General Question

Caravanfan's avatar

How do you feel about the rising incidences of antisemitism on college campuses and what can be done?

Asked by Caravanfan (13387points) November 13th, 2023
65 responses
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kritiper's avatar

What can be done? Drastic measures if society would allow it. Otherwise, forget about fixing it.

Caravanfan's avatar

@kritiper So Jews on campus just just learn to deal with it?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It seems policing the incidents is in order, investigating wrongdoing, sending the perpetrators to jail, and expelling them.

seawulf575's avatar

Stop using colleges as indoctrination centers and turn them back into centers of education would be a good start. If you notice, there is a huge push in society to condemn Israel and back Hamas. It seems to be the current fad. And often when you hear stuff like this going on in the news (support for Hamas and denouncing Israel) it gets magnified on college campuses. If colleges were centers of education they could teach children to question and to think instead of just being radical activists of the popular story.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I knew there was a cult-like narrative surrounding several issues. A vocal allegiance signals to people they’re in this group. Anti-semitic Palestine support is one of them. This particular group is growing, they have anti-American, anti-capitalist politics and they’re getting dangerous if you asked me. It’s not that the individuals themselves are, it’s that they are ripe for being maliciously directed by others with nefarious intentions. If you’re not concerned with this now, if you want to brush this off, I would urge you to reconsider. It’s not too late to stop that train from leaving the station. This can still be handled through public opinion and discourse. They’re all somewhat loosely connected at the moment, but if they all continue down the path they’re heading, which is a mob, we’ll all regret allowing this discourse. This anti-semitic stuff going on is just a taste of what they’re capable of, and they probably don’t even know it yet. Their mentality, as far as anger, emotion, and fear, is the same as the ultra-right wing even though they believe different things.

JLeslie's avatar

I couldn’t read the article, but I’ve seen interviews and reports in the last few weeks. Here are two interviews, I hope the links work:

I think it’s terrifying. My brain often plays things down (denial) as a protective measure. The first time I ever had antisemitism right in my face was when I went to college, and this was back in the late 90’s. That was more about location and ignorance. At first I hoped there wasn’t actually a serious increase, but what is happening now is much worse. It’s not just a stray person, but feels like mobs of people. Young men can be especially scary. Drunk young men in groups too often go along with horrid behavior.

If I were Jewish on some of these campuses I would be afraid. Just growing up Jewish we are always aware of violent antisemitism past and present and for many of us it isn’t right at our front door, but when it is it is like a gun in your face.

Back when I was in school and swastikas were drawn on the dorm where a lot of Jewish students lived a friend of mine who isn’t Jewish said to me, “I don’t know what the big deal is it’s just a symbol.” So, some students just do not understand the impact of these things, but what is happening now is way beyond what I encountered.

Someone close to me wrote me the following, I have not verified the information. Qatar gave $1.4 billion to Cornell U. Billion with a b! No wonder these colleges have antisemitic professors and horrible middle east programs that don’t teach the truth about Israel. When you get that much money there are strings attached. I’m guessing Cornell hired all the professors that Qatar chose and also admitted a ton of extremist foreign students that Qatar selected.

flutherother's avatar

I couldn’t read the full article as I’m in the UK but I got this much “Many students who think they’re protesting against Israeli policy are actually engaging in anti-Semitism, spewing hatred”.

Circumstances prevented me from attending a march in my home city but I was there in spirit. I wanted to make my feelings known in some small way regarding an inhuman war and I don’t see anything antisemitic in that.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie I won’t speak to the larger question but my brother has been the Chair of the Department of Jewish Studies at Cornell and I don’t think what you are saying about Qatar is true.

JLeslie's avatar

What can be done? Every student should sit through a class (can be a video) about generational trauma and how terrifying certain actions are for Jewish students and it applies to other minorities too. In an hour a lot can be learned.

Arrest anyone making direct threats, vandalizing, or doing anything violent, and let the students know they were arrested and specifically why their behavior is different than freedom or speech or the right to protest.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb Ok, I would like to know. That’s why I was sure to qualify I haven’t verified it. Can you ask him?

Edit: I found this article.

JLeslie's avatar

Sorry for additional post.

@flutherother Try my links with the interviews. They have more details of what is happening on campuses that are specifically threatening to Jewish students rather than just a protest against Israel’s current actions.

gorillapaws's avatar

Antisemitism is vile.

I think a lot of this is the result of decades of conflation of anti-Israeli criticism being dismissed (erroneously) as anti-semitic by the press as a means of shielding the Netanyahu administration’s abusive policies. The state of Israel has weaponized the term “antisemitism” to cudgel their political opponents in the west. The sad result is that they’ve muddied the waters for the term. Sometimes it’s being used in earnest and other times it’s being used to defend grotesque right wing extremist policies.

