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Are US campus protests antisemitic? Jewish students weigh in

I was in California for Passover when the encampment first came up. I was excited because I want to see an end to what Human Rights Watch calls a system of apartheid, which refers to the fact that there are over 65 laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel, roads in the West Bank are segregated, Israelis have civil law while Palestinians have military law, water allotment is unequal and so much more.

I was hopeful because we urgently need a ceasefire, an end to crimes against humanity such as mass starvation in Gaza and to bring the hostages home. I assumed I would hear chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Even though I prefer a confederation so that both people can maintain national sovereignty while having their core interests met, that slogan is not a dealbreaker for me as long as it means one-person one-vote, which would end Israel as a Jewish state.

However, at NYU and across the country, protestors regularly chanted “From the water to the water, Palestine is Arab” in Arabic. There were chants of “Settlers, settlers [referring to all Israeli Jews] go back home, Palestine is ours alone.” They were justifying and normalizing the egregious crimes Hamas committed against civilians on October 7 and glorifying Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis under the banner of “by any means necessary.”

The protesters’ dream of a liberated Palestine looked a lot like pure revenge, rather than justice. I understand the desire for revenge, particularly for those between the River and the Sea. But I hold my peers – privileged US-based college students disconnected from the violence and existential antes — to a different standard. I support justice, freedom, liberty for the Palestinian people, but I

Read more on theguardian.com