Hamas is responsible for the violence

blogs.timesofisrael.com

This has nothing to do with Sheikh Jarrah

It’s about Hamas seeing a chance to seize the narrative and increase its own influence and control over Palestinians in Jerusalem

Reprinted from Times of Israel, May 12, 2021


As I write this, rockets are raining down on Israel from Gaza, and protests are being instigated in cities throughout the country. People have already died as a result of this senseless violence and more will surely follow in the next few days. As a Palestinian living in Jerusalem, I am frustrated and angry — and I can only blame Hamas. The fanatics who rule over Gaza with an iron first cannot resist the opportunity to stir up anti-Jewish violence for their own political gain. If innocent Jews and Muslims die in the process, all the better for them.

The pretext for the latest missile barrage and social media incitement is Sheikh Jarrah, where a long-running legal dispute was scheduled for a court hearing. This had been a private matter between Jews who have an old property deed from the 1800s and the residents of four homes who have lived there for decades and do not want to pay rent. It is the kind of situation that should be handled by a local municipal court. This could happen in any other country and there would be no public interest. But this is Jerusalem, so you have to view everything in the context of the political situation. You also have to ask yourself: who stands to gain from political violence right now?

After Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas canceled highly anticipated elections, Hamas simply saw an opportunity it could not pass up, exploiting the Sheikh Jarrah situation and an already tense environment during the holy day of Leylat Al Qadr and Jerusalem Day. Hamas is currently running a social media campaign calling for Palestinians to incite violence during demonstrations in Jerusalem and elsewhere. They are encouraging Palestinian youth to throw their lives away by hurling rocks and makeshift bombs at police.

Hamas-led riots outside of the Al Aqsa Mosque prove that Israeli police are not at fault for the dangers preventing Muslims from praying. Hamas has incited mobs and provoked violence with the intention of framing Israel for ethnic cleansing. Just today, provocateurs filled several busses to travel to Jerusalem to participate in the “historic” riots and answer the Hamas call to incite violence.

Most significantly, Hamas leaders ordered hundreds of rockets to be launched in the general direction of major Israeli cities. Many of them did this from the comfort of their luxury villas in Doha, Damascus, or elsewhere, knowing full well they themselves are safe from any blowback. It is important to remember that Hamas’s penchant for murder is almost matched by their blundering incompetence, which is partly the reason one out of every three of their rockets crashes into Gaza where the only possible victims are Palestinian. They also apparently shelled Abu Ghosh, an ancient Arab village.

This dispute is not actually about four houses in East Jerusalem. This is about Hamas seeing a chance to seize the narrative and increase its own influence and control over Palestinians in Jerusalem. Don’t buy their fake news and let them dilute their own blame. In the coming days, Jews and Muslims are both likely to die because Hamas saw political upside in violence. Don’t forget it.

Bassem Eid (born 5 February 1958) is a Palestinian living in Israel who has an extensive career as a Palestinian human rights activist. His initial focus was on human rights violations committed by Israeli armed forces, but for many years has broadened his research to include human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Palestinian armed forces on their own people. He founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group in 1996, although it ceased operations in 2011. He now works as a political analyst for Israeli TV and radio.

Johns Hopkins embraces antisemitism

Johns Hopkins University played host to a high-profile antisemitic incident last fall. The school is still trying to cover it up.

You may remember the story of the JHU teaching assistant who polled her social media followers about whether or not she should give failing grades to Jewish students who she suspected may be supportive of Israel. University officials pledged to investigate and recently claimed that the investigation has concluded. So where are the results? And, just as importantly, why is the antisemitic TA Rasha Anayah still teaching students?

Educators have a basic responsibility to uphold fair academic treatment for all students. Anayah clearly failed to uphold this responsibility when she made these hateful public postings and threatened to punish her students on the basis of their religious identity. We also do not know how she identified these unnamed students as “Zionists” and whether she made assumptions based on their last names or physical appearances.

For this and many other reasons, Johns Hopkins did the right thing by opening an investigation into the incident. But now, an entire semester later, they appear to have closed it without releasing any findings. Anayah appears to be teaching students.

Her bigotry has real consequences for the future of the students she discriminates against, and if JHU does not release the results of their investigation, the university itself risks becoming complicit in her actions. They also may be breaking the law, as Jewish students are protected from this kind of discrimination by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Johns Hopkins would do well to remember its moral and legal obligations to investigate instances of antisemitism. Universities can no longer hide from the accountability they owe to students generally and minority groups in particular.

Vulgar antisemitism cannot be ignored or tolerated at JHU or any other campus. Jewish students should be able to select classes without worrying about whether or not their TA is going to fail them because of their religious affiliation or ignorant assumptions about their feelings towards the Jewish state.

Johns Hopkins’ lack of transparency is doing nothing to create a safe environment for learning on campus. In fact, by remaining silent on this high-profile incident, they are contributing to a culture wherein discrimination can thrive. It may start with Rasha Anayah and antisemitism but it won’t end there. In a world where hatred continues to show its ugly face, we must be intentional in our work to stop it. Johns Hopkins needs to come clean about this investigation and impose real accountability based on its results.

Bassem Eid (born 5 February 1958) is a Palestinian living in Israel who has an extensive career as a Palestinian human rights activist. His initial focus was on human rights violations committed by Israeli armed forces, but for many years has broadened his research to include human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Palestinian armed forces on their own people. He founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group in 1996, although it ceased operations in 2011. He now works as a political analyst for Israeli TV and radio.

This entry was posted in Education, Islam, Middle East Report, Monotheistic Religions, Opinion, Recent Posts. Bookmark the permalink.