Some consider waving a Palestinian flag as antisemitic. The most commonly mentioned contentious one I hear is the “from the river to the sea” chant which I’ve heard multiple interpretations of. I heard of a kid being suspended form school for saying “free Palestine” as meaning “kill all Jews.” Finally there are some who would make the case that one can oppose zionism without being antisemitic (there are Jews who hold this position for example). I think having honest conversations about Israel and US foreign policy would help a lot. It’s been extremely one-sided for decades. I think this one-sidedness has lead to mistrust and tribal thinking which is the first step on the path to hate.

As for how to fix it? Jewish students should absolutely feel safe at school (and everywhere else for that matter). Full stop.

I think campus security should be robust enough that any student who feels unsafe can have an escort to wherever they want to go on campus. Hate crimes should be investigated and punished severely. Expulsion and referral to the police for hate crimes is the correct response. With the ubiquity of cameras on campus one would think many offenders would be easily caught.

Perhaps having open conversations in a forum setting where panelists can discus sensitive topics in an academically rigorous manner would be healthy. I think much of the tension has arisen from the “Disneyification” of the founding of Israel, and some of the mythology that surrounds it. I’ve heard two versions of the story, each side trying to downplay or minimize the evil shit their side did at the time. I think it’s better to have a full and honest account of what really happened in all of its brutal detail. October 7th didn’t happen in a vacuum. Understanding the full context is helpful for having conversations.

I don’t think you’ll find much support on campus for people opposing a ceasefire at this point though. Netanyahu and the IDF have violated international law and committed crimes against humanity by all objective standards. Biden is essentially taking my money to buy bombs for the IDF to massacre children with, making me complicit in the process of genocide. I think that’s repugnant.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws many people that are pro-Palestine don’t seem to realize they ARE anti-Semitic. Palestinians aren’t looking for land…that’s not what this ongoing war is about. It is strictly about killing all the Jews for the crime of being Jews. Hamas controls Palestine politically and they are a radical Muslim extremist group. Their founding charter basically says their goal is to get rid of Israel by killing all the Jews in it.

Many people in the US don’t want to believe this. They are geared towards rejection of oppression they believe is going on. They want to believe that Hamas (and therefore Palestinians) are basically good people that are just trying to get out from under Israeli rule. They want to ignore, deny, or even try to justify that Hamas just brutally attacked Israel, killing civilians including women and children, taking hostages and all sorts of other terrorist activities that led to the Israeli response. Hamas hides behind civilians and in hospitals to try keeping from getting bombed by Israel. They are not nice people.

I actually know several Palestinians in this country. But they don’t support what Hamas is doing. They fear for relations still back there. But none of that is being pushed. All that is being pushed by the media and on Social Media is that big-bad-Israel deserves the attack they got and they are wrong for being angry and retaliating.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It’s horrible.
What can be done? Perhaps a Jewish security group of students formed on campus. Escorting others to/from class/home.
There are Jewish groups who can continue to air commercials on media, too. Especially in high tension areas. That would be my suggestion.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 ”...They want to believe that Hamas (and therefore Palestinians) are basically good people…”

I’m sure people like this exist but I think they’re a fraction of a percent. The overwhelming majority of people marching in the streets do not support Hamas or their terror. They’re marching to stop the bloodshed.

@seawulf575 “Palestinians aren’t looking for land…that’s not what this ongoing war is about”

I completely disagree. This began decades ago and has always been about land. You can even see in a leaked document that Israel is using the attack as a pretext to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians into the Sinai Desert to annex the land.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe demonstrators should be holding signs “make peace not war” or “support the pacifist movement” or God forbid “innocent lives should be protected.” Some sort of general statement rather than pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel. Liberal leaders could make an effort to give students different words to voice their objections to Israel’s current actions, because as of now many college campuses most vocal people are leaving out what was done to the Israelis and actually make excuses for why it was ok in their opinion.

The professors and school administration is horrible of they do nothing. Young people can be stupid, but no excuse for professors to be inciting antisemitism, and the should do everything to stop it.

The situation in that region is long standing and very complicated. Being on one side or the other isn’t really understanding the entire dynamic, because there is actually more than two sides the way I see it.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws You may want to believe that people like that are a small percentage. Yet as the question points out there is growing anti-Semitic protests on US college campuses. You have US representatives like Rashida Talib and Ilhan Omar that fully support Hamas and speak out against Israel. Not against bloodshed, they don’t care about bloodshed as long as it is Jewish blood. They, not once, have denounced the actions of Hamas. Tell yourself whatever you need to tell yourself to justify your anti-Semitism though.

