Opinion

Students for Justice in Palestine lies in order to memorialize terrorists

It’s a thinly veiled justification for a genocidal assault on Jews.

A Students for Justice in Palestine march. Credit: JCPA.
A Students for Justice in Palestine march. Credit: JCPA.
Adam Gordon. Credit: Courtesy.
Adam Gordon
Adam Gordon is a senior campus advisor at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), where he works with students across the United States and Canada.  

While cities like Jerusalem, Hebron and Jenin are well-known as frontlines of the Arab-Israeli conflict, North American college campuses are a theater of another type of war.

Anti-Zionist student groups and faculty members routinely use the language of “social justice,” “liberation” and “resistance” to whitewash the heinous actions of Palestinian terror groups that vow to destroy the State of Israel and take the lives of Israelis in and out of uniform.

On Nov. 23, the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at Georgetown University posted a carousel on Instagram that featured the profiles of 16 “young Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.”

Derived from posts by the anti-Zionist propaganda group Palestinian Youth Movement, the carousel listed names, photos and a brief “description” that presented the individuals as innocent victims of the IDF.

Cursory research, however, reveals a likely reason for Georgetown SJP’s omission of certain details regarding the deaths of these individuals: Of the 16 people listed, 12 were directly involved in acts of terror:

  • Mahdi Hashash was killed when he attempted to throw an explosive device during a visit by members of Knesset to Joseph’s Tomb.
  • Ali Antar, Mishal Baghdadi, Wadee Al-Hawah, Hamdi Qayyem and Hamdi Sharaf were armed members of the Lion’s Den terrorist group. They were killed in an intense firefight on Oct. 25 when the IDF raided the group’s headquarters and explosives factory. The Lion’s Den is thought to be responsible for the murder of an Israeli soldier and attempts to plant bombs in Jaffa and Kedumim.
  • Qusay Tamimi was killed after he threw a bomb at Israeli forces during a protest related to the raid on the Lion’s Den headquarters.
  • Tamer al-Kilani was a senior member of the Lion’s Den. At the time of his death, several attacks he planned had been foiled. He was also involved in shooting incidents around Nablus.
  • Oday al-Tamimi, also spelled “Udai Tamimi,” shot and killed 18-year-old IDF soldier Noa Lazar at a checkpoint near Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood. Tamimi attempted to carry out another attack but was killed by security forces after he opened fire near the entrance to Ma’aleh Adumim.
  • Adel Dawoud, also spelled “Daoud,” was killed by Israeli forces after he threw a Molotov cocktail at troops stationed near the security barrier around Qalqilya.
  • Khaled Anbar and Salameh Sharayah were killed by Israeli forces after attempting to ram soldiers with a car during an arrest raid.

This isn’t the first time SJP has engaged in such egregious deception. In March, the SJP chapter at UMass Amherst hosted a vigil that memorialized members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, presenting them as “martyrs.” For context, these terror groups appear on the same list as Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

To whitewash the actions of these so-called “martyrs” at Georgetown, UMass or any other campus is to deny and erase the darkest chapters of Israeli history—the first and second intifadas, which took place from 1987-1993 and 2000-2005. During these two Palestinian terror campaigns, thousands of Israelis were killed in suicide bombings, stonings, stabbings and shootings, including numerous women and children.

Georgetown SJP’s “activism” in defense of Palestinian terrorism is yet another example of the growing hostility and bigotry directed at Jewish and Israeli students on college and university campuses across the United States.

Such efforts are more organized than they may appear. As 2021-2022 CAMERA fellow Aidan Segal wrote, “The ideological heirs to the 20th century’s eliminationist strain of antisemitism don’t wear their predecessors’ jackboots and black shirts. They don’t goosestep, nor do they “sieg heil”—at least not always. Instead, they wear the deceptively hospitable masks of civil rights activists—holding crude, modern imitations of the Wannsee Conference, airing out their genocidal fantasies under the politically appealing banner of Palestinian liberation.”

In a Jerusalem Post editorial published in May 2022, Segal exposed incidents in which chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and far-left group Jewish Voice for Peace—which maintained a chapter at Georgetown for some time—collaborated with Samidoun, an organization with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.

Samidoun spreads propaganda with the same messaging as Georgetown SJP’s Nov. 23 post. It attempts to justify acts of terrorism and dismisses them as a form of “resistance” and “martyrdom.” In a Dec. 20 post, for example, the group offered a “salute” to Nasser Abu Hmeid, a founding member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, who was responsible for the deaths of seven Israelis during the second intifada.

Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia must address the bigotry espoused by anti-Israel student groups on campus. Ultimately, attempts by SJP to pass off individuals who commit acts of terror against Jews and Israelis as “martyrs” isn’t just disingenuous, it’s a thinly veiled justification for a genocidal assault on Jews.

Is this the message that Georgetown wants its students to espouse?

Adam Gordon is a Campus Advisor for CAMERA on Campus covering New England, the Southeastern United States and Canada.

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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