Dylan McFarland, '25, speaks during the rally in support of Palestine on the front lawn of Lehigh University on Feb. 20, 2024. The rally had around 100 people in attendance. (Holly Fasching / B&W Staff)

Lehigh4Palestine calls for ceasefire and divestment at rally

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Lehigh students and community members held a rally calling for a ceasefire in Palestine and transparency from school administration, Tuesday afternoon on the front lawn.

The gathering brought together over 100 participants, with representatives from Lehigh4Palestine, LV Artists for a Free Palestine, Pards4Palestine, SPAC, MyLehigh Valley Youth Organization, Jewish Voices for Peace and other organizations.

The participants at the rally engaged in chants and heard from several speakers. 

The speakers at the event stated the event’s purpose was to demand an end to violence in response to bombings in Gaza and the occupation of Palestine by Israeli forces. They contend that this movement is not a space for hatred or antisemitism, and that anti-Zionism is not equivalent to antisemitism.

A student holding an Israeli flag walked through the protest behind the speakers during the start of the rally, and was ushered off by a participant and stood off to the side for the rest of the protest. 

Cori Fisher-Hoffman, a representative from Jewish Voices for Peace, said she stands in solidarity with those fighting for a free Palestine.

“I feel a strong duty from everything that I learned in Hebrew school in my whole life, that when a group of people are isolated and blamed and scapegoated and attacked and bombed, that it is our duty to do everything we can to stand against that violence and to stand in solidarity with the struggle for a free Palestine,” she said. 

Layan Suleiman, ‘25, a student organizer, said the main purpose of the event is to take a stand on campus. She said activism like posters and peaceful rallies have been indiscriminately shut down.

“We continue to come out and really show what we’re about, all we’re asking for is that one, the university call for a ceasefire and acknowledge the violence that’s happening the same way that they acknowledged the Oct. 7 violence,” Suleiman said. “If they’re going to acknowledge one group of people being murdered, they should acknowledge another group of people being murdered.”

She said they are also asking for divestment from Israel, which they cannot be specific about until Lehigh releases its investments to the public.

“This is not a space for hatred. Hatred and antisemitism are not tolerated in the movement in general, whether it be on this campus or across the globe,” Suleiman said. “That’s something we maintained at this rally, and we continue to maintain in our movement.”

Zohier waves the Palestinian flag with his dog Krypton during the rally on the front lawn of Lehigh University on Feb. 20, 2024. Zohier was present for the support of Palestine. (Holly Fasching / B&W Staff)

Ciaran Buitrago, ‘25, also a student organizer, said in his speech that the rally is the beginning of their BDS campaign, which stands for boycott, divestment and sanctions. 

He said that he met with a representative from Student Involvement before the rally, but had to move the rally from STEPS lawn to the flagpole to be wary of noise during exam week. Last semester, their protest was mistaken as hateful by some offices and officials on campus, he said.

“I just hope it’s not mischaracterized yet again, and I hope people hear the message for what it is, it’s a message for peace,” Buitrago said. “And it’s a message for coming together.” 

The speakers left the rally warning participants against political burnout and encouraging attendees to continue to pressure administration and city government for a ceasefire and to divest from Israel.

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22 Comments

  1. I would like to know why the student holding the flag of Israel was escorted from the event? If you go on to say that the event speakers reiterated that they do not believe anti-Zionism is antisemitism, then why not allow the participant holding the Israeli flag to remain?

    • The student in question walked to the front of the rally uninvited and was seen smiling and laughing as invited speakers discussed the violence and brutalities being inflicted on civilians – including children – in Gaza. While speakers made clear that the event was welcoming to those with differing perspectives who were interested in hearing the other side, that kind of conduct was rightfully labelled as disrespectful to both the rally organizers and attendees, as well as the victims to whom the rally was dedicated.