As for you “leaked document”, you might want to go back and read the article you cited. There is not one whit of evidence that it is true. It does indeed point out that Israel has been looking to move out Palestinians. They made that clear from the start. They even said that if the civilians didn’t leave they would be treated as combatants. So wanting to spare their lives is now ethnic cleansing? No, sorry. That is what other Muslims are trying to say…those that support Hamas and hate Israel. It is a narrative that they want to push.

What has existed in this part of the world for decades has never been about land. It has 100% been about the Arab world not wanting Jews in the area. They have repeatedly attacked and attacked Israel and have gotten their taints handed to them each and every time. And yes, Israel did keep some of the land they got from the aggressors in these battles. But, again, they have not been the aggressors. They are responding in kind, just as in this current dust up. Hamas attacked Israel and committed atrocities of the highest kind. That is not done to get land, that is done out of hatred for the people. And now that Israel is responding, suddenly gee, we should all just call for a stop to the bloodshed. Where is the outcry against Hamas? Where are the protests that they should be held accountable for brutally slaying women and children? Even beheading children? No…just stop ISRAEL from shedding blood. That is fully in support of anti-Semitism.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws One other consideration: I already provided a link explaining that Hamas’ goal was to take over Israel by killing every Jew in there. How is that NOT ethnic cleansing? You are supporting the real group that is pushing for that, and you are doing it by taking supposition as fact instead of fact as fact.

tinyfaery's avatar

I feel great about rising instances of anti-Zionism. I think more should happen.

Caravanfan's avatar

@tinyfaery You are an example of how the extreme left is indistinguishable from fascism.

Zaku's avatar

I’m afraid I’m not familiar enough with the issue.

In all of the schools and universities (with the exception, maybe, of a community college I don’t know enough about either) I went to, the administration seemed quite capable of dealing with most moral and ethical issues, and was in some cases perhaps(?) even overly defensive about possible religious issues.

The main and most serious such issue I encountered was in 5th Grade, when we were asked to decorate the class home room, but specifically not allowed to include any religious images, including (IIRC) coniferous tree images. It seemed like the class pretty unanimously objected to that, although we did understand what they were trying to do, and (speaking for myself, anyway), I did get that there could quite possibly be some students who would feel left out and that they shouldn’t need to speak up in order to be protected from that. Besides, I didn’t want to decorate the windows anyway!

So it’s hard for me to imagine this being a big problem on a well-run school’s campus. My suggestion would be for those schools to improve their ways and take such things seriously, and handle it like the supposedly well-educated civilized adults they are, using their talents in education and structured requirements, to both work on the problem, and remove it when it gets out of hand.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws Waving a Palestinian flag is not antisemetic as long as it’s not accompanied by antisemitic rhetorhic like “from the river to the sea”. That latter is clearly a reference to wiping out all the Jews from the Jordan River to the sea. Far left fascists can justify that language all they want, but you can’t put lipstick on a pig.

filmfann's avatar

It’s a mystery to me how anyone smart enough to go to college would be that misinformed.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@filmfann Higher education is not what it once was. It used to be reserved for those with exceptional work ethic and/or IQs around one standard deviation above average. This is no longer the case. It’s for average people now. I first went to school in the 90’s, then in the 2000’s and again recently. The dilution of what it once was is dramatic.

jonsblond's avatar

It’s sad. Their was a recent incident near the campus I work at in Madison, WI.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Blackwater_Park I disagree completely with your statement about the state of higher education. This is not the question to have a discussion about it, however.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I sincerely hope I am wrong.

kritiper's avatar

@Caravanfan Yes, obviously. Nothing else can be done short of those drastic measures.

Caravanfan's avatar

@kritiper Let me ask you. Should a person of color just deal with racial epithets being thrown at them? How about a gay couple getting screamed at? Should they just “deal with it” too?

SABOTEUR's avatar

I feel the same way about this as I did when Trump was elected President making is acceptable for hatred, violence and racism to be openly displayed.

What can be done? We see evidence that you can’t make people drop their prejudices. About the best you can do is make it uncomfortable for people to have their prejudices known. Not likely when the prime Presidential candidate in America is the poster boy for despicable behavior.

We should all be very afraid.

JLeslie's avatar

@SABOTEUR I think some of the people aren’t antisemetic they just don’t even realize what they are doing or saying out of ignorance.

Like my friend who didn’t understand why Jewish people were getting so worked up about swastikas being drawn on dorm doors when I was in college 35 years ago. Or, my friend’s cousin who used to decorate her car and wear t-shirts with the confederate flag. She thought it was cute. She lives in Minnesota! Her friends did it so she did too. She has stopped now.

Remember we are dealing with young people. Young people can be impulsive, ignorant, and easily go along with the crowd.

