Hate Group Gets Hall Pass

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While academic institutions are, today, taking great pains to get rid of any speech they deem to be hateful, one type of hate speech is, instead, being encouraged. JNS’ editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin laments that the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel National Students for Justice in Palestine has yet to be labeled what it is — a hate group:

NSJP hasn’t just managed to avoid the opprobrium that is thrown at far less controversial and divisive groups in order to shun and silence them; the group has found a comfortable home at many universities, where they have not only evaded censure, but been able to marginalize Jews and supporters of Israel. NSJP has become a hate group with a hall pass that gives it carte blanche to spread disinformation, as well as venomous libels about Jews that go unanswered by responsible authorities and liberal groups that otherwise masquerade as crusaders against hate.

As the ISGAP report documents, NSJP doesn’t simply advocate for justice for Palestinians. As its foreword rightly notes, Palestinians are as entitled to justice as anyone else. However, this group defines justice for Palestinians in such a way as to make it indistinguishable from the demonization of Jews. Those who advocate various formulas for peace in the Middle East that center around compromises on territory and other issues can say that what they are doing is trying to empower Palestinians without harming Jews or denying them their legitimate rights.

But the NSJP’s conception of justice is not one that calls for a future based on coexistence and mutual recognition. Rather, it is merely one in which the State of Israel ceases to exist and the rights of the Jewish people—to their homeland, to self-determination and of self-defense—are annulled. Their idea of Palestinian nationalism is inextricably tied not to the advancement of that people’s interests or culture, but to a century-old war on Zionism and the Jews that must always end in the eradication of the one Jewish state on the planet.

NSJP’s literature and social-media advocacy employs all of the classic forms of anti-Semitic discourse in terms of the demonization of Jews. Using the definition of anti-Semitism promoted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the study also makes it clear that the NSJP’s mode of discourse routinely crosses into territory in which its goal is not critiques of Israel’s policies, but instead to disparage, demonize and delegitimize Jews, and to deny Jewish history. Their false comparisons between Israel and apartheid South Africa—and particularly those made between it and Nazi Germany—aren’t merely defamatory, they are blatantly anti-Semitic.

Moreover, the conduct of its chapters, which exist at schools throughout the nation, including some of the country’s most elite institutions, also illustrate the hateful nature of their campaigns, whose goal is to shame and silence Jews who have the temerity to speak up for the rights of their people.

Why does NSJP get away with it? Why is such behavior tolerated and even lauded—New York University gave its President’s Award to its SPJ chapter for its “civic engagement”—by those in power who are usually occupied with shutting up those who offend the sensibilities of students?

The answer is that NSJP’s libels against Israel are fashionable, while those of other hate groups are not…

Tags: Anti-Semitism Israel JNS Jonathan Tobin Students for Justice in Palestine United States

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