      • For the sake of clarity- your contention is that a student who smiles and/or laughs should be escorted out? Based on what procedural rule are you basing that on? If we are to utilize the concept of freedom of expression, that person has every right to be there, to smile and/or laugh as they see fit. I wonder if you or those you support maintain that same perspective when there are pro-“palestine” supporters interrupting pro Israel demonstrations. I believe it is likely, your perspective is nothing more than hypocritical faux outrage.

        Further, you mention violence and brutality. Are you speaking specifically about a war that was started by a terrorist government, where they inflicted horrific atrocities against innocent civilians?

        I would also suggest that you and those who support your perspective become more historically aware of the region, and the fact that there has never been a state of “palestine”, and now due to Hamas’ actions, there likely will never be one.

        • To be clear, the student with the Israeli flag was not forced to vacate the rally – he was there the entire time, and you can even see him very prominently in the picture at the top of this article. He was not “escorted” out – which you will note the article does not say. He marched through the front of the rally uninvited and was followed closely by an older gentleman carrying Palestinian flags. That was it. That was the entirety of the interaction in question.

          Furthermore, I made no claim regarding so-called “procedural rules,” nor did I ever dispute the right of the student to be there or to express himself as he desired. Neither did the event organizers, who very explicitly invited those with differing perspectives to watch and listen. I simply pointed out what should hopefully be obvious – that laughing, smiling, jeering, and marching to the front of a rally uninvited in order to mock and disrupt it, especially when it is centered on such an egregious loss of life as what we have seen in Gaza – soon to pass 30,000 deaths – is inappropriate and worthy of condemnation. I would argue that anyone – be they pro-Israel or pro-Palestine – who cannot see this has numbed themself to what it means for 30,000 civilians – mothers, fathers, children, friends, neighbors, etc. – to be systematically destroyed in the way that the people of Gaza have been. For those of us who have grappled with this mass killing, we experience not “faux” outrage, but rather very authentic and righteous outrage that someone would seek to mock and make light of this.

          I will cut through much of your cheap rhetoric to simply say that the mass killing of civilians is morally depraved in all contexts. Regardless of whether you view these brutalities vacuously as simply beginning when Hamas flipped a switch on October 7th, or if you view these events in light of the decades upon decades of preceding military occupation and apartheid, there can be no moral justification either for what Hamas did to Israeli civilians, or for what the IDF is actively doing to the innocent people living in the Gaza Strip. None.

          Your snide implication that I and other rally attendees are ignorant could not be further from the truth. We are intimately familiar both with the history of settler-colonial brutalization in Palestine, and the present lived realities of Palestinians. Speaking for myself, I lived in Palestine for 13 years of my life, both in Jerusalem and in the West Bank at various points. I have seen the crushing effect of the occupation on the daily lives of Palestinians. These daily moral atrocities are etched into my brain and my identity, which is why I have no choice but to be adamant in my opposition to the occupation, and to Zionism. In the face of such grotesque and unimaginable violence being inflicted on civilians in Gaza, many others are reaching similar conclusions. I hope you, LW, will soon be one of them.

          • I am glad to hear that they were not forced to vacate, as opposing viewpoints are important. Also, I am glad to hear that there was no procedural or protocol violations. Again- we are on the same page.

            I assume your anger at the “mass killing of civilians”, with numbers you are quoting from a terrorist organization, is also just as prescient against the allies during WW2 after their attacks at Dresden, etc..?

            The fact that you are claiming apartheid, when non such existed, tells me all I need to know about the cheap rhetoric.

            In terms of your claim of “living in palestine”, what are the borders of “palestine”? It’s odd thats your claim, when that nation/state has never actually existed. In fact, the current view of “palestine” did not exist until 1964, when Arafat claimed it, and showed up with a co-opted Jordanian flag.

            Further, if your claim is that you have a problem with zionism, one or two things are evidently true
            1. you despise jews, since 70%+ of the Jewish population consider themselves Zionists, or
            2. you do not know what Zionism means.

            Finally- if you want to speak about occupation, or any other buzz word that pro Hamas supporters are claiming, I would ask you to look at a map of Northern Africa, and most of the Middle East. That is the epitome of conquest, occupation and colonization.