Some of them are antisemitic, I’m not in anyway saying it’s all harmless or that there isn’t real hate out there.

I completely agree with what you said about Trump allowing and encouraging hate and violence, it is horrible.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@JLeslie I would whole heartedly agree but for the fact we have ignorant adults who were once ignorant young people who, for whatever reason, refused to accept all people as equals.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan ”...antisemitic rhetorhic like “from the river to the sea”. That latter is clearly a reference to wiping out all the Jews from the Jordan River to the sea. Far left fascists can justify that language all they want, but you can’t put lipstick on a pig.”

That’s not the intention being expressed by that chant in public protests that you’re seeing. Nobody on college campuses are calling for a second Holocaust. I’ve heard many interpretations of the expression from:
(a) “kill all Jews,”
(b) “expel all Jews,”
(c) “Create a single state solution where all residents are 100% equal and “free” in all ways, including the right of those expelled by force in 1948 and their descendants to return if they wish.”
(d) “End the illegal occupation, apartheid and annexation of Arabs.”

It’s not something I would ever say because I understand it’s hurtful to people, but I wouldn’t assume that thousands of students want to massacre or expel Jews from Israel. I think it’s mostly (c ) that’s being expressed. The antisemitism I’ve seen seems to be tribalism. People see the horrors coming out of Gaza and see people waving Israeli flags and opposing a ceasefire, and the backlash is based on a “fuck you” instinct. That’s not a value of the progressive left which champions tolerance for all people.

@seawulf575 “You have US representatives like Rashida Talib and Ilhan Omar that fully support Hamas and speak out against Israel.”

That’s false. Neither support Hamas. They do speak out against Israel—and they should. Israel is being run by a genocidal psychopath.

As far as the leaked document, you can read it yourself, but my Hebrew is a little rusty. It’s a primary source that’s widely available and does make the case for ethnic cleansing.

As for Hamas supporting ethnic cleansing of Jews. Yes. I don’t support Hamas. They’re terrorists. One can support Palestinian people and their right to be treated with basic human rights, reject Israel’s policies and still oppose Hamas. Also, Hamas doesn’t have the capabilities to anything close to their stated goals. I’m sure somewhere in a basement in Arkansas there’s a group of Neo nazis who aspire to kill all black people in the world. They probably have plenty of guns too, but their ability to accomplish said goals is important to consider. Israel isn’t going anywhere.

flutherother's avatar

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” reminds me of the 19th Century Irish song “The Shan Van Vocht” the last lines of which are “Yes Ireland shall be free, from the centre to the sea, and hurrah for liberty says the Shan van Vocht”.


seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws Talib put a big Palestinian flag outside her office right after Hamas attacked. Neither did she ever actually denounce Hamas. The closest she came was to say she regretted the loss of life on both sides. Not real big on “Not-Supporting-Hamas” scale. Neither of these politicians have actually called out Hamas for being a terrorist organization. Both have, however, done like you and accused Israel of all sorts of things for which they have no evidence.

Leaked Document: so you didn’t read it either. Got it. Someone in one of your niche news outlets said it said something and off you went like it proved something. But the article you cited was what I was responding to. Not even in your own citation were there facts claiming what you claimed. It was at best speculation from other Arabs. Not a single person pointed to where this “leaked document” stated that Israel was trying to purge Gaza of all Arabs. Its the old propaganda ploy.

And you keep claiming you don’t support Hamas, that you only support the Palestinian people. Yet those people are the ones that elected a terrorist organization to lead them. You don’t see protests against them. They have made it through numerous elections and keep getting more support. So those same Palestinian people are the problem. They are supporting terrorists. As for their abilities, that is a matter of speculation. Iran is working with them, providing arms and money. They are also zealots. And in the end your arguments seem weak. You don’t believe they have the ability to do ethnic cleansing in Israel so there is no problem. That is effectively what you are saying. And to double down on your anti-Semitism you keep saying Israel wants to ethnically cleanse the Gaza strip…yet you ignore the fact that they haven’t and, in fact, have helped to set up ways for the Arabs to live and govern themselves in Gaza. Your anti-Semitism is the part you aren’t seeing.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws Maybe Talib and Omar should speak out against Netanyahu and not Israel. People in the public eye need to be specific with a subject this sensitive. Just like most people are trying to be careful to say Hamas did the violent act of Oct 7 not the Palestinians at large. Do you want to be lumped in with supporting Trump just because you are American?

Omar and Talib should be careful not to add to the antisemitism or anti-Israel right to exist if indeed they are not antisemitic and not against Israel having statehood. What they say will obviously be scrutinized.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie You’re right but you can be against Israel having a right to statehood without being antisemitic.

kritiper's avatar

@Caravanfan Same answer. Life is a bitch, ain’t it??

