We need dialogue and coexistence, not violent rhetoric

The Israeli people are today confronting a new wave of horrific terrorist attacks. It is a violent campaign against innocent civilians that Times of Israel Editor David Horovitz calls “a stabbing war born of hysterical intolerance.” It is a brand of intolerance that we must not tolerate on American college campuses.

Over the past few days, I have called and messaged many of my Israeli friends to offer support and comfort during this frightening period for the only free and open society in the Middle East. The question on everyone’s mind is: will the current campaign of terror become a third intifada?

For the genocidal terrorists of Hamas, the answer is clear. With a surging number of Israeli men, women, and children bleeding from stab wounds, Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh said “We call for escalating and deepening the intifada…We are proud of you, the heroes of knives.”

To date, two campus chapters of the anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which featured a convicted terrorist at its national conference last weekend, have responded in kind by calling for a violent intifada against Israelis.

On Friday SJP at Brooklyn College shared this graphic on Facebook:

Brooklyn College

And yesterday SJP at IUPUI shared this:

IUPUS

American college campuses are no place for this kind of hatred. SJP and other anti-Israel groups must not be permitted to poison our campus communities with such violent vitriol.

SJP prefers to attack and ostracize Jewish and pro-Israel students rather than break bread with them.

The following statement from New York City SJP’s website illustrates SJP’s national approach.

We reject any and all collaboration, dialogue, and coalition work with Zionist organizations through a strict policy of anti-normalization and encourage our comrades in other organizations to do the same

This Wednesday, October 14, SJP will hold an “International Day of Action” to advance its pernicious agenda. On college campuses across the country, SJP will showcase its work to obstruct opportunities for cooperation, peace, and dialogue.

At a moment when many Israelis are thinking twice before leaving their homes for fear of being attacked, we cannot allow the voices of violence to drown out the voices of cooperation and compromise.

Therefore Israel on Campus Coalition is declaring a different day of action. October 14, 2015 will be the National Day of Coexistence. We will promote dialogue at colleges and universities across America, and we will raise funds for initiatives that build bridges between Israelis and Palestinians.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously wrote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

On October 14th and beyond, pro-Israel students will be that love and that light.

Please sign our dialogue pledge, and join me in saying a prayer for our brothers and sisters in Israel. May our commitment to coexistence and peace give them courage and strength during these days of darkness.

Jacob Baime is Executive Director of Israel on Campus Coalition. This post also appeared on Medium.