Blockades for Peace at American Universities

For a Moroccan student like me, this should be a time of celebration. My native country of Morocco, the Kingdom of Morocco, just made a historic peace deal with Israel. We are the 6th Arab league nation to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. Last year, there were only two.

The people of Morocco are celebrating. Somehow, my fellow students at American colleges and universities think peace is a bad thing. Diplomatic breakthroughs are happening every day, yet anti-Israel organizations continue to attack student supporters of Israel. Rather than student communities celebrating on campuses across the United States, these student organizations continue to harass pro-Israel groups in an attempt to overshadow the region’s commitment to tolerance and peace. University student government leaders should be encouraging students to support one another and celebrate these monumental achievements.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed the first peace agreement in early September. Sudan followed in late October. Just days ago, Morocco became the fourth in as many months. Beyond the Arab world, Kosovo established full diplomatic relations with Israel, making it the first Muslim majority country to have an embassy in Jerusalem and paving the way for others to follow. Serbia, Malawi, and Chad have also begun discussions around opening embassies in Jerusalem. Saudi Arabia now allows Israeli flights to use its air space.

As a direct result of these agreements and the peace deals, Muslims from these countries can finally visit one of the holiest sites in Islam, the Dome of the Rock shrine. They will also be able to visit and worship at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

These are impressive and undeniably positive achievements. Rather than celebrating them, student organizations on college campuses across the country continue to demonize Israel. Butler, Tufts, Columbia, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently passed divisive resolutions demonizing Israel.

Moroccan, Emirati, Sudanese, Bahraini, and Israeli students are proud of our governments’ achievements in the pursuit of peace. It is a shame that, as the Arab world embraces Israel, those who claim to support us would rather drive a wedge between Jews and Arabs like me. It is time for Student governments to stop attacking supporters of Israel and begin celebrating the steps taken towards peace after decades of unrest.

About the Author
Walid Tamtam was born in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, growing up hailing from a Moroccan background in schools, mosques, and other familiar social environments, anti-semitism seemed to be acceptable if not encouraged. Since two years ago Walid, broke out of his echo chambers to tell the full story and break down the polarization of these communities and act as a bridge to bring people together.
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