            • I am taking the bold stance that civilians should not be killed en masse in pursuit of political and military goals. Am I to understand that you do not agree with this?

              There in fact is a state of Palestine, founded in 1988 and recognized as an observer state by the United Nations since 2012. But this fact is largely irrelevant. The notion that the right of Palestinians to political autonomy over their historic land rests on whether or not they have at some point possessed an independent state is a ridiculous metric. Palestinians Arabs are historic residents of the land, and a distinct Palestinian Arab national identity has existed since the late 19th century (well prior to the formation of contemporary Israeli identity, I should note). This occurred at the same time that other distinct Arab national identities were emerging – Egyptians, Syrians, Lebanese, etc. Moreover, Palestine has the been the name of that geographical region for centuries. Your claim that “palestine” was “created by Arafat” in 1964 is laughably ridiculous. Additionally, the flag was not simply co-opted from Jordan – it was a flag of the Arab national movement in the early 20th century, and many arab nationalist efforts adopted some variation of the flag. It has been in use in Palestine since the 1920s and was also selected as the flag of the All-Palestine Government in 1948 for which it received official recognition from the Arab League. You are wildly incorrect and ignorant on the topic of Palestinian identity.

              The notion that opposition to a specific political and ideological movement which you yourself acknowledge a not insignificant portion of Jews don’t even themselves agree with must make me an antisemite is an absurd level of mental gymnastics – are the Jews who are opposed to Zionism also antisemites? A significant portion of the speakers at the rally at Lehigh were Jewish, and Jewish voices are some of the most prominent in the Palestine movement more broadly. Are they also antisemites? This is just a really tone deaf and out of touch claim on your part.

              Most major human rights organizations have recognized Israel to be an apartheid state. What other way is there to describe a state in which one ethnic group – Israeli Jews – lives in a single contiguous state where they enjoy full political rights and freedom of movement whilst another ethnic group – Arab Palestinians – are forced into a space that is fragmented into several different units, each with a different set of political and social rights. What, if not Apartheid, do we call the destruction of Palestinian villages and the confiscation of Palestinian land in order to construct Jewish only neighborhoods and Jewish only roads? What, if not apartheid, do we call the system which allows Israelis complete freedom of movement but forces Palestinians through a lengthy Israeli-issued permit process in order to merely travel to regions that they or their near ancestors have already lived in? What, if not apartheid, do we call the political fragmentation of 5 million Palestinians into military occupied territories where they are given no political representation in Israel despite being governed by Israeli military law? Occupation is not a “buzzword,” it is a basic description of how Israel governs in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

              I will choose to ignore the racist and Islamophobic undertones of your last “point” about the North Africa and the Middle East. You do not know what you are talking about, my friend.

              • I lament the death of any innocent civilian. That said, this is a war that Hamas started, and could have easily avoided.

                What are the borders of this state of “palestine”? Please feel free to be specific here.

                “Palestinian” identity? That is entirely laughable. If you want to claim that Gaza is the state, thats fine, it was provided to arabs and they elected a terrorist organization, whos sole purpose was to kill their neighbor.

                Regarding apartheid, thats laughable. After Israel pulled out of Gaza, willingly, who is banned under Hamas and the Pa? Who is banned from from getting an education, or practicing their religion? Oh thats right, its the Jews. Sounds like Apartheid to me.

                Racist? It figures that would be the route you would take. When all else fails, resort to that silly claim

                As the great Thomas Sowell said “The word ‘racism’ is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything – and demanding evidence makes you a ‘racist.”

                Do better

                • You do not lament the death of civilians if you actively endorse military forces and operations which propagate it in droves. You can’t shoot someone in the face and then cry when they die.

                  There is very little to respond to here as you have conveniently skipped over almost all of my points in favor of returning to this silly rhetorical game of demanding (easily researchable) details about the State of Palestine in order to argue (incorrectly and poorly as I have already demonstrated) that Palestinians have concocted some sort of faux identity for themselves and that they have no real distinct identity rooted in their historic residence in the land. For reasons I have already explained, this is a flatly ridiculous notion.

