Since its deadly attack on October 7, Hamas and its supporters have been waging a global propaganda campaign. That campaign has found particular success on college campuses, where “progressive” students have embraced “Free Palestine” protests and even celebrated the brutal October 7 attack publicly. A Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll found that a disturbing 48 percent of 18-24-year-olds side more with Hamas than Israel. At Tulane, where I have gained some notoriety as a pro-Israel advocate, a group called “Tulane Students for a Democratic Society” organized a march with “Tulane 4 Palestine,” in which protestors called for the annihilation of the state of Israel.

College students these days are apparently blind to irony. This student organization, which claims to “organize progressive students” in pursuit of democracy in society, has espoused the talking points of a murderous Islamist caliphate that uses its own citizens as shields, siphons their fuel to aim rockets at Israel and boasts after committing atrocities. During this protest, which ultimately ended in several Jewish students being beaten (myself included) after preventing an Israeli flag from being burned, “pro-democratic” students were joining in chants for the annihilation of the Jewish state and for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Middle East.

It is hard to imagine a more shocking attack on humanity than the events of October 7, when concertgoers at a peaceful event were shot while they tried to flee into the woods, women who were part of peace movements and Israeli-Palestinian dialogue groups were murdered, babies and children were burned, elderly people were kidnapped. So why do social justice groups align themselves with Hamas? Why is there no outcry for the atrocities committed against Jewish people and for the hostages that remain in captivity in Gaza (or worse, are now dead)? The answer is that Hamas and the Iranian regime have succeeded in making anti-Israel sentiment a “trendy cause” among American college students.

Hamas targets LGBTQ Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and has been known to publicly execute gay men. Yet, LGBTQ groups on campuses across the U.S. have come out with statements failing to condemn Hamas, criticizing the Israeli government, and holding Israelis responsible for the violence that was perpetrated against them. Why do LGBTQ groups align themselves with an organization that kills gay people, labeling them as martyrs or resisters, instead of the one country in the Middle East that recognizes gay rights?

The answer is not that Hamas has brilliant PR companies. The answer is that my generation is ignorant about the world. Education at many American schools is no longer empirical. Instead, we are taught history with a slant. Teachers focus on social justice issues of “privilege and “intersectionality.” These same buzzwords are used by anti-Israel protestors at every rally. They also deem Zionism as a “settler colonial project,” seemingly ignorant of the slaughter of 6 million of Jews that preceded the founding of Israel.

Another way my generation has been mis-educated is that we have been taught to assume that power is bad: to see the entire world through an oversimplified power dynamic. In our simplistic education, every conflict is characterized as a struggle between the powerful and the “oppressed.” Because Israel is a functioning society, with a burgeoning economy–a first-world country–the assumption is that it must be the “oppressor.” Until we reexamine how history, economics and geopolitics are taught in America’s high schools, we will continue to see  misguided idealism, in which American students espouse the talking points of a murderous caliphate.

This article was originally published in the Times of Israel Blogs.

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