A pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel rally in Times Square in Manhattan on Oct. 8, 2023. Source: YouTube/Forbes.

by Andrew Harrod

(JNS) — Just one day after the 50th anniversary of the surprise Arab attack on Israel that launched the 1973 Yom Kippur War, jihadists from Gaza’s Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations unleashed another surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7. Amid rape outrages, at least dozens taken hostage, hundreds dead and thousands wounded in Israel, numerous anti-Israel academics in Middle East studies have opened a second Twitter/X front in the terrorist war against the Jewish state.

While Israeli writer Lazar Berman speculated that “October 7, 2023 saw the most Jews slaughtered in a single day since the Holocaust,” San Francisco State University associate professor of ethnic studies Rabab Abdulhadi fell in line behind the genocidal terrorists, tweeting that Hamas members “are merely defending themselves… against colonial & racist violence.”

Zaytuna College professor of Islamic law and theology and the University of California Berkeley  lecturer and chair of UCB’s Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project Hatem Bazian gave the terrorists support from America’s left coast.

He tweeted: “Palestinians are calling for freedom, dignity and true expression of solidarity!” Befitting his vicious and longstanding antisemitism, his tweet included an advertisement for a forthcoming rally organized by his vile creation, the Hamas-aligned American Muslims for Palestine.

UCB history professor Ussama Makdisi picked up on the theme of victimized Palestinians suffering under Israeli repression.

“The West simply does not count Arab Palestinians as equal human beings,” he tweeted to justify terrorist atrocities. Thus, “Palestinians turn to armed struggle in face of massive Western-funded & backed oppression. Then the West condemns them.”

Rutgers University assistant professor of Africana Studies Noura Erakat, who believes Israel’s mere existence is criminal, sang the same pro-terrorist tune.

“Any condemnation of violence is vapid if it does not begin & end with a condemnation of Israeli apartheid, settler colonialism, and occupation,” she tweeted.

Any shock in response to this multi-scalar attack reflects an expectation that those Palestinians die quietly and a complicity in their strangulation,” she added, effectively blaming the victims of the terrorists she supports.

Bloody Israeli losses prompted a presumably gleeful Omid Safi, director of Duke University’s Islamic Center, to dictate an extensive list of demands of Israel.

“All Palestinians deserve to live in freedom, free from occupation, free from tyranny, free from state-sponsored terrorism,” he intoned in a tweet, implying Israeli, not Hamas, misdeeds. “End the Occupation … apartheid” and “US-sanctioned umbrella for violence. Now,” he demanded of an Israel under siege.

“Support equal rights and dignity for all in Palestine/Israel,” he wailed, apparently unconcerned about Israeli civilians’ right to life. One suspects that he believes they have no such right.

Georgetown University’s Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization Jonathan Brown mocked the fears of British broadcaster Rachel Riley, whose mother was Jewish.

“I just passed two cars in West London driving with Palestinian flags flying from each window, bouncing up and down in their cars, seemingly celebrating like they were having a party,” Riley tweeted.

Not alone among Britons disturbed by such displays of a flag that has stood for so much terrorism, she spoke of “a dangerous and terrifying time for all Jews around the world.”

Brown responded by sneering about an “emergency regulation: no flags in cars and bouncing!” London Jews currently experiencing Muslim antisemitism might not find this so funny.

Khaled Elgindy, an adjunct professor at Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, at least brought himself to show some sympathy for Israelis.

“Expressions of shock & horror for the killing of innocent Israelis are appropriate,” he tweeted.

Yet he then evoked a false moral equivalence by demanding similar condemnations for Israel’s defensive response to Hamas terror, shrieking that the “massive death and destruction being unleashed on human beings in Gaza is appalling.”

Elgindy’s fellow Georgetown adjunct, Brookings Institution senior fellow Shadi Hamid, also an assistant research professor of Islamic studies at Fuller Seminary, similarly wanted “to do things simultaneously.”

To “condemn Hamas’ assault and its heinous acts against Israeli civilians” for him entailed “also not forgetting Israel has been a perpetrator of an often brutal occupation against the Palestinian people.” He failed to explain whether these security “occupation” policies flowed logically from ongoing jihadist “heinous acts against Israeli civilians.”

Self-proclaimed interfaith guru and all-around peacemaker Craig Considine, a Rice University sociology lecturer, responded to Hamas ravages with his own peace proposals reflecting his longstanding animus against Israel.

“One state is the solution,” he tweeted, as if Jews and other Israeli citizens could ever abandon their security forces and share a unitary state with an Arab population that birthed Hamas.

“Israel must end the occupation now,” he added, ignoring that Israel in 2005 withdrew its forces from the Gaza Strip, where Hamas later bloodily seized power and developed a terrorist infrastructure. Israel must also end “its settler colonialism,” he proclaimed, using a propagandistic phrase that delegitimizes the settlement of Jews in their ancestral homeland.

Such tweets demonstrate that Israel faces not just bloody battles against terrorists, but also profound propaganda struggles around the world, particularly from academics who engage in discursive terrorism of their own.

While Israel fights for survival, a battle for public opinion often heavily stacked against it seeks to constrain the environment in which Israel can maneuver. The latest carnage and the incessant academic apologetics for Israel’s would-be destroyers demonstrate yet again why Americans should examine the purposes and purse strings of Middle East studies.

Andrew E. Harrod, a Middle East Forum Campus Watch fellow, freelance researcher and writer, is a fellow at the Lawfare Project. Follow him on X @AEHarrod.