                  The Palestinian Authority has not banned Jews and in fact has enshrined freedom of religion in its Basic Law (which is kind of like its constitution) – a significant portion of Palestinians are Christians, so some degree of religious pluralism is valued. But it’s a ridiculous premise anyways, since any Jews living within the territory internationally recognized as being within the State of Palestine are living in illegal, ethnically and religiously homogenous exclaves built on top of destroyed Palestinian villages and governed by Israeli civil authority. That is what apartheid actually is, and it is why the foremost opponents of apartheid in South Africa – Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, etc. – expressed strong solidarity with Palestinians. But you don’t seem particularly interested in engaging in that conversation.

                  Lastly, saying “hey look at how bad the brown Muslims in North Africa and other middle eastern countries are” as a means of legitimating Israeli violence and vilifying Palestinians is in fact racist. It isn’t some sort of hail Mary thrown out to save a losing argument. Furthermore, “when all else fails?” Am I to take the fact that you ran away from nearly all of the points I made in my previous reply as an indication that I “failed?”

                  As an irrelevant tangent, Thomas Sowell is not great, and his work is largely predicated in conservative and libertarian talking points and not substantiated in data.

                  We can keep going back and forth with this until kingdom come, but we are obviously not going to change each other’s minds. I will simply conclude by saying that it is not a good idea to jump into political discussions of which you do not have a firm grasp of or intellectual basis in merely to signal your personal political biases or to play for your team. It is especially a bad idea to do so smugly.

                  • The utter arrogance you display in attempting, and failing to tell someone what they feel is embarrassing, but yet not surprising. The fact is, this is a war. A war that was started by Hamas, who had roughly, over 70% support from Gazan’s on 10/7. You do not get to start a war and then complain, again and again, that you’re losing.

                    The PA has not banned Jews? Abbas would vehemently disagree with you. I would suggest, that prior to typing easily verifiable facts, you do even a modicum of research.

                    Further, let me delve very briefly into this state of “palestine”, as you incorrectly call it. There has never been an official state of “palestine”. If you would like to refer to the territory encapsulated by the British Mandate after WWI (post Ottoman) as “palestine” you can. That said, Jews have been there throughout the territorial history, outside of being murdered and victims of various forms of destructions by Muslims. Additionally, I would highly suggest you look at the origin of the name “palestine”, who it referred to, and what the historical context was. I will provide you a hint, since research is not a strength for you, start with Hadrian.

                    In terms of your points, you did not make any. All you attempted to do, and failed miserably in the process of that attempt, was claim that there was a state of “palestine”, which is easily shown to have never been fact. Any historical maps of the region could assist in clarifying this for you.
                    You do not like Sowell? I am not surprised. Based on your use of the term racism, your dislike of Sowell as it were, is likely deeply rooted in your own personal bias, and the significant amount of racism it seems you posses.

                    Sad

                    • Some quick corrections for you (disregarding your insults and ad hominem attacks):

                      According to data from Arab Barometer, only 23% of Gazans supported the Hamas administration in Gaza prior to October 7th. 52% reported having no trust in Hamas at all. Your 70% stat is wrong.

                      The State of Palestine has no formal law on the books banning Jews or the practice of Judaism. I tried to be charitable and searched for any kind of law that approximates a blanket ban on Jews or Jewish faith and have found nothing. You are free to cite what law you are specifically referencing but I can find none. The closest thing I could find is a law enacted by the PA which prohibits the sale of land to Israelis, which is not what you seem to be describing. Even Hamas – which is indisputably anti-semitic – does not have any sort of formal ban on Jews or Judaism in place.

                      The State of Palestine does exist, and is recognized as an observer state by the UN. It is officially recognized as a sovereign state by the vast majority of UN member states – less than 28% of UN member nations don’t recognize Palestine, and even amongst those that do not, no one can deny that Arab Palestinian state apparatuses govern portions of the West Bank and at least partially govern the Gaza Strip. Even you recognize this. If you don’t want to call it a state, you don’t have to, but you can’t deny that the PA exists, that it performs the functions of a state, and IS recognized as a state by the UN and most of its members.

