Recently my organization, This World: The Values Network, and I have dramatically revved up our efforts on campus to defend Israel. The Jewish state is being slaughtered on campus. Most major American universities today have a very active Students for Justice For Palestine, an Israel Apartheid Week, a strong BDS movement, and phenomenal protests against any substantial pro-Israel speaker.
The Jewish campus response, as I noted in my last column, is milquetoast-like and inadequate, leading to Israel’s name being mightily and perhaps irreversibly impugned.
Let’s look at the most important charge.
Israel is an apartheid state committed to disenfranchising the Palestinians as evidenced by their expansion of settlements. Israel is pre-Mandela South Africa.
You can believe this only by omitting the fact that all the land ceded by Israel to the Palestinians in peace deals has been transformed every time into terrorist enclaves; by omitting that Hamas is a genocidal organization committed in its charter to Israel’s destruction and the murder of Jews worldwide; by omitting that the Palestinian Authority is now a dictatorship run by Mahmoud Abbas, who has not gone to elections in more than a decade; by omitting that Abbas runs a kleptocracy enriching his sons Tarik and Yasser, who illegally control the construction and cigarette trade, among other lucrative industries; by omitting that Nelson Mandela was a true apostle of peace, who languished in jail for 27 years, while Yasser Arafat is the father of international terrorism, who made his name by blowing up children; by omitting that Arab citizens of Israel enjoy more rights than Arabs anywhere in the Middle East; by omitting that Arabs serve at the highest levels of Israeli officialdom, including the Supreme Court, something unthinkable in an apartheid regime; by omitting that Israeli hospitals treated Abbas’ wife and the daughter of the current Hamas leader; by omitting that the single greatest threat to world civilization today is not the Jews and the puny state of Israel but radical Islamic terrorism that is producing monsters like ISIS, Hamas, and Boko Haram; and by distorting the record of the brave black population of South Africa, who are models of reconciliation and forgiveness.
The Jews are the indigenous people of Israel. It is not I who says it but the Christian Bible. Read the New Testament and try to find mention of a single Arab resident of ancient Israel. The Jews were the land’s inhabitants, and they were displaced by a European colonial occupier named Rome. They were forcibly removed from their land and displaced for 2,000 years, while a small remnant always remained. The Jews prayed thrice daily to return to their land. And when finally granted the political opportunity, they came and drained the swamps, irrigated the sands, and made the land so much more inhabitable for Arab brethren that had migrated in the interim.
The Jews were happy to share the land, but it was a sentiment that was rejected by the Arabs. They rejected the 1936 Peel Commission Partition. They rejected the 1947 U.N. partition plan. They rejected Israel’s offers to return all conquered 1967 lands with their famous three “No’s” in Khartoum: No peace, No recognition, No negotiation. And they turned the Oslo peace accords – which granted Arafat political autonomy over 95 percent of the Palestinian population – into a blood fest by launching a never-ending terror war against Israel’s buses, schools, and cafes.
Rather than Western universities demanding that the Palestinians stop the never-ending incitement against the Jews and the promises to push them into the sea, rather than calling out Mahmoud Abbas for his monstrous lies about an Israeli genocide in Gaza, rather than objecting to the rampant assassination of Palestinian gay men by Hamas and the honor killings of innocent women, today’s academics would defend this barbarity by pointing the finger at the Middle East’s only democracy.
Apartheid state? Watch the proceedings of the Israeli Knesset, where you will be shocked and amazed at how some Arab MKs deliver speeches that assail Israel in the most horrible way. No one stops them. Arabs serve in the civil service and every other area of Israeli life. Indeed, the judge who sentenced Israeli President Moshe Katsav to prison was an Arab, something utterly unthinkable in an apartheid state.
Could campuses hate Israel because it has not settled the status of the West Bank?
But surely they know that Israel has seen thousands of its citizens slaughtered in gruesome terror attacks ever since it granted autonomy to the Palestinian authority in the Oslo peace accords. Should it create another Hamas rocket launching pad in the West Bank? Academics are highly educated. They know that after Israel withdrew fully from Gaza – dismantling its communities and forcibly removing its settlers – that lead to tens of thousands of rockets being fired at Israeli hospitals and schools.
Perhaps Western academics ought to think to themselves that it’s not Western university support that is critical to the Palestinians but rather that the Palestinians create universities of their own to promote and foster Palestinian opportunity. Hamas, as the world’s largest per – capita recipient of international foreign aid, could easily channel that funding into building universities rather than buying bombs, or educating women rather than tacitly allowing the honor killings of young Palestinian women whose only crime is to have a boyfriend.
Instead, we see modern campuses choosing instead to condemn the country whose scholars have won ten Nobel prizes, from a population of six million, while the entire Arab world, numbering in the hundreds of millions, have won two, outside the peace prize (another four).
The Middle East is in a downward death spiral. The withdrawal of American troops from Iraq has led to thousands of civilians murdered by ISIS. Pakistan’s second largest airport, in Karachi, recently was overrun by terrorists. In Libya, civilians are also being blown sky-high, and an American ambassador already has been murdered. Afghanistan is a viper’s nest of Taliban butchery, and in Syria we’ve seen 150,000 killed in the civil war. Gaza, from which Israel withdrew in 2005, is home to the Hamas death-cult.
University academics have little to say about all this. Nearly blissful silence is the order of the day. No, universities instead are punishing the one country in the Middle East that demonstrates the harmony and full human rights of post-apartheid South Africa for both its Jewish and its Arab citizens.