It was a test run. A proof of concept. A dress rehearsal.
On May 6, 2021, in response to the looming eviction of six families from their homes in the Shiekh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, violent protests broke out at the Al-Aqsa mosque and Temple Mount complex in Israel. Palestinian protesters soon began assaulting Israelis with stones and sticks; Israeli police responded using tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades in attempts to quell the rioting.
Instead of a drawdown, however, hostilities increased. Hamas issued an ultimatum demanding Israeli forces be withdrawn from the Al-Aqsa/Temple Mount area by the evening of May 10 or face more violence. When the deadline passed without response from Israel, Hamas launched a volley of missiles into Israel from Gaza, hitting residences and a school — referred to as a war crime by the Human Rights Watch — killing 13 Israelis. Hamas’ rocket volley consisted of more than 4,300 missiles, most of which were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. Several Hamas missiles also fell short of the Gaza border, killing Palestinians as well — by some counts, by as many as 100.
Israel’s counterattack was thunderous, destroying multiple buildings, and was also later referred to as a war crime by the HRW. When the dust settled, approximately 250 Gazans were dead, killed by both Israeli attacks and “friendly” Hamas fire. After 11 days of fighting, Egyptian officials mediated a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which was broken less than a month later when Hamas launched a series of incendiary balloons into Israel on June 16, 2021, igniting at least 20 fires in southern Israel. Israel again struck back at what they determined to be Hamas compounds in Khan Younis and Gaza City (violence was again quelled until Hamas violated the ceasefire again on Oct. 7, 2023 with its horrific terror incursion into Israel, slaughtering at least 1,200 Israelis and other foreign nationals and taking more than 230 hostages — constituting the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust).
This back-and-forth was a fairly typical exchange between Gaza and Israel since Hamas seized control of Gaza by murdering or exiling any remaining Fatah government officials in 2007, save for one difference: the violence was not contained solely to this theater of battle. For the first time in recent memory, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict triggered an unusually high spike of antisemitic incidents outside of the region, especially on U.S. soil. Jewish-owned business and Synagogues were vandalized and Jews were physically assaulted from coast to coast.
“For four years (antisemitism) seemed to be stimulated from the political right, with devastating consequences,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, at the time in an interview with the New York Times. But, he added, this wave of antisemitism was coming from the other side of the political aisle: “no one is wearing MAGA hats.”
The flare up — which culminated in another annual record of tracked antisemitic incidents; 34% more than than in 2020 — also provided the proof Hamas needed to launch phase 2 of their long-time plan — decades in the making — targeting Jews across the world.
For years, Hamas, financially backed by various contingents in Qatar, Iran and a substanital global portfolio of companies and assets, has seen growing success in its propaganda efforts, thanks largely to a confluence of factors, such as the ubiquity and popularity of TikTok and X (formerly Twitter) — especially with millennials and Z generation subscribers.
But Hamas was likely gleeful when they saw that online chatter morph into offline physical behavior. It was much like in 2018, when Trump administration and other far-right lies about supposed Jewish puppetmasters funding a migrant caravan headed toward the United States back in 2018 prompted Robert Bowers to go on a mass murder spree at the Pittsburgh L’Simcha synagogue. Except now, it was various far-left pro-Palestinian contingents motivated into taking action, setting synagogues on fire and physically attacking Jews in the streets.
At his trial, Bowers’ defense team argued that it was “a delusional belief that Jews were enabling genocide by helping immigrants come to the U.S.” that prompted him to act.
In 2021, it was the oft-parroted belief that Jews world-wide are complicit in a supposed genocide against Palestinians that prompted action on the part of the far left.
And Hamas — and Iran and Qatar — took note.
Their dress rehearsal was a resounding success.
Hamas launched its Oct. 7 attack on Israel with a wave of chaos, terror and blood that was beyond shocking and unprecedented — raping, torturing and murdering as many Israelis as they could — while live-broadcasting their attack on social media channels such as Telegram. And while that footage should have — to most reasonable minds — been met with unbridled horror by those watching around the world, the opposite seems to have occurred on the political left, particularly on college campuses.
