There was a time not long ago when terrorism was frowned upon. Why now are students at the University of North Carolina marching on behalf of Hamas, a recognized Islamist terrorist organization? What kind of moral confusion is sewn at UNC that leads young people to justify and support burning children alive, beheading babies, rape, kidnapping, and torture?
The answer lies in UNC’s history of tolerating antisemitism, in the form of anti-Israel propaganda. Here are some examples.
In February 2019, UNC’s Gillings School of Public Health hosted Linda Sarsour, who has no background in public health, as keynote speaker. Sarsour is a notorious antisemite with family ties to Hamas. She uses messaging blaming Israel/Jews for perceived policing issues regarding the black community. She pushes the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
When the Jewish community learned she would be honored at Gillings, letters were written to UNC leaders, and meetings were held, to express concern. Dean Barbara Rimer claimed that since students had invited Sarsour and there is a policy against rescinding invitations, nothing could be done.
One month later, March 2019, UNC — in conjunction with Duke University — held a “Conflict Over Gaza” conference. This was an anti-Israel propaganda-fest, during which terrorist attacks on Israel launched from Gaza were ignored. There was open antisemitism, as documented by Ami Horowitz.
Again there was outcry from the Jewish community. UNC interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz claimed to be “heartbroken and deeply offended.” An investigation ensued, resulting in a resolution agreement with the US Department of Education. Promises were made for meaningful action, but they turned out to be meaningless.
In 2021, a new opening to attack Israel arose. Hamas shot hundreds of rockets at Jerusalem from Gaza. When Israel fought back, 110 UNC faculty signed a document siding with Hamas. Signers included Elyse Crystall, the faculty advisor for the UNC chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
In the fall of 2021, UNC offered a course to be taught by Kylie Broderick, who uses the term “Zionist dirtbags” and promotes the antisemitic BDS campaign against Israel. A Jewish advocacy group tried to intervene, but the course moved forward as planned. Guskiewicz claimed “to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for our Jewish students” and promised to form an “advisory committee.”
Since vilification of Israel is tolerated, and even taught at UNC, and since Hamas’ goal is to destroy Israel by any means necessary (torturing and killing Jews), is it any surprise that faculty and students are lock step in supporting the terrorist organization?
When Hamas and Gazans attacked Israelis on Oct. 7, did students show compassion for the victims? No. They turned out to support the terrorist perpetrators.
On Oct. 12, UNC students, led by English professor and SJP advisor Crystall, held a rally in support of Hamas on campus. Megaphone in hand, Crystall falsely denied Jewish connection to the land of Israel. Students yelled “Israel is a terrorist state” and “all of us [are] Hamas.”
UNC SJP then launched an antisemitic BDS campaign. This was followed by another pro-Hamas rally on Nov. 17. Faculty did not show themselves this time. Students were told to wear masks, thus hiding their identity. They stormed the administrative building and blocked the doors yelling slogans like “Long live the intifada” — the call for killing Jews.
Any American who lived through the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attacks is shocked to see the support for such attacks now on campus. What poison is fed to students at UNC that they have taken such a turn? Do NC taxpayers want to fund this?
It’s time for UNC leaders to excise the moral rot in its system. No more empty words. It’s time for real action.