Everybody wants to have their cake and eat it too. You can’t.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws Of course “from the river to the sea” means “wipe out all the Jews”. Let’s take a counterfactual example. Let’s say you had some Jewish students wrapping themselves up in Israeli flags with signs saying “From the sea to the river”? How would that be construed by people? These Jews would be called racist and genocidal. How is “From the river to the sea” any different?

In terms of the far left, you need to own that the far left has spawned this hate group, just has the far right has spawned the MAGAts. The wings of each group have no interest anymore in “why can’t we just get along and talk about it.”

Once you realize that this is a realty, then we can really have a conversation as to how to perhaps fix it. But if you just say, “Not my people” then nothing will change.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 “Talib put a big Palestinian flag outside her office”

There’s a difference between a Palestinian flag and a Hamas flag. If she hangs a Hamas flag then we’ll talk, otherwise you’re ascribing attributes to her based on actions she hasn’t taken. That’s absurd. I’m not sure if you’ve ever publicly denounced the Armenian Genocide, but I’m not going to presume you support it based on the absence of your denunciation.

@seawulf575 ” keep claiming you don’t support Hamas, that you only support the Palestinian people.”

I don’t support Hamas. They’re a terrorist organization who killed over a thousand innocent people. I do support the Palestinian people and the Israeli people. They are innocents and should have the right to live free from hate, terror and oppression. I think the State of Israel’s actions and policies right now will ultimately result in many more Jewish Israelis losing their lives in the future, than if Israel had pursued different policies and military strategies, and that’s heartbreaking to me. Also for every innocent Palestinian killed or wounded, you’re going to make many times more people sympathetic to radicalization.

Let’s say there was a cell of Neo-Nazi terrorists in your town with your entire extended family living in a nearby apartment and you happened to be away on business. When you come back you find out that Israel used a thermobaric bomb to kill the anti-semitic cell, but also annihilated your entire bloodline and hundreds of other innocents too. Would you be more likely or less likely to want to take up arms against Israel after that? Would it perhaps have been a better strategy to send in a team of special forces to shoot the bad guys instead of pursuing an action that was likely to kill so many innocent people. The stats I’m seeing are upwards of 90% civilian casualties in Gaza, that’s obscene, and would never be justified if those were Israeli innocents being massacred.

A tiny percent (I believe it’s less than 10%) of the surviving people in Gaza actually voted for Hamas. Holding them collectively responsible is literally the same logic that Bin Laden used to justify 9/11. The same logic could be used to justify 10/7. It’s unsound reasoning. You cannot collectively punish a population for actions caused by their government, even if they were democratically elected (and especially when that election took place nearly 2 decades ago).

@seawulf575 “You don’t believe they have the ability to do ethnic cleansing in Israel so there is no problem.”

I didn’t say that. Hamas doesn’t have the ability to do ethnic cleansing in Israel. They have no air power, no naval power, no ground power. They have untrained assholes with unsophisticated, secondhand small arms and unguided rockets that are effectively useless against the Iron Dome (which I would love to see improved by the way). I didn’t say there was no problem, but let’s evaluate things in context. Hamas doesn’t have the ability to ethnically cleanse Israel, meanwhile Israel IS engaged in the ethnic cleansing of the Arabs. The response should be met with similar levels of force.

@Caravanfan ” Let’s say you had some Jewish students wrapping themselves up in Israeli flags with signs saying “From the sea to the river”? How would that be construed by people? These Jews would be called racist and genocidal. How is “From the river to the sea” any different?”

If the circumstances were entirely reversed in all aspects, If there was an Islamic Arab Palestinian ethnostate that was illegally occupying the “Jewish Gaza” and West Bank and exhibiting the same policies against the Jewish people, with a “Neo-Maccabees” terrorist cell that had just committed a 10/7 attack on innocent Arabs, and they dropped over 2 Hiroshima bombs worth of ordiance on Jewish Gaza, killing over 10,000 Jews (over 90% noncombatant) until every last “Neo-Maccabee” was brought to justice. Yes I would construe it in the same way.

As for what happened on the Harvard campus, I don’t condone what happened (it’s criminal to harass someone like that), but I’m not entirely convinced that was a hate crime if we’re being completely objective. I could see them doing the same in response to a Pro-Israeli Christian filming their faces at their rally.I don’t think we can assume those students hate Jewish people, but they don’l like having their faces filmed and being threatened with “cancellation” for opposing genocide. Is it wrong? Yes, it’s a crime. Is it explicitly antisemitic? If they’d do the same thing to a Christian, would that change anything—that perhaps its not about faith or ethnicity, but about political ideology and a respoonse to someone filming them?

