Anti-Semitism is on the rise at our University

by Ossman Darwiche/Assistant Opinion Director

We have been blind to the shadow of a rising threat on our own campus and community.

As a Jewish student at FIU I know I’m part of a minority, but it is a minority which is under constant attack.

As Eli Cohen once said, “Jews are hated for remaining insular and for assimilating, for participating in leftist politics or rightist politics, for being white and for being non-white, for Communism and for Capitalism, for being weak and for being strong, for being stateless and for having a state.”

Hatred of anyone based on their race or religion is baseless hatred, no matter how you look at it.

Its perpetrators create justifications for their hate in order to convince others and themselves that they are still moral people.

Today, Arab media seeks to justify its antisemitic rants by claiming they are anti-Zionist, not antisemitic. I am here to show you why that is wrong.

Zionism is simply the belief in a Jewish state, anti-Zionism is the belief that the only people in the world who cannot have a state are the Jews.

I hope that clearly shows why anti-Zionism is just anti-Semitism trying to be politically correct.

You may respond there are plenty of Jews who are critical of Israel’s policies. I would respond by saying, “I know, I’m one of them, but I’m still a Zionist.”

In other words, I don’t call for the destruction of my nation or any other nation, but the improvement of conditions for both peoples.

At the beginning of December 2018, members of the Student Affairs staff managed to bring several usual opposing groups together to a table of discussion hoping to promote mutual understanding between us.

Among attending groups were members of Shalom FIU, Students for Justice in Palestine and Young Democratic Socialists of America.

SJP and YDSA students made it quite clear to us, “We are not your friends, and we do not want to work with you.”

When we expressed to them our desire to see coexistence between our two peoples, they flat out told us that they want to see Israel destroyed.

To witness such fervent hatred welcomed as a legitimate voice on our campus is an insult to the core values of Florida International University.

I remember sitting down for an on-campus lecture where it was claimed that Jews in the Middle East were just fine before Israel and that Jews were treated far better in Arab lands than in Christian ones.

And while there was a time when Jewish and Arab society did get along more, the facts of history clearly show it was never all sunshine and rainbows.

There are several historic accounts of Middle Eastern Jews suffering through brutal persecutions, in both ancient and modern times including the brutal slaughter of over 69 Jews in Hebron in 1929.

There are some heartfelt accounts in history of a few brave Christians and Muslims protecting their Jewish neighbors, but since the beginning of Islam and Christianity, Jews were mostly ostracized and treated as second class citizens.

Finally, I would like to address a most disturbing doctrine being spread on our own campus, that Jews are not an ethnic people but merely a religious group.

Judaism is the religion of an ethnic group of people called Jews, aka Hebrews, or Israelites who were mostly, but not completely, expelled from their native land of Judea/Israel. The fact I feel I must explain this is ridiculous to me.

To say we are not a people is to say we have no place in the world, and that is why I am compelled to stand against these views.

To allow radical groups like these to spread their propaganda under the guise of “free speech and education,” is to deceive ourselves and will only set the FIU community on a dark and dangerous path of extremism.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

photo by T. Chick McClure on Unsplash.


