I don’t consider myself to be a religious individual. I was raised Catholic but I’ve never gotten much out of attending church. However, I remember reading about the history of the Jewish people in high school. It was astounding to me that a single religious minority could be singled out for so much persecution and hatred. I suppose that is why I consider myself a supporter of Israel. If any group of people deserves their own state and community, it is certainly the Jewish people. But with the advent of social media, more people are witnessing the deadly conflicts that occur between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic organization known as Hamas.
Even though I personally support a two-state solution, I will never march in a Pro-Palestinian rally or support its toxic BDS relative because, by extension, I would be marching in favor of Hamas, and that is something I cannot do. By standing with those students who shout for an end to the “occupation” of Gaza I will be supporting a group who, in their official charter, detail a vast Zionist conspiracy and makes reference to the virulently anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The charter states, in part, “The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates…Their plan is embodied in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.” I would be marching in support of a group that advocates the killing of not just Israeli’s but of all Jews. I would be marching in support of a group that called the holocaust a “lie made up by the Zionists”
I’m not sure if the students who support Palestine realize this. Maybe they fail to comprehend the wave of antisemitism that is currently sweeping through. Furthermore, there was a noticeable spike in anti-Semitic violence following Israel’s offensive into Gaza. These statistics worry me. It concerns me that an Islamic terrorist organization can be repackaged as a valiant group fighting their Israeli “oppressors.”
Again, I believe that the Palestinians have a right to be a self-sufficient people in charge of their own destiny but in order for that to happen Hamas must vow to 1. Acknowledge the existence of Israel and 2. Immediately cease all rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. No one wants to see a newly formed Palestinian state merely become a proxy funded by Iran to further target Israel. Yes, we need a comprehensive peace agreement and no further civilians, be they Israeli or Palestinian, deserve to be killed. However, with Hamas in power, that reality is far less likely.