This was precisely what they wanted. Hamas knew exactly how Israel would respond. They counted on it. They planned for it for the last two decades. And one of their biggest allies in the weeks to come was Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
“Hamas’s initial attack against Israel was still underway when, on Oct. 7, SJP’s Columbia University chapter called for students to meet on campus before proceeding to the ‘All Out For Palestine’ demonstration in Times Square on Oct. 8,” said Paul Moore in a piece he wrote for The Hill. (Moore served as Sr. Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice from 2017–2020 and then as Chief Investigative Counsel for the U.S. Dept. of Education from 2020–2021.) “On Oct. 11, a 24-year-old Israeli student was physically attacked by a 19-year-old while handling out fliers on campus, prompting Columbia to close its campus on Oct. 12 – SJP’s self-proclaimed nationwide ‘day of resistance.’”
That college campuses became such a hotbed of antisemitic activity over the days and weeks that followed was no mere happenstance. This was by design — pointing towards a plot that may have begun as far back as the 9/11 attacks.
A brief history of SJP
The first U.S. campus chapter of SJP was established in 2001 at the University of California, Berkeley. Since then, it has grown to more than 200 chapters across the college system in the U.S. While there is a national office, each of the chapters mostly operates autonomously, with varying degrees of activity. And while the national chapter and many independent chapters maintain that there’s is an anti-Zionist political cause and explicitly denounce antisemitism, in practice, that veers far from what’s actually been demonstrated and verbalized by chapter leaders — especially since the Oct. 7 attacks. Since then, numerous so-called rallies and protests have centered around the complete eradication of Israel and erupted into violence against Jewish students on campus on multiple occasions.
Most tellingly, the national SJP chapter distributed a “Day of Resistance Toolkit” to member chapters within hours after the Hamas terror incursion began. The lengthy guide includes such talking points as:
- “Today, we witness a historic win for the Palestinian resistance: across land, air, and sea, our people have broken down the artificial barriers of the Zionist entity.”
- “The existence of Israel is not peaceful; there is no ‘maintaining the peace’ with a violent settler state.”
- “Resistance comes in all forms — armed struggle, general strikes, and popular demonstrations. All of it is legitimate, and all of it is necessary.”
The toolkit also provided imagery, including a meme featuring a paraglider on it—specifically recalling the paragliding terrorists who participated in the Oct. 7 attacks.
What’s most telling, however, is the speed with which this comprehensive toolkit was distributed. It included links to multiple forms for student chapters to fill out and multiple supplemental documents with guidance on how to effectively manage tables at campus protests, along with supporting literature and talking points for use rebutting the “Zionist arguments.”
It certainly seemed suspect to me when I observed how well-prepared SJP was to seize the opportunity presented by the Hamas terror attack on Oct. 7 — literally overnight.
And I’m not alone.
The neo-conservative Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs organization finds the timing suspect as well, as detailed in a report they published titled on Dec. 5, 2023: “Jihad on Campus Unmasked: How Pro-Hamas Students for Justice in Palestine Hijacked U.S. Universities.” The report cites Adela Cojab Moadeb — Cojab is the NYU student who reached a settlement with the university after bringing a Title VI lawsuit against NYU regarding their awarding of the “President’s Service Award” to SJP in 2019, “an honor specifically reserved for ‘students or student organizations that have had an extraordinary and positive impact on the University community.’”
From the report: “According to Cojab, SJP was ready with relevant material for dissemination immediately after October 7, which was only possible for a student organization with some advance warning.” In other words, from the level of action readiness by SJP campus groups, SJP chapters were made ready for a rapid propaganda response to any anticipated Hamas action. If any of the SJP chapters or the national center had an advance warning of an impending attack and had agreed to facilitate the consequent information campaign, they could be considered accessories after the fact or co-conspirators in planning the attack. This means that the organization and any of its constituent members who were privy to that information and took any part in relevant, coordinated activities could be subject to a criminal investigation.”
To better understand the protests that SJP and fellow organizations have organized, it’s critical to examine where the funding is coming from. Just two months prior (Aug. 10, 2023) to the Hamas terror attacks, the New York Times published an exhaustive investigative piece on U.S. tech-industry tycoon Neville Roy Singham, and his wife Jodie Evans, one of the co-founders of Leftist anti-war organization Code Pink. The article focused on Singham’s cloaked and controversial financial support of myriad far-left causes — specifically the Chinese government’s world-wide propaganda campaign:
“From a think tank in Massachusetts to an event space in Manhattan, from a political party in South Africa to news organizations in India and Brazil, The Times tracked hundreds of millions of dollars to groups linked to Mr. Singham that mix progressive advocacy with Chinese government talking points.
Some, like No Cold War, popped up in recent years. Others, like the American antiwar group Code Pink, have morphed over time. Code Pink once criticized China’s rights record but now defends its internment of the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs, which human rights experts have labeled a crime against humanity.”