2 Comments on "Anti-Semitism is on the rise at our University"

  1. Anti-semitism is NOT on the rise at FIU. I would prefer not to share my name publicly, but I am an FIU student and a Jewish-American. I was a member of the FIU Shalom and FIU Hillel student groups on campus my first year at the university and was highly involved. During this time, I repeatedly heard cruel and disparaging comments about the Palestinian people from E-Board members of Shalom FIU and the director of the Hillel. The needlessly cruel and uncompassionate rhetoric and attitude towards Arabs made me question what it truly meant to be a “mensch” and I could no longer in good conscience support Zionism (even if it meant putting myself at odds with the rest of the FIU Jewish community). I joined Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) because it was the right thing to do even if it would/will hurt me socially and when I leave college, perhaps even professionally. The Zionist groups on campus have acted very maliciously this school year. In one instance, a leader of FIU Shalom sent me a very disturbing meme which depicted an IDF tank with the captain “don’t forget the Palestinian Baby Flattener 3000” (YES, THIS REALLY HAPPENED) *this was before I left the Jewish groups on campus and he felt comfortable sharing this hateful remark with me as I was just “another member of the tribe” and in another instance, the president of FIU Shalom requested a friend of mine spy on an SJP event and told him to purposely lie about why he was there. I have evidence of both of these incidents. Furthermore, I was targeted by the same FIU Shalom leader who leaked the insensitive meme about brutalizing Palestinians this semester. In retaliation for publicly posting the highly insensitive message he sent me, he made a fake instagram account and posted his personal address, a picture of his home, and a picture of his car. He reported this account to the student conduct and conflict resolution office to create the perception that I had threatened him whenever I would never do such a thing. The FIU student conduct office dropped all charges against me after an investigation. Additionally, for holding peaceful pro-Palestinian and white identitarian beliefs, the director of the Hillel kicked me out of the Hillel student group and said if I ever came back into the Hillel he would call security to escort me which was an overly dramatic and highly unnecessary measure considering I was highly involved in the Hillel and got along with everybody before making my Ziocritical beliefs known. It is honestly b*llshit that Zionists cry all the time about how they are victims when all they do is victimize Palestinians and good-intentioned political dissidents of their movement (even other Jews!).

    As a Jewish-American, it is my opinion that Zionism is a SUPREMACIST ideology and it’s adherents are extremely intolerant of those who question it even if that critical inquiry comes from other Jews. Zionism =/= Judaism and in fact, the most orthodox Jews in Israel OPPOSE Zionism because they recognize that it subjugates gentiles and even Jews who are politically inconvenient for the state of Israel such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein who are both barred from visiting the state of Israel even though they are obviously not national security threats. They are just politically inconvenient for Netanyahu and his gang of thugs (the Likud Party).

    If you have a problem with white nationalism, then you should be equally opposed to Zionism. Here’s why. White nationalism is a political ideology which seeks to create an ethnically homogenous state for white people. Zionism is a politically ideology which seeks to create a religiously homogenous state for Jewish people. There is a striking parallel beteween the two ideologies. They both seek to create a space where only a certain group of people sharing an immutable characteristic can live where they can exclude individuals alien and unlike them. Additionally, the situation in Israel has often been compared to Apartheid Africa where white and black Africans were segregated just as Israelis and Palestinians are separated in the modern day. The grandson of Nelson Mandela has come out in support of SJP and the BDS movement. This should really make you think.

    Zionists have to resort to playing the victim because the only alternative is to admit to being the aggressors. The Palestinians are the true indigenous people of Israel or as I like to call it, “greater Palestine” ;-). The modern “Israelis” as we call them are European colonizer-settlers or the descendants of European migrants to the Middle East which it makes it all the more bizarre when Israelis accuse persons and organizations of “anti-semitism” because to be an anti-semite means to hold prejudice against a person of semitic (mediterranean) origin which the modern Israelis for the most part do not hold, they are of mostly European ancestry. It would be more accurate to call Zionists “anti-semites” seeing as they have persecuted a definitionally semitic group, the Palestinians. The Palestines have a right to the land as they were there before the Israeli migrants came in. No group has the right to violate the property rights of another group.

    Don’t buy the lies, SJP and I have personally experienced abuse from the Zionists on-campus and no one should fall for this pity parade the author of this article is attempted to throw. The Israel lobby can buy politicians, organizations, media outlets but there is one thing they cannot buy and that is the truth.

    I have so much evidence to back up my claims about the behavior of the Zionist groups on campus and I could blow the lid off if I wanted to but I would feel tremendous guilt as many of the members of these groups were close friends of mine last year. They are misguided and I hope after critical introspection, they realize Zionism is a harmful ideology.

  2. “When we expressed to them our desire to see coexistence between our two peoples, they flat out told us that they want to see Israel destroyed.”

    Also, I was not at that meeting with SJP and YDSA but I know the people in these organizations and I would bet on my parent’s graves they did not say that they “wanted Israel destroyed”. Disgusting dishonesty on the part of the author.

    What do you expect from people who have been and are complicit in the ethnic cleansing of a people for half a century with no qualms about it?

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