Support for Hamas has gone mainstream

Published 10:13 am Tuesday, November 14, 2023

From college campuses to corporate newsrooms to Chinese-owned TikTok, anti-Israel content has become pervasive ever since the October 7 massacre in Israel. Thousands of people are flooding the streets of cities across the U.S. to support Hamas accuse Israel of “genocide,” and call for a ceasefire. Just last week, a pro-Palestinian protester killed a Jewish man on the streets of Southern California. Yet, the national outcry over antisemitism within the pro-Palestinian movement appears muted if not nonexistent. We must come to grips with the fact that this groundswell of support for terror didn’t happen in a vacuum. It is the culmination of years of anti-Israel sentiment that has taken over our institutions and even some companies.
Our campuses are full of radical anti-Israel professors, many of whom have praised Hamas’ attack and even blamed the Jewish state for the slaughter on October 7. These antisemites are indoctrinating our students with poisonous lies about Israel. The attacks on the Jewish community at various universities are the predictable result of the antisemitic propaganda many professors are teaching. In response to these vicious antisemitic attacks, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and I are calling on President Biden to enforce existing law and cancel the visas of those who endorse or espouse activity that is in support of Hamas or other Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
It’s not just our campuses – anti-Israel sentiment is widespread on social media. TikTok is amplifying anti-Israel content to its users. Between October 23 and October 30 videos with #StandWithPalestine garnered 285 million views globally, while videos with #StandWithIsrael received just 64 million views. TikTok is attempting to shape the opinions of its users against Israel because leveraging the Palestinian cause to weaken Israel is in the interest of Communist China. The New Axis of Evil knows that by undermining Israel, they can undermine the entire West. This is why Beijing condemned Israel’s actions of self-defense in response to the October 7 attack as “collective punishment.” It also explains why Beijing erased the Jewish state from its online maps.
As expected, the left-wing media have been willing participants in Hamas’ propaganda campaign. After briefly focusing on the October 7th pogrom against Israel, the media quickly reverted back to their usual practice of declaring a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. Outlets like the Washington Post continue to unquestioningly cite Hamas’ death toll statistics – numbers that don’t distinguish between terrorists and civilians. Perhaps most outrageous was the fact that left-wing outlets jumped at the fake story disseminated by Hamas that Israel bombed a hospital, killing at least 500 people. The media’s goal is clear: vilify Israel. This is why, in the midst of a nearly 400% increase in antisemitic incidents as compared to the same period last year, the White House is developing a national strategy to combat Islamophobia.
The horrific outpouring of support for Hamas and skyrocketing antisemitism across our country has been shocking, and it should be all the proof necessary that our institutions are completely broken. Still, leading cultural figures like Barack Obama, who claimed we are all “complicit” in the Hamas massacre, have shamelessly equivocated about Israel’s actions to eliminate Hamas and cast blame on both sides. Fortunately, in spite of this, the virulent antisemitism that has surfaced since October 7 has been eye-opening for many Americans. It has exposed the true nature of our institutions and many of our nation’s most prominent voices. The backlash against Israel is even more reason why we need more free thinkers in positions of power so we can recapture these institutions. Those of us still willing to speak with moral clarity must stand with Israel and the Jewish people against those who want to see the Jewish state wiped off the map.
(Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.)

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