This is a remarkable phenomenon, alarming and unsettling. Social media and television channels repeatedly showcase short video clips of students tearing down pictures of Israeli hostages. The act has become a trend, not limited to Palestinian students or students of Middle Eastern origin. Students from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities are participating in this trend with open enjoyment. A young girl smiles knowingly, seeking international support for her liberation, while they mockingly tear down images.
It's not about siding with Hamas; 90% of them have no idea who or what Hamas is. It's the woke obsession where the "weak" is always right, even if they are a ruthless murderer, and the "strong" is always an evil villain. It doesn't matter that Hamas calls for the annihilation of Jews, Christians, and world domination. To them, Hamas represents "the Palestinians," who have become the ultimate oppressed, and Israel, after years of brainwashing, is now labeled as a "colonialist apartheid state."
In recent weeks, even Israeli leftists have found themselves dismayed by the celebration of hatred. Many of them are sharing articles bidding farewell to the global left, which ignores atrocities and sometimes justifies them. They deserve applause.
In Jewish tradition, not only the wicked stand accused; even righteous individuals are not exempt. They understand that something has gone awry in the thought process within progressive leftist circles, some of whom persist in supporting Hamas with well-known and deceptive excuses like "their right to retaliate," "Gaza is the largest prison in the world," "it's the fault of oppression and occupation," and other slogans from the same playbook. Just days ago, these new dissenters signed a statement distancing themselves from the global left.
They not only deserve applause but also introspection. Why now? For decades, they have portrayed Israel as a monster, spreading lies about the country. For decades, they labeled the "Nakba" as one of the gravest crimes in history, despite millions experiencing displacement, a consequence of the establishment of nation-states.
For decades, they have ignored the Jewish Nakba, which was no less severe than the Palestinian one. For decades, they have turned a blind eye to Arab rejection of any partition proposals and the invasion of Israel aimed at its destruction. For decades, they have disregarded Palestinian refusal to agree to any two-state solution. For decades, they have ignored statements by Hamas leaders about the destruction of Jews. For decades, they have provided justifications for Palestinian terrorism. And now they are surprised? The normal response to this brainwashing is the tearing down of posters featuring captives. After all, the Palestinians are the victims.
"Many Jewish intellectuals are marked with the stain of antisemitic sin. Peter Beinart, Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Avi Shlaim, Shlomo Sand" complained Professor Eva Illouz exactly 11 years ago. She was a whistleblower from within. She didn't stop for a moment. She conducted an amazing campaign, part of which appeared on the pages of the French Le Monde, exposing Israel's alleged injustices. In one of her articles, "47 Years a Slave," Illouz explained that the approach needed to be changed. She no longer settled for the accusation of "apartheid." It's slavery. No less. The article she wrote then was full of embarrassing distortions, and even the left-wing outlet Haaretz had to publish a correction.
Professor Oren Yiftachel from Ben-Gurion University, along with Illouz, is one of the signatories of that statement. Quite fascinating. Because Yiftachel is one of the leaders of the theory that portrays Zionism as colonialism. Over two decades ago, when an article of his in an academic journal was rejected solely because he was Israeli, he agreed to make changes equating Israel with South Africa. Later, he spearheaded the campaign to define Israel as an apartheid state.
In 2009, during Operation Cast Lead, he went even further and published an article suggesting that we should understand Hamas's rocket attacks as "an attempt to remind the world, and Israel, but also the Palestinian leadership, that the refugee question is alive and kicking."
It's such a bizarre and foolish claim that it deserves a place in the Guinness Book of Records. After all, tens of millions in Europe became refugees. Almost every Jew in the land is a descendant of refugees from persecution in Eastern Europe or Arab countries. Perhaps they too have the right to launch rockets at the countries they fled or were expelled from. World War II might look like child's play if we adopt Yiftachel's moral principle justifying violence. If that's not a justification for terrorism, then it's unclear what is.