                      Palestine is also the historic name used to describe the region in the southern Levant encompassing what is now Israel, Palestine, and parts of Jordan. The usage of the term “Palestine” to describe that region well predates Hadrian, and in fact Hadrian did not even name the region encompassing Judea “Palestine”. He renamed it Syria Palaestina which roughly translates to “Palestinian Syria,” which both isn’t “Palestine” and also inherently demonstrates that the name Palestine was already in use as a regional name. Since you mentioned historic maps, maps of the region include the name Palestine going as far back as the second century BCE.

      • “A student holding an Israeli flag walked through the protest behind the speakers during the start of the rally, and was ushered off by a participant and stood off to the side for the rest of the protest.”

        What gives the “participant” the right to usher off the young gentleman with the Israeli flag?

        Were all of the participants, speakers, staff, and students alike invited to the rally? If the rally was held openly on campus, and participation was not be “invite only” then the student in question, as I assume a student of the University, had just as much right to be there as did the organizers, speakers, community members, and other students.

        Your assertion that “the event was welcoming to those with differing perspectives, interested in hearing from the other side,” is a bogus claim. This young man could absolutely have wanted to hear what the other side had to say against his own personal beliefs. And yet I am going to assume here, that you and your fellow rally-goers, had and have no interest in engaging in conversation with “the other side” to come together and learn from one another. That is how we learn. By listening to both sides of the perspective. And if one cannot do that, in a place of higher education specifically, then the entire education system, as a whole, has failed.

        A better listener gains wisdom. Perhaps that takeaway could be the greatest thing you could learn during four years of university studies.

        • I think you are applying a double standard to this rally that you would not apply in any other context. If a rally was being held in commemoration of the Israeli victims who lost their lives during the Hamas incursion on October 7th and someone carrying a Palestinian flag marched to the front and then stood to the side jeering, laughing, smiling, shouting, etc., we would all – rightly – condemn that conduct, regardless of whether or not he had the right to be there.

          You, as someone who was not in attendance at the event, are not at all in a position to assert that the event wasn’t welcoming to those of differing perspectives. I in fact was in attendance at the event, and the open nature of the event was made explicit by the speakers/organizers. That said, this was also a rally specifically for a ceasefire and against genocide. It was not some kind of open forum for everyone to offer their two cents. It was a rally, one that was approved by the school. It had a set list of speakers and a set purpose. Marching to the front of the rally and loudly interjecting during speeches is in fact a rude and disrespectful interruption.

          Also, to be frank, opposition to mass killing of children is something which I consider morally necessary. I am well aware of the arguments offered by pro-Israel advocates and Zionists. I do not find them compelling, nor do I find value in platforming them. They are free to organize their own events if they wish to share them.

  2. It’s nice to see a peaceful protest, but all of these “asks” put upon Lehigh are really not productive. Lehigh and any other university or college in the US are not in the business or position to affect government foreign relations. These demands are asking Lehigh to pick a side, especially since the calls for a ceasefire are not including the release of the hostages. Lehigh has been very supportive and inclusive to all groups of students on campus during this human tragedy and the job of a university is to facilitate open dialogue and supportive resources, that is all. These student groups definitely have a voice on campus and perhaps taking these demands and messages to Washington, D.C. would be better served.

    • Dylan McFarland on

      Remaining neutral during a genocide is complicity. Asking Lehigh to take a side against a state actively starving and displacing millions is not unwelcoming to students. The idea that student groups can just take their demands to D.C. is a bit absurd, national organizing is a massive effort. It all starts at home in our corners of the world. If we can’t try to change what’s immediately around us, how can we hope to change the world? Tons of universities and cities have passed ceasefire resolutions and divested, and boycott movements starting local like this have worked in the past. Also “the calls for a ceasefire are not including the release of the hostages” is not true. Multiple speakers made reference to the release of hostages on both sides, as well as the release of ourselves from a mindset of eternal war to resolve problems. The idea that the university’s obligation is only to facilitate dialogue is absurd. Once again, standing against genocide is not a matter of supporting dialogue. Universities have investments and an obligation to create future leaders, it must do more than just provide a space. It must provide genuine attempts at conversation and education as well as the development of critical thinking skills, which by repeatedly attempting to silence dissenting voices and championing those who do not argue in good faith it has not done.

