People waving Israeli flags march in a pro-Israeli demonstration in support of Israel in August 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
I’m tired of waking up to nightmares.
Unfortunately, with Israel seven hours ahead of the United States, this reality has plagued my mornings for the past month.
Three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, Karen Yemima Mosquera, Supt. Jidan Assad, Shalom Ba’adani, Sgt. Almog Shilony, Dalia Lemkus, Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Aryeh Kopinsky, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Golberg, Rabbi Calman Levine and the heroic police officer Zidan Saif – the list goes on, as our hearts and blood boil with rage at the all-too common reality constantly reshaping itself in Jerusalem.
The problem is not the libelous claim of Israeli occupation in the West Bank; the problem is, as Israel’s stellar US ambassador, Ron Dermer, has outlined in recent weeks, the relentless Palestinian incitement under the umbrella of the Palestinian Authority.
This critical piece of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rightfully being pushed to the forefront of conversations internationally, nationally and on college campuses by Zionist activism groups like CAMERA, StandWithUs and Hasbara – but is anyone listening? Awareness of the incitement of violence against Israel – but really against all Jews, regardless of nationality – by the PA , a US-funded entity, is noticeably absent on US university campuses, despite the efforts of Israel’s most seasoned activists across the nation. And this leads to the critical question: why aren’t we being heard? Why aren’t our campuses, and the world at large, awaking to the underlying reality which has led to recent escalations in Jerusalem? On college campuses, the answer lies in the fact that many universities have accepted SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) as an organization dedicated to human rights, and have not recognized it as the terrorist-defending organization it is. For instance, why haven’t we seen SJP condemn any of the killings of innocent Israelis in the last month by Hamas and Hamas-inspired terrorists? Why haven’t we seen SJP condemn Islamic State’s beheading of Americans, Arab Christians, or Muslim women in recent months? In fact, more Americans, and Jews, have been killed by Hamas in the past month than Americans have been killed by IS since its inception – and yet based on the initial coverage by CNN and BBC, even when Israel and her citizens are so clearly the victims, Israel is still the unlawful aggressor.
The fact that global Zionist activism, particularly on college campuses, tends to rely on enlightening others about the crimes against humanity committed daily by Islamist extremist organizations only points to the biggest failure of all: that in order for Israel’s case, and sometimes existence, to be legitimized, we have been forced to juxtapose Israel’s actions to that of genocidal terrorist organizations – only to be met with polarizing delusion bent on Israel’s destruction.
This is not merely a failure of global Zionist organizations, but also a tragic commentary on the world we live in. Still, we must persist and tell this corrupt world Israel’s just story.
As frightening as it might be, the fact is that SJP and its activists, and I use that term loosely, agree with the underlying premise of terrorist organizations like IS and Hamas: SJP activists believe that the US and Israel are colonial occupying powers and that resistance, by any means, is necessary.
This free flow of ideas is a cornerstone of the democratic ideals that Israel and the US uphold daily, despite the inherent and painful contradictions that sometimes arise. Still, we are left with students, often paid and influential graduate students and teaching assistants, who show no remorse or grief at the murder of four Orthodox Jews by Palestinian terrorists. Why? Because these influencial members of academia and campus communities believe that not only do Jews have no right to their own state, but also that they have no right to life.
Why else would SJP chapters across the United States opt to remain silent at such a critical time for the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Isn’t the right to peacefully practice one’s religion as a private citizen a basic human right? I’m tired of awakening to nightmares, but we are watching our deepest fears seep into Israel’s increasingly dangerous reality. Even worse, these nightmares are being conveniently overlooked by the silent SJP chapters nationwide – proving that their fight is not for the Palestinians, but instead against the rights and life of the Jewish People. This is not justice.The author is a senior at Binghamton University and stars in the upcoming Jerusalem U Online documentary, Crossing the Line II. He can be contacted at [email protected]