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws I didn’t say it was a hate crime. I said it was an example of antisemitism on campus, and it was a left wing group perpetrating the event.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws And if you can’t see why the phrase “from the river to the sea” , which has echoes of the Holocaust, isn’t threatening to Jews, then I don’t know what else I can say.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan “And if you can’t see why the phrase “from the river to the sea” , which has echoes of the Holocaust, isn’t threatening to Jews, then I don’t know what else I can say.”

I do understand why it’s threatening. I don’t condone its use. I would, however caution against concluding everyone using it intends it in the way it may be received. I oppose the chant on the grounds that it’s hurtful to some (though the idea that Palestinians should be free ought not be controversial or hurtful). That said, I wouldn’t look at a march of hundreds of thousands of people waving Palestinian flags calling for a ceasefire with some chanting “from the river to the sea” and conclude that there are hundreds of thousands of people calling for a second holocaust in Israel. If you were to poll the participants few, if any, would believe that.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws Now off topic, but let’s say for instance that Israel agreed to a cease fire. Do you believe that Hamas would comly?

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan No. They’re terrorists.

Do you think it’s possible to kill everyone in Hamas without killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians using the current strategy? Won’t that create that many more Hamas (or whatever the next thing is)?

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws Do I think it’s possible? Sadly no, because Hamas is embedding themselves in hospitals and in civilian areas using babies as shields.

JLeslie's avatar

It would be nice if there was a flag that was half Israeli flag and half the Palestinian flag. That would mean to me wanting peace and both groups having a homeland. Just an idea that popped into my head.

@janbb Yes, I agree with you.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws Got it. You are trying to separate Hamas, the elected leaders from Palestine, from Palestine. Good luck with that. They were elected to lead the country. And there aren’t protests against them or their leadership from Palestinians. You are supporting a theocracy. Hamas has the goal given to them by Allah, to eliminate all non-Muslims. That is the driving belief in their leadership of the country.

Now, you could say that Palestinians are not all behind Hamas and are just afraid to speak out. That could be but then you would be saying that their elections could be questionable and/or that Hamas rules by committing human rights violations. But you aren’t really saying that. You are just trying to separate it out. Because to condemn the beliefs of the Arabs in Palestine might lead you to having to admit those same beliefs cause much of the mayhem in the Middle East. That thought could bring you to the idea that Israel reacts to violence and is not initiating it.

Talib used the Palestinian Flag because the rockets that were shot into Israel and the troops that stormed in and slaughtered innocents all came from Palestine. You can try wiggling from it but that is a fact. And trying to say Me never denounced an act from more than 100 years ago is the same as Talib not denouncing something that happened the day before is ludicrous. Nice try though.

Face it: You hate Jews. You fully support those that attack Israel and make strong efforts to blame Israel for the attacks. That is anti-Semitism.

Caravanfan's avatar

@seawulf575 Now wait a second here. @gorillapaws Does not hate Jews, that’s a terrible statement and couldn’t be further from the truth. Please retract it.

seawulf575's avatar

@Caravanfan Yet all his language focuses against Israel and for Palestine. Sorry, but rhetoric hurts, you know? I get that governments aren’t always fully representative of the people and do things that the people don’t like. But as long as Hamas has been in charge of Palestine, they have almost continually attacked Israel and the Palestinian people have not ousted them. And now they have pissed Israel off and Israel retaliates. Suddenly @gorillapaws is all for cease-fires. When Israel warns the Palestinian people that if they don’t want to be considered combatants they need to leave, @gorillapaws tries to spin that as ethnic cleansing. Hey, he even produced an article that was full of opinion and short on facts as his proof. Sorry, he talks a lot of words and believes it is a good story, but his overall presentation comes across to me that he just plain hates Jews and would be just as happy if Israel ceased to exist.

JLeslie's avatar

I think this is relevant. I just saw it on Facebook from a friend of mine who lives in Israel. It’s a letter written by a Jewish Canadian Professor, Lena Bykhovsky who teaches biblical studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. I differ with her slightly on why the land of Israel is a legitimate Jewish state, my main reason is because the UN established it. It is where the Jewish people came from, have always returned to, and many were living there at the time of the decision. Below is the letter:

Dear Students,
I have spent the last 25 years showing you the beauty of all of the literary, cultural, philosophical, and artistic heights of the human spirit over the course of human history. Teaching you has been the most wonderful and satisfying of callings. I never wanted to do anything other than meet with you, discuss ideas with you, discover and rediscover human insights, truths, and wonders. I never regretted my career path, never hated my job, and never doubted my legacy. I felt privileged and honoured to show you how to analyse, to think critically, to weigh evidence, and to understand people and ideas, contexts and complexity, deeply and thoroughly. I thought my work was helping to make the world a better, more humane, more thoughtful place.

