Alan M. Dershowitz
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Incubating Terrorism

Thousands of young students – from universities, high schools and even middle schools – are joining in demonstrations, marches and protests against Israel, against the United States and against Jews. Some even are Jews. They are joining Muslim and Arab anti-Zionists, radical anarchist anti-Americans and community organizers who oppose Israel’s right to exist.

Some of the signs say “pro-Palestine”, “ceasefire now” and “end the humanitarian crisis in Gaza”. But these benign statements hide a far more malignant agenda, the end of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, the end of America as the world’s leading power and the end of democracy and the free market economy. Even if there were a unilateral ceasefire, accompanied by massive humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, many of these protests would continue, because Gaza is merely an excuse for a much wider agenda: to destroy Israel and destroy America.

During recent protests in New York, there were calls to repeat the barbarity of October 7 “a thousand times.” There were shouts of “We are Hamas”, “Death to America”, “Burn Tel Aviv to the ground”, “Israel go to hell” and “Jews to back to Poland.” The chant of “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is pervasive. Free of what? Free of Jews. The goal is to make all of Israel Judenrein – ethnically cleansed of all Jews.

One never sees a sign calling for a two-state solution or for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. These are not the goals. What is demanded is the end of any Jewish presence in the Middle East. “Death to America,” similarly, means the end of America’s influence and Western values.

Many of the signs call for “revolution.” These are not directed against Israel, but rather against America, American Jews and all other Western democracies.

The war in Gaza, started by Hamas on October 7, has provided the most recent excuse for anarchists, revolutionaries and America-haters to organize and recruit young people, many of whom have no idea what they are marching for or against. They know that many of their professors support the radical agenda. For example, Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad praised the events of October 7, 2023, which included rapes, beheadings, kidnappings, and the murder of 1,200 Israelis. Other professors from many universities encourage student involvement in the protests.

As in the 1960s, many of these students are being groomed to be the terrorists of the future — in the manner of Kathy Boudin and Bernardine Dohrn back then – and, in the United States, a fifth column, the aim of which is taking down America.

For the most part, the groups protesting are comprised of four elements: the first consists of Arab and Muslim haters of Israel and Jews, who see this as an opportunity to call for the end of the nation-state of the Jewish people and the substitution of a Muslim caliphate or a radical Arab state; the second consists of old line radicals, anarchists, communists and America-haters who use any opportunity to seek to essentially overthrow Western democracies; the third are the organizers who stand ready to obtain funding and organizational logistics for well-planned systematic protests; and the fourth are the “useful idiots” who are recruited by the professors, the organizers and others.

Most of these young people have little or no knowledge of the substantive issues. They simply want to be part of current protest movements, which are popular on campuses and among many of their peers. It is this last group that is most troubling, because many of its members are good and decent people who are being led into dangerous territory by their elders. They are even more dangerous than the first three groups, because many of them come from influential backgrounds and may well become future leaders. The other groups tend to include mostly marginalized outsiders.

That these useful idiots are young does not make them less dangerous. Young students were instrumental in bringing to power tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot and Mao. But the fact that they are young and ambitious makes them more amenable to change. And alternative influences.

Some of these student radicals seek to enter professions such as law, medicine, engineering, business and the media. Many of these professions would not look favorably on Hamas supporters, revolutionaries, America-haters and antisemites. That is probably why so many of the current protesters wear masks, to hide their identities and avoid future employers learning about their activities. That is why pro-Israel organizations such as Canary Mission seek to identify these anti-Israel and anti-American protesters. The marketplace is open to all ideas, but in the real world there are consequences for expressing some of them — which these students are not being taught.

Where are the armed guards escorting Jewish students to class, as there were escorting the threatened Black youths to integrated school in the 1960s in the South?

There should also be consequences – including arrest and prosecution – for physically intimidating, blocking and harassing Jews or any minorities. Such actions are not protected by the First Amendment, university disciplinary rules, or employers after graduation.

Victims of those illegal actions have rights, too. They must be protected and their rights enforced.

Universities are failing not only their Jewish students but all their students by refusing to educate them about what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

Alan M. Dershowitz - Incubating Terrorism

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus at Harvard Law School, and the author most recently of  “War Against the Jews: How to End Hamas Barbarism”. He is the Jack Roth Charitable Foundation Fellow at Gatestone Institute, and is also the host of “The Dershow” podcast.

We also recommend reading:

New European Values, The Columbian Crisis, Dan Perry — OPEN LETTER, “How Harvard was bought.”, BORIS JOHNSON — OPEN LETTER, Son Of Hamas: They Don’t Exist Without A Reason

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