To call someone “more Catholic than the Pope” is to satirize their presumptive piety. What should we call it when someone is more pro-Hamas than Hamas? That is the level to which the terrorist organization’s cheerleaders in the West, most vocal on American university campuses, have sunk.
Hamas terrorists committed the worst atrocities imaginable in Israel last weekend, on a scale difficult to fathom. Their barbarities are stomach-churning—and Hamas even admitted as much, in an official statement released on Wednesday, in which it claimed that it did “not target children,” and that those who believed it had done so were blindly siding with “the Zionist narrative, which is full of lies and slander.” In other words, it would be a slander, says Hamas, to claim that its terrorists had massacred children in their beds, beheaded them, burned them alive, or kidnapped them.
Of course, they are lying. They cannot un-publicize the horrific scenes Hamas terrorists gleefully projected across social media. But they are backtracking, because they now recognize that they overplayed their hand, overestimating the world’s tolerance for atrocities against Jews. They have lost their PR edge and now understand that murdering children is wrong, always—even for them.
This about-face catches Hamas’s Western allies in an awkward position. American members of groups like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) now appear in a uniquely atrocious light. While Hamas has chosen to deny (falsely) its atrocities, thereby confirming them as atrocities, SJP and similar organizations have already accepted that Hamas’s inhumane actions are true—and celebrated them.
When reports of beheaded babies and kidnapped Holocaust survivors first emerged into public awareness, the National SJP organization posted on social media that Hamas’s actions were “a historic win for the Palestinian resistance,” cheering, “this is what it means to Free Palestine: not just slogans and rallies, but armed confrontation with the oppressors.” Drawing on the language of Frantz Fanon-style post-colonial academics and activists, these ostensible progressives went further even than Hamas, celebrating the slaughter of Jewish babies and the rape of Jewish women.
Somehow, campus chapters managed to outdo even the National SJP’s sorry record. At UC–Berkeley, 51 student organizations signed a Bears for Palestine statement offering “unwavering support” for Hamas’s actions. “We honor Palestinians who are working on the ground on several axes of the so-called ‘Gaza envelope’ alongside our comrades in blood and arms, and what is coming is greater,” they wrote. “Victory or martyrdom.” They concluded: “We support the resistance, we support the liberation movement, we indisputably support the Uprising.”
The University of Virginia’s SJP chapter announced that it “unequivocally” supports “Palestinian liberation . . . by whatever means they deem necessary.” Remember that the people writing such statements already had access at this point to many of the details of the pogrom. Reports had circulated widely about mobile killing squads mowing down Jews by the time the UVA chapter of SJP wrote, “by whatever means.” Dozens of SJP chapters, among other “human rights” groups and identity-based organizations, have issued similar statements. They have staked out their positions, justified them with jargon, and proudly declared, in effect: spill more Jewish blood, rape more Jewish women, kill more Jewish children.
University administrators have long tolerated SJP and downplayed anti-Jewish rhetoric couched in academic pseudo-babble coming from pro-Palestinian campus groups. But the stark contrast between Hamas’s disingenuous denial of the mass murder of children and SJP’s even more extreme stance in favor of it makes it clear that SJP as an organization should be considered beyond the pale of decent American society. Yet campus administrators, fearful of blowback from these vocal and ruthless cheerleaders of terrorism, continue to issue mealymouthed statements that try to placate, as always, “both sides.”
Campus administrators should consider making significant changes before the American people realize what they are condoning. Our universities are under no obligation to tolerate groups that have shown themselves to be adherents to a moral code more repugnant than even Hamas’s, and at least equally thirsty for Jewish blood. These organizations are no better than any hate group that our universities routinely (and rightly) condemn and exclude. Indeed, they have revealed themselves as worse.
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