Khaled Abu Toameh on American Universities and the Pro-Palestinian Movement

I stumbled upon Hudson New York, a publication that has published an article by long-time Israeli reporter, one who is Muslim and works for the Jerusalem Post, Khaled abu Toameh. Anybody who reads the J Post, knows that abu Toameh is an excellent journalist who often brings into his stories the Arab or Palestinian perspective. He does so with integrity and his analyses are often penetrating and intelligent.

A few days ago, Abu Toameh published On Campus: The Pro-Palestinians’ Real Agenda describing his experience in a series of talks at different US campuses. He concludes by writing:

we should not be surprised if the next generation of jihadists comes not from the Gaza Strip or the mountains and mosques of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but from university campuses across the U.S.

What leads him to this extraordinary assertion? Well, something we’re covered here at Jewlicious plenty of times, the extremism of the pro-Palestinian advocates on campuses and their strong hatred – there is no other word – for Israel and anybody who is connected to it in any way.

Abu Toameh writes:

During a recent visit to several university campuses in the U.S., I discovered that there is more sympathy for Hamas there than there is in Ramallah.

I was told, for instance, that Israel has no right to exist, that Israel’s “apartheid system” is worse than the one that existed in South Africa and that Operation Cast Lead was launched only because Hamas was beginning to show signs that it was interested in making peace and not because of the rockets that the Islamic movement was launching at Israeli communities.

I was also told that top Fatah operative Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life terms in prison for masterminding terror attacks against Israeli civilians, was thrown behind bars simply because he was trying to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Furthermore, I was told that all the talk about financial corruption in the Palestinian Authority was “Zionist propaganda” and that Yasser Arafat had done wonderful things for his people, including the establishment of schools, hospitals and universities.

The good news is that these remarks were made only by a minority of people on the campuses who describe themselves as “pro-Palestinian,” although the overwhelming majority of them are not Palestinians or even Arabs or Muslims.

The bad news is that these groups of hard-line activists/thugs are trying to intimidate anyone who dares to say something that they don’t like to hear.

On one campus, for example, I was condemned as an “idiot” because I said that a majority of Palestinians voted for Hamas in the January 2006 election because they were fed up with financial corruption in the Palestinian Authority.

On another campus, I was dubbed as a “mouthpiece for the Zionists” because I said that Israel has a free media.

And then there was the campus (in Chicago) where I was “greeted” with swastikas that were painted over posters promoting my talk.

Ironically, many of the Arabs and Muslims I met on the campuses were much more understanding and even welcomed my “even-handed analysis” of the Israeli-Arab conflict. After all, the views I voiced were not much different than those made by the leaderships both in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. These views include support for the two-state solution and the idea of coexistence between Jews and Arabs in this part of the world.

The so-called pro-Palestinian “junta” on the campuses has nothing to offer other than hatred and de-legitimization of Israel. If these folks really cared about the Palestinians, they would be campaigning for good government and for the promotion of values of democracy and freedom in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Their hatred for Israel and what it stands for has blinded them to a point where they no longer care about the real interests of the Palestinians, namely the need to end the anarchy and lawlessness, and to dismantle all the armed gangs that are responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent Palestinians over the past few years.

The majority of these activists openly admit that they have never visited Israel or the Palestinian territories. They don’t know -and don’t want to know – that Jews and Arabs here are still doing business together and studying together and meeting with each other on a daily basis because they are destined to live together in this part of the world.

What is happening on the U.S. campuses is not about supporting the Palestinians as much as it is about promoting hatred for the Jewish state. It is not really about ending the “occupation” as much as it is about ending the existence of Israel.

Let’s not stop there. What abu Toameh saw on campuses also exists outside of campuses and is supported by a network of pro-Palestinian websites including some, such as Muzzlewatch and K. Silverstein’s site, that support or repeat the very same spurious claims to which Abu Toameh alludes or attack those who challenge these attacks. The internet, however, is a place where lies can be spread as information and where the dedicated can outdo the average Joe/Jill who happens into the discussion or debate.

And it is not just a misrepresentation of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It has deteriorated into a misrepresentation of the place of Jews in American society, accusations of a cabal and dual loyalties, claims of an all-powerful “Israel Lobby” made up of a majority of American Jews that forces the US to act against its own interests, and other unpleasant lies or exaggerations and misrepresentations of people and facts. The fervor of these individuals is incredible considering many of them don’t know the situation first-hand. But what’s worrisome is the breadth of their network, the large number of people they touch with their “information” and the ultimate effect of their work which is to drive towards a single state that eliminates the Jewish part of Israel. They often don’t come right out and say it, but that is where they are headed.

(regarding Hudson New York, the publication which published this article by abu Toameh, it appears to be a non-profit publication that covers the Middle East and the US as it relates to the Middle East with numerous articles and authors. As far as I can tell from the authors list, they have some Muslim and Arab voices, some Israeli and Jewish voices and many others. They describe themselves in this way:

Your generosity to the Hudson New York Briefing Council enables:

Human Rights Activists, Moderate Muslims and Expert Investigative Reporters to:

Amplify dissident voices worldwide that stress the need for reforms in rule of law, property rights, free-market opportunities, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and other institutions of democracy
Monitor Russia and China’s economic and military offensives, evaluating their implications to the West.
Examine the use of oil as a political weapon against the West, and promote the urgent development of alternate sources of energy.
Divest Iranian holdings from pension plans, banks and foreign subsidiaries.
Press for transparency and accountability in non-governmental organizations, The United Nations, and other international institutions.
Counter lawsuits intended to intimidate and silence critics of religious extremism, and combat States which train children to be suicide killers.
Track the funding of terrorist cells and their systems of communication, and disable them when possible.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

More in Jewlicious (2119 of 5488 articles)


I've been in New York for the better part of a week now. The headlines have been dominated by news of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme in light of his guilty plea and subsequent jailing until his sentencing later this summer. ...