Universities in America are championing terror in the name of free speech. Recently, our university campuses have been witness to a disturbing spectacle: students who gather not to espouse peace but instead celebrate the heinous acts of terror and violence perpetrated by Hamas terrorists against Israelis.
Several law students from top schools signed letters that explicitly stated Israelis deserved to be killed. Although students saw prestigious law firms rescind employment offers from law students at Harvard, Columbia, and NYU, specific academic community segments still endorsed the demonstrations. At the same time, administrators failed to unequivocally condemn the acts, appealing to the students’ rights to express their opinions.
Students on campuses will say, though, that on campuses, such opinions aren’t isolated or niche political ideas that the rest of society must tolerate — the views are championed and cultivated by the universities themselves in what amounts to an in-your-face endorsement of violence and an insult to the values institutions of higher learning are expected to uphold.
The murder of civilians is wrong, no matter the wording; however, “Pro-Palestinian” groups of students on campuses are framing the conflict as battles of the “oppressed” against the “oppressor.” Many who label themselves as “pro-Palestine” have said violence against the Israelis is justified because “Israel has oppressed Muslims for many years.” Not only do those individuals have zero sympathy for civilians murdered in the conflict, but they also don’t want to discuss who the actual perpetrator of the recent attacks is.
The conflict is much larger than Palestine and Israel’s age-old feud and plays a crucial part in the violence enveloping the region. The attacks perpetrated on Israel are fueled, supported, and funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran and have ramped up on all sides of the nation’s borders. Hezbollah, backed by Iran, has launched attacks from the north and increased fueling of the flames of conflict.
However, students voicing opinions that shed light on brutal, extreme ideologies of the Islamic Republic regime and allies — including Hezbollah and Hamas — are frequently silenced in the classroom and dismissed as “Islamophobic” by classmates and professors.
Manipulation of political correctness doesn’t only perpetuate ignorance but fosters a frenzied breeding ground for extremism. The commitment to open discussion has been compromised in an environment that focuses on make-believe harmony over uncomfortable reality.
Many students lack a deep understanding of politics and world history, often falling victim to several years of indoctrination that breeds a deep hatred toward Western values. The pervasive ignorance becomes a fertile ground for ideological extremism, including what is spread by Hamas and Hezbollah and finding impressionable supporters on college campuses.
Most alarming is how universities have become fertile breeding grounds for ignorance. By stifling opposing viewpoints in the name of tolerance and diversity, campuses perpetuate a toxic environment.
One example of the toxicity is that some mistakenly label Hamas as “freedom fighters” or call their acts of terrorism efforts toward “decolonization.” These false labels stem from an oversimplified, distorted view of the conflict. Hamas is a terrorist organization, has been designated as such by several countries, and has a much-documented history of violence perpetuated on civilians, including rocket attacks and suicide bombings, which cannot be justified as acts of “freedom fighting.”
However, in the academic arena, some students fail to grasp Hamas’s actions reality and are encouraged when they wrongly glorify the group and further perpetuate dangerous misunderstandings of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Inaction in the face of terrorism is not an option. Only by confronting the painful truths and uniting against terror can hope to dismantle the foundation extremism thrives on be realized.