Lea Thomas

You’re Not Pro-Palestinian, Just Antisemitic

Jewish students at counterprotest of Palestinian rally on University of Arizona campus.

Everyone has had that experience when overhearing a joke that has just missed the line of being a joke. It is usually one of the classic lines relating to Jews and money, Jews and big noses, or Jews in the Holocaust. None of them are funny, but instead demeaning. The “jokes” do not reclaim history or create comic relief in any way, but rather, they feed antisemitism. Perhaps Jew jokes have created a domino effect leading to modern-day antisemitism.

The current college campus climate is arguably only loosely tied to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. These protests did not begin with Gaza or with the goal of working towards peace; they began with plain Jew-hatred and centuries-old antisemitic stereotypes. If the so-called pro-Palestinian protesters genuinely cared about humanity, where were they when hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrians were killed by their government? Where were these protesters when hundreds of Iranian citizens were killed by their government? Where were these protesters when the Sudanese government ethnically cleansed thousands of their people? Where are these protesters while China ethnically cleanses its population? Where are these protesters while Russia is systematically murdering Ukrainian civilians? Where are the ‘defenders of freedom’ when the Taliban butchers Afghans and subjugates their innocent women? The world only cares when Jews are somehow in the picture, a blatant antisemitic double standard. They do not care to go beyond the misinformation for the real story. Instead, our protestors choose to read biased media and listen to terrorist organizations. They choose to believe those same antisemitic stereotypes while supporting organizations whose explicit goal is to eradicate the Jewish people. These protestors are not pro-Palestinian, they are anti-Jews. Pro-Palestinian would be rallying for the end of Hamas, the terrorist group responsible for the current conditions of Gaza. The terrorist group has murdered thousands of its own people and is still holding over 130 innocent civilians hostage. Even after violating countless ceasefires, blocking medical access to the hostages, shooting at its Gazan civilians, murdering LGBTQ+ Palestinians, and murdering political opposition, pro-Palestinian protesters stand side by side with Hamas.

At Columbia University, where classes have been moved to virtual spaces to protect students from the protestors, these protestors chanted for further acts by Hamas like the ones on October 7, the Hamas terrorist invasion into Israel resulting in the murder and abduction of over 1200 Israelis, Muslims, and innocent civilians. If these protestors valued humanity, they would be able to condemn and demonstrate against Hamas’ actions, but they do not. Maybe they protest for future terrorist attacks because killing Jews aligns with their ideology, or perhaps they are oblivious enough to subscribe to terrorist logic. It is likely the second option that has encapsulated so much of the American college campus population. As these protestors stand on campus malls and quads with their faces covered, they chant phrases like “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which was declared antisemitic and genocidal towards Jews. It should not be that difficult to agree that Hamas is endangering Israelis, Palestinians, and future peace. Hamas needs to be eradicated. But instead of acknowledging that baseline, protestors continue to spew genocidal language, even when inaccurately claiming genocide from the other side. Protestors are using their platform to share their antisemitic ideology; their goal is not to save Palestinians from the oppressive leadership of Hamas, but to further ostracize Jewish students and the road to peace. 

Jews are not the issue. Palestinians are not the issue. The issue is simple: terrorism. Terrorism hijacked the Palestinian cause, and state-sponsored terrorism slaughters societies around the world in places college protestors do not care about. The picture is glaring and simple: you care only when Jews are involved, and only when they are the alleged oppressors.

You are antisemitic and foolish; you hold Jews and the Jewish country to a different standard while acting as terrorism missionaries. You are in a space of learning; take the time to learn the history of the conflict before camping on our campuses and violating our safety. 

About the Author
Lea Thomas is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, and is now a college freshman at the University of Arizona.
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