The human cost of enabling the incitement of violence

­Over the past couple of months, close to a dozen innocent Israeli citizens- Jewish and non-Jewish alike- had their lives taken from them too soon, at the hands of terrorists. Most recently, on May 5th, Yom Haatzmaut, three people were killed and four were injured in a terror attack in the city of Elad.

If that was not heartbreaking enough, as bereaved Israeli families mourned the loss of their loved ones, anti-Zionist “activists” not just excused, but even honored the Palestinian terrorists. Furthermore, they are often invited to speak on campus and serve in student government as well as lead university-recognized groups like Students for Justice in Palestine that spread antisemitic propaganda

To actively condone terrorism is outrageous, inhumane, and needs to be addressed at once. 

Mohammed El-Kurd, who has garnered attention in the past year for being a loud voice in the Sheik Jarrah dispute, is a self-proclaimed journalist who routinely fails to adhere to the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, namely by failing to minimize harm and blatantly not seeking the truth. This is evident on his infamous Twitter profile, where he is known to post out-of-context “reporting”, including videos that portray Israelis as barbaric oppressors and Palestinians as innocent victims. 

On December 4th, 2021, when a terrorist was confronted and killed near the Damascus gate after brutally stabbing a 20-year-old Jewish man and lunging his knife at two responding IDF soldiers, El Kurd posted a short video clip of the IDF’s response and neutralization of the terrorist aiming to expose Israel for killing “innocent” Palestinians.

His tweet included the caption “Breaking: Israeli occupation forces shoot a Palestinian young man near Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem.” and framed his post as an attempt “to expose the oblivious world to the state-sanctioned shoot-to-kill attitude of the Zionists.”

El-Kurd never mentioned the stabbing of the Jewish man by the terrorist nor linked to the video showing the hostility encountered by first responders who stopped the attempted murder.

Mohammed El-Kurd has also made a career out of defaming Israel as a state and making libelous claims about her supporters. El-Kurd has venerated terrorists and commended the parties responsible for the second intifada, a period characterized by frequent terrorist attacks in cities across Israel and the murder of innocent Israeli civilians. Furthermore, El-Kurd has attempted to rationalize these waves of violence, saying that nothing anti-Israel entities like Hamas do warrants action from the IDF despite Hamas’s status as an internationally recognized terror organization whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and their calls for violence against Jews. 

Unfortunately, El- Kurd is not alone in his infamy for defaming Israel and Zionists but, rather, has many counterparts in this work. Nerdeen Kiswani, CUNY Law school student and the head of Within Our Lifetime, a “Palestinian led community organization” led chants to “globalize the intifada” in the midst of a recent wave of terror attacks across Israel as well as liking a post that glorified the ax murder of three Israelis in the name of “resistance”. Additionally, she has distributed maps to attendees of anti-Israel rallies, marking off locations of Jewish foundations, thus encouraging her followers to protest outside of them. Yasmeen Mashayekh, a student involved with Students for Justice in Palestine at USC, who served as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) “Senator” in Fall 2021 is an anti-semite, who tweets “curse the Jews”, as well as declares that “Zionism is nazism, they even collaborated”, and has tweeted her support for Raad Hazem by sharing videos of marches in his honor. Hazem is a terrorist who was neutralized after illegally crossing into Israel and killing three men in a Tel Aviv bar.

It is one thing to express one’s opinion and solidarity for their people and plight. However, it is entirely different to incite hatred and violence against another minority. 

Those who spread lies and attempt to justify acts of terror against Jews should not be given a platform or hold student leadership positions on campus.“Activists” like El-Kurd, Kiswani, and Mashayekh are a stumbling block to peacemaking efforts between Palestinians and Israelis. Academic institutions, student groups, and social media platforms should be mindful before enabling such vile and hostile detractors.

About the Author
Zoe Bernstein is a rising Junior at Cornell University and a CAMERA fellow and delegate to the National Council of Fellows 2021-2022.
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