How Can You Align with Extremist?

By: Nicole Newman

I have always grown up with a strong sense of pride in my Jewish identity, this included my love for the State of Israel.

For the past few years I have come to understand that people will attempt to delegitimize Israel but will mask it as social justice. That is what J Street U Chapman attempted to do last month with their event, Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day.
It is offensive, for J Street U Chapman to use Yom Hazikaron, Israeli Memorial Day, as a way to link the two lives together on a day that is supposed to commemorate those lost their lives fighting for Israel. For two thousand years, my people, the Jewish people, were forced into exile by the conquering Romans; who attempted to take away Jewish ties to the land by renaming it “Palestine.” This conquering of the land of Israel continued by Byzantines, Persians, Byzantines again Arab conquerors, followed by the Turkish and British conquerors.  For 2,000 years, the Jewish people have yearned to return to their ancestral homeland.
In 1948, the decades long dream came true, the Democratic Jewish State of Israel was born. Since its inception, Israel has been attacked by its surrounding Arab countries. Not only does Israel have its neighbors to worry about, but people who hate the idea that the Jews have a right to their own homeland.

Make no mistake, J Street U Chapman’s event, Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day, is a political one. This event was supposed to take place on Israeli Memorial Day, also known as Yom Hazikaron. This day is a day to remember all the lives lost in the path to create the State of Israel. Instead of J Street U Chapman, which claims to be a “Pro-Israel” group having an event on campus that commemorated this day, they chose an alternative Memorial Day ceremony, which is insulting to the Israeli people.
The event features Israeli soldiers, victims of terror, and families of Palestinian terrorist. This ceremony has in the past, equated Palestinian acts of terrorism to IDF measure of defense; diminishing the significance of remembering the individuals who fell safeguarding Israel.
J Street’s national organization has many problems of their own. Their positions undermine Israel and its constant pursuit of peace with security. What J Street seems to ignore is that peace can only be achieved through understanding and recognition from both sides. Hamas, the government for the Palestinians living in Gaza, has a charter. This charter calls for the destructions of Jews:
"The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'”
As long as this is the mindset of the government in which the Palestinian people of Gaza select, there will be no peace. Why does J Street U Chapman not have an event criticizing the Hamas Charter? Perhaps because their goal is not to be “Pro Israel and Pro Palestinian.” You cannot place equal blame on the conflict when this is what one side believes.
The first female Prime Minster of Israel, Golda Meir, said: “Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.” These words ring true now more than ever.
Whereas the Israelis recognized that Arabs have a right to exist, Hamas has not recognized Israel or the Jewish state's right to exist, and advocating the duty of jihad against it. We cannot force the Israeli and Arabs into peace, but living in the United States we can understand what their charter means.  

When it comes to the United States memorial day, we commemorate the fallen American soldiers, not the North Vietnamese soldiers, not the North Korean Soldiers, not the German soldiers, not the the Japanese soldiers, or any other civilians who died during war, we only commemorate Americans lives.
Yom Hazikaron can be remembered by all Israelis: Arabs, Druze, Christian, and Jews, anyone who lost their life for the State of Israel.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, which is why we judge or support Hillel based on our views.
Hillel’s goal on campus is to provide a space for Jewish students. If the student leadership wanted to “stay apolitical” they have the right to do so, but J street is a political organization with an agenda. If Hillel supported this event, it would show that they are taking away the honor of Israeli Memorial Day, by endorsing J streets political view. For J Street, Combatants for Peace, and any other organization who was involved with this, to claim it is not an insult to Israelis on their day of mourning their loved ones lives that are lost is a lie. It is solely a political move trying to belittle Israel.
The article is written by Nicole Newman the Co-Founder of Students Supporting Israel at Chapman University in Orange County California.