You have broken my heart. No: shattered it, irreparably. I don’t know how I will ever set foot in a classroom again. I don’t know how I will ever see you the same way. I know now that I was deluding myself that I ever had any impact, would ever leave any positive legacy, that my work ever made any difference.

I watch you all on social media, in the streets and the quads, marching in solidarity with a movement that seeks only to wipe me out. To exterminate me, my children, my parents, my entire family and community. I know, some of you think you’re trying to help the oppressed. You think that my kind is the white colonialist racist kind that you hate.

But I thought I taught you how to evaluate arguments. I thought I taught you the importance of understanding context, both historical and rhetorical. I thought that I taught you that the world did not operate according to dichotomies, like black and white, oppressor and oppressed, villain and victim. I thought I taught you about complexity, about judgment, and to examine your sources and not to take anyone’s statements at face value.

Zionism is the Jewish right to self-determination in our ancestral homeland. Israel is that ancestral homeland. Jews are the indigenous peoples of that land; not the only indigenous peoples of that land, to be sure. But Israel is the only land to which we are indigenous. After 2000 years of longing, the result of the Holocaust – a Nazi movement which sought to ethnically cleanse the world of Jews by systematically exterminating us – was that the international community granted us a sliver of that ancestral homeland.

It was to be shared, partitioned into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Arabs rejected the partition and attacked the Jews when they declared the state of Israel in 1948. The Jews won. Arabs who remained in Israel became citizens with full rights and freedoms. 20% of Israel’s population today is Arab. They fight in the army, they are doctors, lawyers, members of Parliament and supreme court judges. There is no apartheid. Israel’s Jewish population consists of Jews from Arab lands, whose parents or grandparents were kicked out when the state of Israel was formed, and of descendants of refugees from Eastern Europe, Holocaust survivors who had no homes to return to. Some are more recent refugees from Europe, Russia, and the Americas who either returned to Israel for religious reasons or because the Jew-hatred in their communities grew too excessive and they decided to emigrate, to head for the one place in the world Jews can go if their neighbours or governments turn against them.

The West Bank and Gaza strip – along with refugee camps that still exist in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan—were the places that the Arab nations who attacked Israel at its founding told the Arabs living in Palestine (later to be known as Palestinians) to flee. It was supposed to be temporary, because the plan was to “push the Jews into the sea.” When the plan didn’t work out, all of these states refused to absorb the Palestinians. They wanted to keep them in camps because they still planned to annihilate Israel and the Jews that lived there and then the Palestinians could return. The West Bank was in Jordan and Gaza was in Egypt until 1967, when the Arab states tried again to push the Jews into the sea. Their failure this time ended with Israel capturing these territories.

When Israel tried to exchange land for peace and give Gaza back to Egypt, Egypt didn’t want it. And so the territories remained in Israel. In 2005 Israel pulled out of Gaza and left it to govern itself. Most of the West Bank is also self-governing, but not all because of the high number of suicide bombers and other threats to Israel’s existence fomenting there, so Israel hasn’t been able to fully remove itself. The current awful Israeli government has allowed religious fanatics, “settlers,” to build settlements there, which makes everything worse.

And you see what I did there? I criticized Israel’s government. I can do that, and still support the existence of a Jewish state in our ancestral homeland.

When you say “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” this is a call to ethnic cleansing of Jews from their homeland, from the only state in the entire Middle East that would look remotely familiar to you in terms of basic rights and freedoms and a democratic system if you were to visit the region. When Hamas supporters – like those who led you all in a rally on my home campus today – talk about Jews as “occupiers,” they don’t mean Gaza. They mean the whole state of Israel. They want Jews eradicated from the entire land. Hamas actually wants us gone from the whole world, as they have stated many times. Who are the Nazis now?

But here I am, teaching again. I can’t help myself. I wish that you cared what I had to say. I wish that some knowledge, some context, some understanding, could reach beyond the slogans and chants for my death that you are repeating mindlessly and endlessly as you march to the beat of hatred across the tattered remains of my broken soul.

Caravanfan's avatar

@seawulf575 Dude, DBAD. I’m a Jew and I’m for a cease fire also, as long as Hamas complies.

JLeslie's avatar

I just saw Netanyahu on Meet The Press from Sunday and they are doing four hour cease fires in specific areas to clear out civilians. Israel also is asking other countries to set up temporary hospitals to move patients, but unfortunately probably not all will be able to be moved.

If you can see the Sunday episode a lot was discussed including going forward regarding Gaza after they dismantle (hopefully) Hamas and Netanyahu taking some responsibility or blame for the attack on Oct 7.