The Times piece unraveled an empire’s worth of dark money spending across myriad shell “nonprofits with dust-dry names like ‘United Community Fund’ and ‘Justice and Education Fund.’ They have almost no real-world footprints, listing their addresses only as UPS store mailboxes in Illinois, Wisconsin and New York… Because American nonprofit groups do not need to disclose individual donors, these four nonprofits worked like a financial geyser, throwing out a shower of money from an invisible source.”
What’s even more interesting is, despite Code Pink’s blanching of the genocide of the Uyghurs in China, the organization — and others from within the apparent Singham family portfolio — has donated more than $20 million to an organization called The People’s Forum. This non-profit has organized and sponsored multiple anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian so-called rallies in the United States — one of which, according to The Free Press, took place just hours after the Hamas attack. On Nov. 17, The People’s Forum convened a world-wide protest called “Shut it Down for Palestine,” which has another such protest scheduled on Jan. 20 — in partnership with Students for Justice in Palestine.
Apparently, when the Chinese are accused of human rights abuses against Muslims, it’s not a problem for Code Pink. When it’s Jews being accused, ready the slings and light the torches.
Additionally, it appears that organizations such as these have actually paid people to attend and protest these rallies. On Jan. 10, the Toronto Sun published an article revealing that an organization called The Plenty Collective has been paying people in cash to show up to planned pro-Palestinian rallies:
“The Plenty Collective, as it calls itself, created what it called a ‘Solidarity Fund’ for Victoria-area ‘folks or groups’ to pay for ‘costs related to supporting or organizing actions in solidarity with Palestine and Palestinian people.’ Said the Plenty Collective: ‘This fund is to help cover costs incurred when organizing or participating in local actions. This can include, but is not limited to, the costs of lost wages, supplies, items for fundraising, paying speakers, etc.’”
The Sun piece alleges that close to $20,000 per month is being paid to pro-Palestinian “protesters.”
That this paid effort would catch traction is no surprise, especially considering that the seeds of such campaigns against Israel — along with American Jews — were planted and have been carefully tended since at least 20 years ago.
“A massive influx of foreign donations to American institutions of higher learning, much of it concealed and from authoritarian regimes, with notable support from Middle Eastern sources, reflects or supports heightened levels of intolerance towards Jews, open inquiry, and free expression.” So reads the summary conclusion of the 2020 investigative report by the Network Contagion Research Institute — a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to identifying and forecasting the threat and spread of misinformation and disinformation across social media platforms.
The report covered multiple studies of reports filed by U.S. universities with the Department of Education detailing their funding sources — i.e. foreign donations — and the correlating political climates on campuses dating back as far as 2001. They examined the more than $13 billion U.S. colleges have received from foreign donors. Prior to Oct. 7, these findings should have signaled a significant alarm. In the wake of the attack, they become positively prescient.
The key findings are chilling:
- The receipt of foreign funding was associated with increased levels of campus antisemitism, and this relationship was larger when the foreign funding came from Middle Eastern/authoritarian states.
- The receipt of foreign funding predicted increased perceptions of campus antisemitism in a national survey administered to 1,748 college students:
- There was a positive directional association between campus antisemitic incidents and antisemitic incidents on the county level
- There was a higher temporal correlation between use of the #Israeliapartheid hashtag on Twitter and antisemitic incidents at education institutions that received foreign funding than those institutions that did not.
In a nutshell: With every dollar donated to an American college by a Muslim-majority country over the last 20 years, the incidence of antisemitism on that campus increased — measurably.
Even more auspicious: Qatar alone donated $4.7 billion to U.S. universities over the last two decades, according to the National Association of Scholars. Qatar also provides political cover and safe harbor for Hamas’ leadership: “Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of Hamas’s political bureau, resides in Qatar, as do Khalil al-Hayya, head of Hamas’s communications office, and Khaled Mashal, Hamas’s former political chief and current head of the group’s diaspora office.” (source)
The Network Contagion Research Institute’s report is not alone in its findings. In 2015, the non-partisan AMCHA Initiative published a report that should be viewed as a companion to the NCRI study. The report, titled “Antisemitic Activity in 2015 at U.S. Colleges and Universities With the Largest Jewish Undergraduate Populations,” revealed an indelibly significant correlation between on-campus BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) / SJP activity, and the prevalence of antisemitism on that campus. The report was based on empirical data — assessing antisemitic activity by focusing on verifiable incidents compiled from media accounts and eyewitness reports. Some of the key findings included:
- 99% of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups had one or more incidents of antisemitic activity, whereas only 16% of schools with no active anti-Zionist student group had incidents of overall anti-Semitic activity.
