I too often hear Israel-haters on campus referred to as “pro-Palestinian.” However, I have trouble seeing how “pro-Palestinian” activists can support Hamas, a group that terrorizes Palestinians. How can “pro-Palestinian” activists support those who persecute and murder Palestinian minorities? How can “pro-Palestinian” activists support the annihilation of Israel, the only country that grants equal rights to its Palestinian citizens?
The reality is that these activists could not care less about the Palestinians; they simply hate Israel. Moreover, their policies and views greatly harm innocent Palestinians. They are anti-Israel and anti-Palestinian, and it’s time to call them both.
If these anti-Israel activists truly cared about the Palestinians, they would speak out when Bashar al-Assad starves Palestinians to death in Syria. They would speak out when Hamas uses Palestinian children as human shields. They would speak out when the Palestinian Authority persecutes Christians, the LGBTQ community, and other minorities. They would speak out about the fact that Arab nations have kept their Palestinians living in disgusting camps for more than six decades.
Instead, however, these activists choose to ignore actual crimes against Palestinians while they run a hate campaign against the world’s only Jewish state. While ignoring some of the world’s most horrifying human rights violators, these Israel-haters choose to attack the only democracy in the region that upholds the rights and freedoms of all its citizens. Their views are clear: They are not pro-Palestinian; they are anti-Israel.
Making this distinction is crucial while advocating for Israel and fighting this hatred. If we call them “pro-Palestinian,” we acknowledge (falsely) that these activists are fight for a cause; calling them “pro-Palestinian” allows them to claim they are fighting for justice. Why are we allowing them to get away with this huge lie?
We must expose these Israel-haters for what they are. By calling them “anti-Israel,” we acknowledge the truth and paint them as hateful and bent on the destruction of a nation, instead of as striving to help a victimized group of people. Our increasingly liberal society supports the latter, not the former.
Many people say we need to improve our public relations on behalf of the Jewish state and this is one easy – yet hugely important – fix we must make. We must show the general public that we are the positive side as we advocate for a better future for both Israelis and Palestinians, while the other side bases itself in racism and hatred. We are the “pro” side, while they are the “anti” side.