the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting & Analysis.

While many watched in horror as the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks on southern Israel left more than 700 Israelis murdered, over 100 taken hostage and over 2,000 injured, radical campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and its affiliates across the United States have been busy defending the atrocities.

Time and time again, CAMERA on Campus has exposed SJP and its affiliates. Last spring, we published a campaign website dedicated to debunking the antisemitic propaganda the groups disseminate.

One of their most heinous tactics is the whitewashing of Palestinian terror groups’ violent, immoral and illegal actions. This trend only intensified over the weekend with Hamas’ massive, gruesome assault upon Israelis.

Since Saturday morning, SJP chapters at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, Baruch College, City University of New York, Columbia University, University of Chicago, Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, the University of South Florida, Boston University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Wayne State University, University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles and others have pledged their support for Palestinian “resistance”—that is, terrorism.

The groups also circulate virulent material from the Palestinian Youth Movement, Within Our Lifetime and other pages run by terror apologists.

A post by John Jay SJP epitomized the group’s sentiment, reading: “Enough is Enough. Resistance in the only answer” over a photo of a Palestinian man standing on a hijacked Israeli tank. The text attached to the post linked to several propaganda outlets well-known for spreading antisemitic libels.

On Saturday morning, the SJP chapter at St. Xavier University celebrated “settlements being bombarded,” “IOF [a derogatory term for the IDF] soldiers being captured” and  “over 5,000 rockets fired into cities in Israel by resistance fighters,” calling these actions a“Collective Front of Resistance Across Palestine.”

SJP at Rutgers University shared an Instagram story that framed the Hamas infiltration and ensuing massacre as “an occupied people rising against an apartheid nuclear state.” Their attempts to frame the violent massacre of Israelis as “resistance” to advance “Palestinian liberation” are deeply revealing and quite monstrous. It has nothing to do with changing the circumstances for the people of Gaza. SJP is whitewashing the murder, maiming and trauma inflicted upon Israeli civilians—including children—and/or actively celebrating these heinous acts.

The SJP chapter at John Jay College of Criminal Justice also attempted to defend the actions of Hamas. The group shared a tweet from Hamas sympathizer and terror apologist Lamis Deek that downplayed the documented brutality of the terrorists that entered the kibbutzim along the Gaza border.

“Watching Palestinian Freedom Fighters comforting the zionist colonizers they are arresting, promising them safety,” wrote Deek.

In reality, terrorists entered communities in the south and indiscriminately killed men, women and children. In Netiv Ha’asara, a small farming community on the Gaza border, 15 civilians were murdered. Hamas terrorists also fired rockets and bullets into a crowd of partygoers in Kibbutz Re’im, killing Israelis and foreigners without compunction, leaving many missing, injured and dead.

The idea that this hideous campaign of atrocities amounts to Hamas offering “comfort” and “promising safety” to its victims is a grotesque lie, an absurd attempt to paper over Hamas brutality.

It is profoundly concerning that university-recognized student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine brazenly celebrate the tragic events over the weekend as a “victory” and attempt to justify the killing and suffering of the loved ones, colleagues and friends of the Jewish students that walk the same halls, attend the same lectures and live in the same dorms. This too, in its own small way, is a terrorist atrocity.

While college and university administrators, student governments and government officials should uphold the principle of free speech for all students, they must also be responsible for maintaining the safety of Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus.

If there is anything to learn from this weekend, it is that SJP chapters are comfortable with mainstreaming antisemitism and lauding the horrific violence committed against thousands of Jewish people. They are emotional terrorists.

They evidently sense the laxity (or cowardice) of many college and university administrations that tolerate demonization of Jews and Israelis. The question has to be asked again and again: When will academic leaders use their pulpit to forcefully and consistently denounce bigotry against Jews and the Jewish state—as they would if any other group were subjected to such an assault?

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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