- 57% of the schools with one or more active anti-Zionist student groups had one or more incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm.
- 91% of the schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups showed evidence of antisemitic expression, and 80% of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups showed evidence of BDS activity.
- 81% of the schools with one or more faculty (BDS proponents) had one or more incidents of overall antisemitic activity, whereas only 17% of schools with no faculty boycotters had incidents of antisemitic activity.
- 100% of the 33 schools with 10 or more faculty boycotters had one or more incidents of antisemitic activity.
- 46% of schools with faculty boycotters showed evidence of targeting Jewish students for harm, 74% of schools with faculty boycotters showed evidence of antisemitic expression, and 62% of schools with faculty boycotters showed evidence of BDS activity.
Ultimately, a picture begins to come into focus that reveals a sophisticated plan encompassing an entire generation of work:
Beginning in 2001, myriad authoritarian regimes from Islamist-supporting organizations and countries launched a campaign on the campuses of American institutions of higher learning. This campaign was driven via literal billions of dollars into myriad colleges and universities, helping to establish curriculum designed to curate a very specific narrative of Israel as an imperialist, Western, white supremacist, colonialist oppressor and Palestine as the indigenous, innocent, victimized oppressed. And while that alone is a wholly one-sided perspective that ignores the entire history of Jewish/Arab relations in the Levant and projects American racial dynamics onto a conflict where they are without merit, it is only the veneer of a much darker, deeper narrative that underlies it all: “Jews are the enemy.”
It’s important to acknowledge that we have long since moved past the argument as to whether or not anti-Zionism is antisemitism. That supposed “line of demarcation” has been erased, as literally any Jew who has spent any time on social media can attest to — or indeed, anyone just paying attention to the world around them. From verbal assaults to the vandalism of menorahs during Hanukkah, to acts of vandalism on Jewish-owned homes, businesses, cemeteries, and synagogues, to myriad physical attacks on Jewish men, women and children, to swatting attack campaigns aimed at Jewish institutions (including synagogues here in Colorado on multiple occasions), to the actual plotting of terror attacks on Jews over the weeks since the Hamas terror attack, it’s become crystal clear that the politics of Zionism are little more than a convenient dogwhistle for Jew-haters to hide behind. These are but a fraction of the ever-increasing campaign against Jews simply for being Jews.
And — much to the delight of far-right accelerationists — the pace is quickening.
There was one tool Qatar, Hamas, and Iran didn’t have access to 20 years ago. That tool became an enormous weapon in their arsenal beginning in 2016, and it accelerated this long-term campaign on an exponential order. Enter TikTok.
While social media has clearly been an effective tool for bad actors — witness Hamas using Telegram to broadcast their Oct. 7 terror spree — TikTok has provided unique access to the generation Islamists have been courting since 9/11. As of today, more than a third of all active Tik Tok users are college-aged. Second only to X (formerly Twitter — The ADL reported a nearly 1,000% increase of antisemitic activity on X alone, week-over-week between Sept. 30 and October 13, 2023) in terms of rampant antisemitism on-app, TikTok’s use as an amplification platform for Jewish hatred is significant. Further, it appears moderators and staff at TikTok are actively engaged in efforts to support the spread of antisemitic material.
All of this reveals a confluence of activity aimed at igniting antisemitism to levels this planet hasn’t seen since the Holocaust. Anti-Jewish factions have been working for literal decades to build a machine of propaganda — not only in the UNRWA schools in Gaza, where Jewish hate is built into the curriculum —but by cleverly tapping into American binary mindsets built on good vs. evil narratives painted using the broadest possible brushes of the singular existence of the Jewish state… and then blending the political rhetoric into ethnic derision. The active armies of social media Hamas-stans have been so successful in their campaigns that they’ve become allies to their far-right, neo-Nazi contemporaries.
In Nazi Germany, Jews were pilloried from across the political spectrum. We were simultaneously Bosheviks and capitalists. Power brokers and social leeches. Puppet masters and sewer rats. We were whatever served the observing Jew-hater’s particular need for scapegoating. It was precisely this kind of rhetoric upon which the Third Reich was built, successfully uniting disparate factions against a manufactured boogieman — whatever you feared, the Jew embodied.
And that’s where we are now, two generations later.
What do you think comes next?