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.