CAMERA’s campus advisor and online editor Zac Schildcrout

“There are Jews everywhere! We must attack every Jew on planet Earth! We must slaughter and kill them, with Allah’s help. … You can buy knives for five shekels! How much is the neck of a Jew worth to us? Isn’t it worth five shekels, or even less?”

This psychotic outburst was uttered on July 12, 2019 by Fathi Hammad, a member of Hamas’s “political bureau” in the Gaza Strip. Anyone who spends more than 10 minutes studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict knows that this vile organization has wreaked havoc in the Middle East since its founding in the late 1980s. Its members and allies have perpetrated hundreds of suicide bombings, launched thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian communities since the early 2000s (before any “blockade on Gaza”) and have inflicted countless stabbings, kidnappings and shootings.

The organization’s 1988 covenant proudly declares that “our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious,” and that “the Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees.” It approvingly cites The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as an authoritative foreshadowing of the “Zionists’” plans for “further expansion.”

Cue the Bridge Initiative: Georgetown University’s “multi-year research project” to “inform the public about Islamophobia,” which matter-of-factly described Hamas as a “political and social organization with an armed wing aimed at resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” as if purposely killing civilians is somehow a legitimate means of “resistance.” What is the context behind this flagrant whitewash? A “fact sheet” that purports to uncover the putative “Islamophobia” behind the federal government’s conviction of multiple Holy Land Foundation officials who channeled millions of dollars to Hamas-run charities. At least, this reveals the motivation behind the Bridge Initiative team’s duplicity; if Hamas can be described as anything other than the genocidal antisemites that they are, it becomes easier to paint the government’s efforts to hamper their cash flow as “Islamophobic.”

Not only does the Bridge Initiative team’s fact sheet ignore Hamas’s murderous ideology and actions, it even suggests that its designation by the U.S. government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) might (according to “legal scholars”) “chill free speech,” have a “disparate impact on the Arab Muslim community” and be the result of “politicization by the State Department.” The fact sheet provides no legal arguments in favor of the FTO designation.

What on earth explains this behavior? Why is a project of one of the country’s most prestigious institutions of higher education bending over backwards to normalize antisemitic terrorists in the name of fighting bigotry?

Simple: The answer is that an outright opposition to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is prolific within our nation’s universities.

Seen as a racist, ethno-nationalist outpost of Western colonialism, Israel’s establishment is regarded as a historic injustice that demands a “struggle” to undo. The “oppression” that the Jewish state inflicts upon the Palestinian people in the form of “military assaults,” “blockades” and “apartheid walls” is so unforgivable that terrorism is dismissed merely as an unfortunate consequence of Israeli power (never mind the fact that terrorism is the only reason that these Israeli defensive measures exist in the first place).

Acknowledging that Israel’s foremost enemy in the Gaza Strip enthusiastically espouses Nazi-like ideology puts a wrench in the (false) narrative of perennial Palestinian victimhood and Israeli brutality. Consequently, the true nature of Israel’s enemies is willfully obscured. The Bridge Initiative team cannot plead ignorance; they are faculty of an elite university and undoubtedly possess the intellectual capacity to recognize violent antisemitism when they see it, and that bombing civilians is not a “response to occupation.” We have no choice but to assume that their preposterous contextual omissions are motivated by a desire to defend the former Holy Land Foundation employees in the court of public opinion. Of course, the evidence against the “Holy Land Five” is aplenty.

Opposing terrorists who “struggle against the Jews” is not Islamophobic. To suggest otherwise is to dishonor the memory of every Israeli killed by Hamas and to obscure what it truly means to fight bigotry. The Bridge Initiative team should immediately amend their fact sheet to reflect Hamas’s true ideology, intentions and history of terrorist attacks. True academic honesty demands it.

Originally published in

Contributed by CAMERA’s campus advisor and online editor Zac Schildcrout.

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