Today at my alma mater Rutgers, a time-honored college tradition was observed.
No, I’m not talking about gearing up for finals, or the excitement that comes from winning a big game in a new division (well, maybe not at Rutgers), or even the open and civil exchange of new ideas that shape the thinking of our future leaders.
I’m referring to continual, perpetual, trite hatred of Jews and Israel. You see, while the Rutgers chapter of the AEPi fraternity was handing out information with facts about Israel, denouncing terror and hatred and attempting to have a civil conversation about the facts, the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (an International Solidarity Movement or whatever they are calling themselves these days) was staging a “Die-In” at the same time.
What exactly is this event supposed to accomplish? How is this supposed to bring a just and peaceful solution to a very difficult conflict? Who, precisely, is going to benefit from more hatred, more empty slogans, more propaganda and more bullying? How do these students even think that they are furthering their own goals?
For all the nonsensical half-truths, propaganda and outright lies about Israel that they parrot during their events, why not also take aim at the fact that Hamas, in the midst of firing thousands of rockets at Israeli women and children, also dropped 475 rockets on Palestinians. Shouldn’t this also be the subject of an event from a group that purports to care about Palestinians? Even if we grant their premise that they are simply “people of conscious” (sic) who “cannot and should not stand by and watch Israel conduct its heinous crimes” – why aren’t they concerned with the actual heinous crimes of Hamas, or ISIS, or Iran?
During “Palestinian Awareness Week” there are precisely…zero events dedicated to the suffering of Palestinians in Syria, where they are regularly slaughtered. There is no discussion of the very real discrimination Palestinians face in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere where there are actual laws preventing their integration into mainstream society. I see no events about the harsh military campaign Egypt has undertaken to demolish hundreds of homes along its border with Gaza.
These are all examples of specific Palestinian suffering, to say nothing of the nightmare of daily life in the Middle East (in every country not named Israel) for Yazidis, Kurds, Ba’Hai, Jews, Christians and many Muslims. None of these things matter to these “human rights” and “peace” advocates? Do they not know about them? If so, perhaps they should surrender the mantle of “Pro-Palestinian activist” to people like me who actually care about the topic and aren’t treating this situation as a “fun-filled” week of activities.
It’s somewhat ironic/coincidental that these events are taking place just days after the anniversary of Kristallnacht. I have been to dozens of Holocaust-related events (a fraudulent comparison the “pro-Palestinian” groups make ad nauseum) and I can honestly say I would never say I “looked forward” to any of them. They’re solemn occasions meant to honor the memory of those we’ve lost – hardly what any sane person would consider “fun-filled”.
“Palestinian Awareness Week” and “Israeli Apartheid Week” and every other name these groups have come up with over the past 15 years is nothing more than a marketing ploy designed to cover up the real atmosphere of these events. That is hatred of Israel and of Jews.
And lest you think this is about Rutgers or that this situation is in any way unique, it’s not new nor is it limited to Rutgers.
This behavior goes back to at least the nasty days of the 2nd Intifada, when the college campus virtually burned as the fires of terror literally burned in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya and nearly every other Israeli city. The hostile environment at Rutgers has been prevalent for so long that the Zionist Organization of America’s Center for Law and Justice expended considerable efforts to bring a complaint under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act against the University.
And Rutgers is actually quite tame by comparison with colleges like Emory and Temple as far as being home to acts of violence or vandalism against Jewish students. How sad we are that we have to look at acts of violence and say “Well, at least it’s not that bad.” Still, replace the name “Rutgers” with any school from NYU to UCLA and you will see essentially the same events taking place there every single day.
Day after day of hate, hate and more hate directed at Israel. Hate directed at the IDF. Hate directed at the government. Hate directed at the people. And never a solution…never an expression of understanding or compassion for the other. Never an attempt at civility. Take away their not-so-clever marketing ploys and slogans and all you are left with are glorifications of blood, violence and fear.
This is not advocacy, this is simply hatred by a different name. It’s time we all stood up to it and called it what it is.
Liran Kapoano is the founder and CEO of CTC Media, a new digital advertising agency that specializes in brand and reputation management for a cause. The media in this article was provided by Jake Binstein, CTC Media’s VP of Operations. One of CTC Media’s current projects is the BINTA initiative, a campaign that promotes the idea that “Bullying Is Not The Answer” to any dispute.