When I was a child and first learned about the Holocaust, what shocked me most was not so much the atrocities but mostly the silence around the world as Jews were rounded up and slaughtered. This week, something even more shocking happened. Jews were rounded up and slaughtered, and “social justice” groups were not just silent; they rejoiced.
On October 7, Hamas unleashed sheer evil on the people of Israel.. In the aftermath,burnt carcasses laidscattered across Southern Israel, bloodied corpses of children were discovered in cribs and nurseries and 1,300 Jews lie dead., with numbers constantly rising. Social media is rife with horrifying videos of Jewish victims and their bodies being dragged through the streets of Gaza, bleeding from their extremities and genital regions.
Saturday saw the greatest number of Jews killed in a single day since the Holocaust. While many organizations and world governments have been quick to condemn Palestinian terrorism and barbarism and to stand with Israel, several liberal and leftist organizations, including student-led campus groups, have come out in defense of Hamas terrorists, blaming Israel for the surprise attack.
This week’s horrors were unprecedented on many fronts. Over 100 hostages had been taken by Hamas, many of them students and young adults attending a music festival near the Gazan border, the highest number of Israelis taken hostage in history by far. Among those missing include 10 American nationals, 4 German foreigners, and several Thai workers.
Before the rubble had settled, and while the death toll continued to rise, leaders of student organizations at Harvard University rushed to publish a shocking joint letter, holding Israel “entirely accountable” for the atrocities committed and labeling the cruel acts of terrorism as justified resistance. This may seem shocking and outlandish to most, but to me, it was not the least bit surprising. Leftists and self-described “social justice groups” have long turned a blind eye to Palestinian terrorism and have ignored racism and acts of genocide against Jews in the Middle East. With each new wave of Palestinian terror, a concurrent justification seeps forth from these so-called justice organizations, blaming Israel and decrying “Israeli oppression.”
Harvard was no exception. Dozens of U.S. schools and institutions experienced flare-ups of antisemitic acts, marches, statements, and rallies, most of which aimed to blame Israel for the attack. At NYU, the president of the student law group publicly cheered on Hamas’s attack, labeling them freedom fighters and urging people to “not condemn Palestinian resistance,” which cost him a job at a New York law firm after graduation. At Stanford University, an op-ed was published in the school’s newspaper, calling Hamas’s attack “a revolutionary movement.” Several “Palestinian liberation” organizations organized marches worldwide, in which chants like “gas the Jews” could be clearly heard.
Students for Justice in Palestine held several press releases at different universities where they called for a “national day of resistance and mobilization.” A national day to “mobilize” in support of genocidal terrorists. Is that the sort of “Justice in Palestine”’ they seek?
I cannot think of a single terrorist attack in my lifetime where people blamed the victims. In no other conflict in my lifetime have people issued press releases defending rapists, murderers, and terrorists. I wish there were another explanation, but the only difference this time is that the victims were Jews, living in a Jewish state.
The horrors of this last week almost do not require a reaction. It should be so obvious to a society like ours that atrocities are reprehensible that I don’t feel every college, law firm, or American company needs to come out with a statement condemning it. Everyone knew 9/11 was horrific; there was no need to say it. But statements supporting terrorism are nothing less than shocking especially by groups that purport to be for equality, freedom, and justice.
For the last few years, we have heard the mantra over and over from social justice groups: anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism. That can no longer be said with a straight face. Those who associate with any groups that have come out in support of Hamas failed to condemn their actions or suggest that these depraved and horrifying attacks were “provoked,” must ask themselves why they have a double standard when it comes to the brutal murders of helpless Jewish civilians.
We must act in the same way we would when dealing with any other supporters of terrorism or genocide. Supporting heinous crimes against humanity is no better if an organization has the word “justice” in its name than if the organization has the letters “KKK” in its name. Hatred and terrorism have no place in our society, and supporters of terrorism should be condemned and ostracized no matter what name they go by.
This article was originally published in the Hullabaloo, the official campus paper for Tulane University.