Issue 160
March 10, 2024
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Over the last few months, anti-Israel “protestors,” along with unabashed antisemites in major metropolises and on college campuses, have invoked calls for “resistance by any means necessary” and “there is only one solution: intifada revolution!” and, “globalize the intifada.”

Peaceful Protests

These sophomoric yet dangerous chants bear clear antisemitic undertones, in addition to thinly veiled insinuations that murder, rape, and kidnapping Jews are justified in the “struggle” against Israeli “colonizers.”

At TQC, we find these chants deplorable, deeply misguided, and exploitative, especially of the ignorant, by morally bankrupt leaders who reduce complex conflicts into overly simplistic black-and-white binaries to advance their agenda at the expense of the very people they claim to care about.

As repulsive as these moronic slogans are, they are protected under the First Amendment and therefore are permissible.

A protester does not have to be polite. Vulgarity is protected under the constitution. To quote Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), “The whole point of protesting is to make people feel uncomfortable. To folks who complain protest demands make others uncomfortable, that’s the point.” We typically disagree with AOC, but she is correct on this point.

However, unlike most speech (not all speech is protected under the First Amendment), criminality is not protected under the Constitution. Lawbreaking is where we draw the line. Regrettably, when it comes to anti-Israel protests that line has been crossed numerous times.

Violent Protests

A recurring theme we hear is that, despite what we see on television and read about in the papers, the vast majority of anti-Israel protests have been non-violent. Perhaps that is true; perhaps not. However, one need not punch somebody in the face to be violent, incite violence, or condone it.

Screaming “You piece of s**t I hope you die” seven inches away from a person holding up the Israeli flag’s face is hardly peaceful. Shouting outside hospitals treating cancer patients is vile. Shutting down entrances/exits to airports, interrupting the functioning of busy rail and bus stations, and blocking traffic (imagine if you were trying to get home to care for your children or an elderly parent) is not peaceful; it is criminal. Yet, these “protests” are deemed “peaceful.”

Notwithstanding, on numerous occasions “Free Palestine” or “Flood the City for Gaza” protests have morphed into actual violence. Crowds have threatened and assaulted Israel supporters and police officers, and they have destroyed and defaced Jewish-owned businesses and places of worship with swastikas and other grotesque symbols.

On college campuses, Jewish students have been threatened, intimidated, and psychically assaulted. Displays of antisemitic caricatures and slogans, including swastikas, litter their respective quads. Jewish Hillel buildings have been vandalized.

In a must-read piece from The Atlantic, Dara Horn wrote: “The problem was not that Jewish students on American university campuses didn’t want free speech, or that they didn’t want to hear criticism of Israel. Instead, they didn’t want people vandalizing Jewish student organizations’ buildings, or breaking or urinating on the buildings’ windows. They didn’t want people tearing their mezuzahs down from their dorm-room doors. They didn’t want their college instructors spouting antisemitic lies and humiliating them in class. They didn’t want their posters defaced with Hitler caricatures, or their dorm windows plastered with f**k Jews. They didn’t want people punching them in the face, or beating them with a stick, or threatening them with death for being Jewish. At world-class American colleges and universities, all of this happened and more.”

Criticizing Israel & Antisemitism.

Having to preface criticism and protest of the Israeli government with a disclaimer that it doesn’t equate to antisemitism is indicative of the level of abject Jew-hatred that has permeated American society, especially on college campuses (and social media platforms like Tic Toc). Unfortunately, many people are conflating the two, perhaps intentionally.

To be certain, critiquing the Israeli government regarding their response to Hamas’s terrorist attacks, tactics, values, policies, etc., and doing so in the form of peaceful protest or forum that fosters useful dialogue is of course reasonable. Interested parties should exchange ideas and expand upon conversations that can educate, and change attitudes and long-standing biases. In fact, most Jews on (and off) college campuses believe in this exchange of and debate of ideas.

On the contrary, harnessing anger at the Israeli government as a vehicle and justification to commit crimes against Jewish citizens in America and all over the world is nothing more than antisemitism. Violent “protests” accompanied by antisemitic chants and destroying physical assets are criminal and accomplish nothing to effect positive change.

Horn continued, “The many legitimate concerns about Israel’s policies toward Palestinians, and the many legitimate concerns about Israel’s current war in Gaza, cannot explain these eliminationist chants and slogans, the glee with which they are delivered, the lawlessness that has accompanied them, or the open assaults on Jews.”


People who commit crimes, be it in cities or on college campuses while chanting “globalize the intifada” and other ridiculous phrases are not protestors; they are criminals. The perpetrators of these crimes must be held accountable by law enforcement (they should be arrested and prosecuted), their employers (if they actually have jobs, they should be terminated), the media (they must be called out), and their respective colleges or universities (they should be expelled).