    • Dylan McFarland on

      If universities have money in a genocidal regime, they have an obligation to do more than just “facilitate dialogue”. Pretending universities aren’t political and must remain some neutral entity is absurd. They have already picked a side. The responsibility of intellectuals and institutions is to lead us to a brighter future. Some ways of doing that are providing dialogue spaces. However, when universities have overt investments and biases, acting like they shouldn’t reckon with them is siding with the oppressor.

  3. For SD- the reply is no longer available:

    Now it is my turn to correct you. Let’s start simply. You are incorrect, again about the percentage of Gaza support.

    An AP article from 12/23 by Karin Lamb provides polling data of over 90% support for Hamas, and in fact, a decrease in support for the PA and Abbas. It seems I underestimated.

    Please let me know how many Jews were openly practicing and living in Gaza after Israel forcibly removed them in 2005. I am sure you are aware of the answer. They are not permitted out of fear of execution. At the same time, Arabs are equal citizens under the law in Israel and active members of the Knesset. Was that the same in Gaza or the WB?

    So your contention is now based on the age of “palestine” and potentially its derivation. The name, as I am sure you are aware is from the term Philistine, and based on some historical belief, the name Peleset. Now, the question is, who were those groups? The answer is quite simple, and in fact, quite comical. They were European invaders, potentially from the Aegean or the Western Mediterranean.

    If we want to discuss the age of a name, specifically as a means to secure its veracity, I would direct you to the Merneptah Stele. This is a stele from the Pharaoh Merneptah from 1208 BCE in the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt that mentions Israel by name, and is 3200 years old.

    If that is not enough of a age disparity in names, how about we talk about the Hyksos from the second intermediate period. There is some cause to believe that the Ancient Hyksos who ruled Egypt beginning in the 15th dynasty (1650 BCE). At their capital of Avaris, there is script that has been identified as a photo Hebrew. Having a Jewish presence that early is very interesting and certainly explains much of the behavior after the regaining of the kingdom by the Egyptians in the 18th dynasty,

    The fact is, whether the UN recognizes a state (although ironic that pro palestinians now approve of the UN but damned them in ’48) doesn’t make it a state. Who are the historical leaders of this state, what were its borders? There are so many questions, but you’d prefer to stretch the truth.

    • To begin with, you very sneakily changed your argument to account for your incorrect assessment of Palestinian support for Hamas. You originally said: “The fact is, this is a war. A war that was started by Hamas, who had roughly, over 70% support from Gazan’s on 10/7.” As you can see, you claimed 70% support for Hamas ON October 7th. I pointed out already that this is not true based on polling data from Arab Barometer, which indicates that Hamas is deeply unpopular amongst Gaza residents in peace time, and faced incredibly low approval in the period leading up to and on October 7th. To deceptively correct for your mistake without honestly acknowledging it, you have now cited data from an article published on December 13th, multiple weeks AFTER October 7th, and well into the Israeli retaliatory campaign, at which point thousands of innocent people had already been killed, which would obviously skew the data.

      To make matters worse, you have at best not actually read the article you are attempting to cite and have at worst lied through your teeth about its contents in hopes that I wouldn’t actually check. Bad news: I did. That AP article does NOT state that support for Hamas is over 90%. It actually says that over 90% of Palestinians support Mahmoud Abbas’s resignation which does not even remotely approximate a metric of support for Hamas. This is an egregious error on your part. I will be charitable and assume that you did not lie about this on purpose and simply didn’t do your research. It is an incredibly risky gambit to cite articles you have not read, especially when you are doing so to demonize a civilian population and provide a de facto justification for their systematic destruction.