I also saw Biden take questions about Israel after he met with Xi.

I don’t see Israel wavering, but I do think either some of the reporting is leaving out some of the efforts Israel does make to reduce civilian deaths.

seawulf575's avatar

@Caravanfan I’m not a Jew and am all for staying out of that mess altogether. But I cannot abide people glorifying Palestine and demonizing Israel. I cannot abide the mental gymnastics that go into trying to justify support for a the group that initiated a horrific attack. And as much as I’m not in favor of war, I do believe that, in the long run, if Israel pushes this now and wipes out Hamas completely it may stop further bloodshed. Doubtful, but possible. The same scenario plays out over and over: Hamas attacks Israel, Israel retaliates but does not wipe them out so Hamas attacks again later.

janbb's avatar

@seawulf575 Serious question. If Netanyahu eliminates “Hamas” by some miracle but kills more than 11,000 civilians, how many of the surviving children will grow up to be anti-Israel terrorists? This is no way to win hearts and minds.

seawulf575's avatar

@janbb Serious question. If Israel backs off and does nothing to Hamas, how many of the surviving children will grow up being tolerant of Jews? You are right, there is no way to win hearts and minds. Arabs hate Jews….period. Oh I know that doesn’t hold true for 100% of Arabs. But since Israel became it’s own country, a Jewish country surrounded by Arab countries, it has been almost continually attacked. Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, Palestine…all have been trying to get rid of them. And in pretty much 100% of the cases the Arabs have attacked first.

The answer is that Arabs hate Jews and want to get rid of them. It has nothing to do with land, it has nothing to do with economy. It is strictly religious in nature. And that is why I say we need to stay out of it. There is no winning a war like that. All Israel can hope for is to instill enough fear of reprisal in its neighbors to win a few years of relative peace.

flutherother's avatar

“Arabs hate Jews”. I have to hand it to you @seawulf575 you have a way of simplifying the most complex of issues.

I don’t understand how you can say the conflict has nothing to do with land when it has had everything to do with land right from the beginning. Forcing people from their land and their homes is a form of attack guaranteed to lead to resentment.

But perhaps you are right and the savagery of the attack on Gaza is justified as it demonstrates conclusively to Palestinians that violence won’t succeed. Unfortunately, that argument collapses immediately under the weight of its own irony.

seawulf575's avatar

@flutherother Yep, I simplify it to its most basic level. Because people like you don’t hear yourselves or don’t know enough of history to find out your arguments hold no merit. As soon as the UN passed their Partition Resolution (Res 181) which split up the Palestinian area (not a country yet) into an Arab area and a Jewish area with Jerusalem being left open to both, Israel accepted the partition and declared independence. The Arabs began attacking right after that.

The claims that Israel drove all Arabs from their land is up for debate. There are basically two views on this. The first is that Israel drove all Arabs out and the second is that the militant Arabs ordered all Arabs inside Israel to depart. Both have pluses and minuses. There is actually a third view that may play a part. It could be that many Arabs left the area because they knew the war was coming and it was prudent to git while the gittin’ was good. And in the end not all Arabs were driven out and there are still Arabs in Israel today.

But let’s look at the idea that the battle has always been over the land. The land that Israel was given by the UN resolution consisted of basically the worst of the land in the area, mainly the Negev or the desert with some up along the Mediterranean Sea. Not a lot of area. So the Arabs couldn’t even bear to have Jews allowed into that area. So they fought it. But it wasn’t just Arabs that were in that area, it was other Arab nations that had no real skin in the game: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan (was Transjordan at the time), and Saudi Arabia. None of these nations were losing land in the partition resolution. So if none of these nations were losing land, why did they feel the need to attack Israel in the first place? Not because of land, obviously. Could it be because they are Jews and Arabs hate Jews? Hhmmmm….

canidmajor's avatar

The same way I feel about the danger to women, students of color, and any group that is targeted.

Reducing things to their “most basic level” tends to ignore the complexities of any conflict situation, but it allows persons of simple minds to assume that they are wise. Which tends to cause more conflict.

How much security can they have? Campuses have not been safe for a long time.

Demosthenes's avatar

The equation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is untenable in the face of any serious intellectual scrutiny.

That’s right, I’m back, baby.

janbb's avatar

@Demosthenes Great to see you again!

Caravanfan's avatar

@Demosthenes Great to see you. I seem to remember you were at Stanford. Are you still at the farm? Am I misremembering?

flutherother's avatar

Good to see you back @Demosthenes

Demosthenes's avatar

@Caravanfan Not currently, but I am posting from my parents’ home in the Bay Area and I was just at Stanford campus a few days ago. It will always be a place I return to.

And thank you guys. :D

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