At a November 15th Zoom meeting of the Education, Culture, and Sports Committee of the Knesset, which discussed higher education during wartime, Knesset members Ahmad Tibi of Ta’al and Ayman Odeh of Hadash made duplicitous statements in support of terrorist sympathizers on Israeli campuses.

They accused the government of Israel of punishing Arab students on the basis of their ethnicity without evidence. They deem to be a new form of “McCarthyism”, a term derived from widespread paranoia and profiling of Americans as communists without cause in the late 1940s and 50s.

However, the protests by these groups go far beyond political posturing.

Since October 7th, hundreds of complaints have been filed against students on Israeli campuses. None of these complaints have to do with the student’s ethnic background or religion, but their abhorrent and inappropriate behavior of celebrating the October 7th Hamas massacre that left 1,200 Israelis dead and their calls for more violence.

The campus groups responsible, Hadash and Balad are political extremist groups, promoting far-left and Arab nationalist causes, with a history of antagonism directed at their fellow Israeli students.

The relationship between these two groups on Israeli campuses is analogous to how Democratic Socialists in the United States have aligned themselves with anti-Israel groups on North American campuses through joint demonstrations.

To cite a recent example, on October 27th, members of Hadash and Balad led a large demonstration at Tel Aviv University, where the groups called for an intifada, a reference to over forty years of Palestinian terrorism that has injured and murdered thousands of Israelis in bombings, shootings and stabbings.

Furthermore, it was even more abhorrent that these open calls for violence came just 20 days after the October 7th Hamas massacre, the greatest loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust with thousands injured, 1,200 dead and over 200 hostage victims held captive in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the efforts of MK Tibi and MK Odeh to spin the response from administrators and other members of Knesset as blind discrimination against Arab students, let’s remember that these calls for violence aren’t just theoretical.

On October 7th, Hamas terrorists tortured, murdered and took hostages,including Jews, Arabs, tourists and immigrants.  It is hard to believe that there are students willing to take a stand in support of, instead of against such reprehensible actions.

In Fall 2022, Tel Aviv University CAMERA Fellow Miriam Blum wrote about protests in support of the Lions’ Den, a terrorist organization who at the time launched a number of violent terrorist attacks across Judea and Samaria. Thankfully, the majority of these attacks were thwarted by the Israel Defense Forces. But is unnerving that Hadash and Balad both referred to slain Lions’ Den terrorists as ‘saints,’ in spite of their open calls for violence and for the ethnic cleansing of Israelis from the land of Israel.

Considering that 30% of students in Israel were mobilized to army reserves, and are defending their country in a time of war, it would be wrong for students who support terrorism to not be held accountable for their actions by administrators.

It is incredibly concerning that two members of Knesset, who wield a great deal of influence would come to the defense of anyone attempting to justify violence against citizens of the country they have an obligation to represent. They too, must answer for their actions.

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