      The real numbers for Hamas support after October 7th are 44% in the West Bank and 42% in Gaza, both populations experiencing notable – and completely predictable – bumps amidst the brutal Israeli retaliatory strikes and the uptick in settler violence in the West Bank. This still means that a strong majority of Palestinians are opposed to Hamas. Support for Hamas in the West Bank was actually at a meager 12% last September, prior to the October 7th attack. So in short, no, most Palestinians do not approve of Hamas. And even if they did, would that really justify the kind of wholesale slaughter we have seen unleashed against them? Men, women, and children? Is that really the kind of world we want to live in?

      Again, I will simply reiterate that I know of no laws on the books that ban the practice of Jewish religion, or the presence of Jewish people in Palestinian territory, and you have failed to present me with any. The withdrawal of illegal Israeli settlements from Gaza in 2005 was a voluntary decision made by the Israeli government both as a propaganda stunt and due to the Strip’s waning strategic interest. None of those settlers were living amongst Palestinians or under the PA – they were all living in ethnically and religiously exclusive communities where they were governed by Israeli civil law and protected by the IDF. None of them were living in fear of execution for practicing their faith.

      Your rant pertaining to etymological origins of Palestine and Israel isn’t overly relevant to what I have said nor am I particularly interested in it. I will simply observe that both Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews can trace their genetic ancestry back to the Bronze Age in the Southern Levant. Palestinians have as valid a claim to indigeneity as any other historic residents of the land. I only brought up the history of the term Palestine to begin with in order to both correct your assertion that it was created and imposed by Hadrian, and to refute your insinuation that the usage of the term Palestine to describe that region is somehow modern or that it only began in an official capacity during the British Mandate.

      You are entitled to your view that Palestinians have no state, but if the primary international organization for states and the overwhelming majority of its members recognize a State of Palestine, your metric for its statehood is little more than personal feelings. “I support Israel therefore no Palestine. Palestine fake.” It’s deeply unserious, especially given that Israel itself at least tacitly recognizes something of a Palestinian state by deviating power to it in Areas A and B in the West Bank. You constantly return to this line of demanding borders, leaders, history etc., but this is feigned ignorance. This is all very easily researchable and very common knowledge. Everyone knows the claimed borders of Palestine. Everyone knows about Arafat. Everyone knows that the Palestinians have state apparatuses (a presidency, a legislature, civil authorities, foreign diplomats, etc.), have held elections, and have a civil society. Again, if you personally don’t recognize the right of Palestinians to political autonomy, or the validity of their claim to their own historic homes, that’s within your prerogative. But to constantly return to this ridiculous performance where you scoff and make it seem like I am talking about unicorns and fairies by referring to the State of Palestine is just silly in light of all of this.

      You may continue to respond if you wish, but I am done with you at this point. It’s clear that you are not interested in engaging seriously in what I have to say and are simply here to play teams, egregiously misrepresenting data and demonizing an entire people group in order to do so. I am simply sad that you and so many like you are proud of your ignorance, and so quick to support the wholesale slaughter of civilians when you feel it is in your personal political interests. “‘Never again,’ unless it’s my personal political enemies.” It’s a deep shame, LW. I hope you earnestly seek to learn more and change your mind one day. As for myself, I will continue to speak out against Zionism, against the actions of the State of Israel, against this genocide, and for Palestinian self-determination.

      • The fact still remains, this is a war, started by Hamas. Also, Hamas was the governing body of Gaza, that is recognized by many nations as a terrorist organization. Further, there historically has been, and currently remains support for Hamas amongst Gazans. Finally, on this point, Hamas’ charter called for the destruction of Israel and those that reside within it. You can try to sugar coat whatever you wish, but facts are still facts. The article I provided does state (per Ms. Laub) that there was significant support.

        You can state repeatedly that there are no laws in place, but that doesn’t address what I said. Your omission is not surprising.

