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SJP Mock Jewish Student’s Concerns and Then Claim They Are Not Antisemitic

Last week, a brave young Northwestern student called Lily Cohen wrote an op-ed in the Daily Northwestern titled I am more proud of my Jewish identity than anyone can ever hate me for it. In it, she spoke of her pride in her Judaism being her “biggest defense against antisemitism”, and went on to speak of the hostility against Jews on campus.

Still, I understand there is a line between criticizing a government and harming a people. Because that line can get blurry, words really matter.

“From the River to the Sea” is a slogan used by Hamas — a terrorist organization — as a rallying cry to destroy the entire State of Israel and all of its Jewish inhabitants. The phrase originated more than 30 years ago, evolving from language in the 1988 Hamas charter that promoted the destruction of Jews, echoing Adolf Hitler’s messaging on the merits of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

This is where I draw the line.

When that slogan is plastered around the walls of buildings where I study, when it’s hung across The Arch that I walk under every day, when it’s painted over The Rock that I helped paint only five hours earlier — in support of voting for gun safety and reproductive rights — I take offense. I feel hurt. I get angry.

Spewing hate will never end in peace, and tearing down other causes is not a constructive way to promote your own.

When similar situations have taken place on campus in the past, I’ve remained silent, writing down how offended, hurt and angry I am, leaving it in the safety of my Google Drive. But, nothing ever changes, so I’m done staying silent. I’m done being blamed for the actions of the Israeli government. I’m done being told I’m undeserving of a safe, secure Jewish homeland.

I will still go on Birthright. I will still attend Hillel services. I will still don my Hebrew necklace. I will not relinquish my pride in my Jewish identity just because someone doesn’t like all that my identity entails.

The harmful rhetoric adorning the walls of campus buildings and populating my Twitter feed doesn’t extinguish my Jewish pride, it ignites it. I am more proud to be Jewish than anyone could ever hate me for it. But pride doesn’t protect students from harmful rhetoric — only concrete action can do that.

The NU administration should consider “From the River to the Sea” as a hateful slogan and treat it as such.

To students who promote or subscribe to the harmful messaging that frequently covers this campus: Come talk with me. Ask questions. And, maybe at some point, join me for a Shabbat dinner.

The “students who promote or subscribe to the harmful messaging that frequently covers the campus” took Lily up on her offer to speak and join her for a Shabbat dinner.

Just kidding. They printed out many copies of her op-ed, taped them together and painted it all over with the very hateful words that triggered Lily to write to begin with:

Photo credit: Northwestern Hillel

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Northwestern pretty much announced themselves as the perpetrators (not that this was really ever in doubt) with a Twitter thread defending the use of the phrase, along with a photo of the phrase painted on to copies of Lily’s op-ed.

They claim they are not antisemitic…yet deliberately wrote the phrase over copies of an op-ed in which a Jewish student expressed her hurt over the phrase and her determination to express her Jewish pride.

They claim they are the ones being silenced – while they just symbolically silenced the Jewish student by covering up her words.

They claim the phrase does not call for the elimination of a Jewish presence in Israel. It absolutely does, and they are absolutely lying. Let me remind you that I once exposed an activist of theirs admitting they do not think Israel has any right to exist, they just prefer to only say that among themselves.

They are inveterate liars and a main driver of Jew-hatred on US campuses. This latest act and their justification reaffirm it.

In the meantime, join me in letting Lily Cohen know we support her and her fellow Jewish students in the face of this evil.

  • Twitter: @lilyycohenn
  • Email: lilycohen2024 at u.northwestern.edu.

Hat tip: Andrew

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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