        Regarding my educating you on the term “Palestine”, it was done for a reason. You were conflating the assertion that the name “Palestine” or Syria Palestina is older than what it actually is. The connection to the term Philistine or Peleset (Sea Peoples) is specious at best. Historians have not come to any conclusion, and thus further articulates there is limited historical reference to the state or people. One final point, since most “Palestinians” are Muslim, its interesting that the Qu’ran never uses the word “Palestine” throughout the text. Yet, the name Israel (and Children of Israel, in reference to the Jews) is mentioned over 40 times. That’s quite thought provoking.

        I never made a statement like you falsely claim. The statement that there is no “Palestine” is rooted in fact, not emotion. That said, and as I said previously, if we want to consider Gaza as “Palestine” so be it. Then it was an independent nation since Israel’s self imposed forced withdrawal in 2005. From there, Hamas stole billions in aid and instead of financing infrastructure for its people, they use it for terrorism.

        No one that I know supports “whole sale slaughter” of anyone. Regardless of your hyperbolic commentary, you are not speaking in fact. You want to speak out on “Zionism” or “Genocide”, but are doing so without even understanding what the terms mean. Additionally, you aren’t speaking out against Zionism, you are speaking out against global Jewry, who by most recent polling, support Zionism in vast quantities.

        Face it- your issue is your disdain for Jews. No more, no less

        • The fact that many Jewish people support Zionism does not make opposition to Zionism antisemitic, and as stated earlier Jewish voices are some of the loudest in opposition to Zionism. The repeated insinuation that I simply do not know what I am talking about is deflection from earnest engagement.

          I responded directly to all relevant claims made. Cheers.

          • Actually, wanting to end Zionism, a term you do not comprehend, while in excess of 90+% of Jews world wide identify as Zionists is exactly what I claimed. You simply have a disdain for Jews, quite cut a dry really.

            Interesting verbal gymnastics in your last sentence. “Relevant claims”, a simple way to avoid and ignore anything you are unable to directly respond to.

            That said, attitudes like yours permeate colleges/universities all over this country, unfortunately.

            Just know- we all see you for what you and your ilk are.

            • Been a while but I’m bored and saw that you actually did respond again contrary to what I initially thought.

              You are free to denote which specific claims you felt went unanswered. I think the accusation that I was dodging claims was a last-minute red herring on your part to deflect from earnest engagement with the points I made.

              It is antisemitic to insinuate that Jews are a monolith that must think a certain way, and it is downright silly to assert that simply because many Jews are Zionists, opposition to Zionism as a political force necessarily entails holding bigoted views towards Jews. It’s as plainly silly as saying “many Christians are Christian nationalists, therefore opposing Christian nationalism is anti-Christian.” I mean come on – this is a plainly fallacious claim. Additionally, earlier you said that 70% of Jews are Zionists, but now that number has risen to 90+%? You need to pick a stat and stick to it, though I’m guessing neither of those numbers were actually based in any sort of research and were simply guesswork which you later increased in order to pad a losing argument. In either case, my point stands – many Jews supporting Zionism does not make opposition to Zionism the same as hatred of Jewish people. All of the criticisms I have offered above pertain directly to Zionism as a political ideology and force, and the State of Israel. Nothing – NOTHING – that I have said has had anything to do with the Jewish faith or been an attack on Jewish people. Now earlier, you described my claim that your comments about North Africa and the middle east were racist as nonsensical and non-substantive. Let’s pretend that I agree with you – let’s pretend that I really was simply being hysterical due to being unable to substantiate my positions. How is your claim that my opposition to the actions of the State of Israel is antisemitic any different? How do you not see that you are guilty of exactly what you accused me of (crying racism as a means of avoiding good points)?

              Lastly, I am curious to know what descriptive claims I have made about Zionism as an ideology and political force that have led you to the conclusion that I don’t “comprehend” it. What have I said about Zionism that isn’t correct? Is this just an assumption on your part that you are weaponizing as ad hominem to supplicate your losing argument, or have I actually said something about Zionism throughout our back and forth that you think is cut and dry wrong and betrays ignorance about what Zionism actually is? If the latter, which I am assuming you will agree with, can you cite and example?

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