Hamas at a Campus Near You

​The BDS movement’s “four maps” reflect its terrorist origins and aims.

Is the wave of BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) activity on U.S. campuses, directed at Israel, essentially a protest movement aimed at getting Israel to withdraw from some disputed lands?

As scholar and author Ruth Wisse recounted in an article last May:

In February, a Jewish college student was hospitalized after being punched in the face at a pro-Palestinian demonstration on a campus in upstate New York…. [O]ther such incidents, some caught on camera, include a male student punched in the face at Temple University, a female student at Ohio University harassed for defending Israel, and a male student at Cornell threatened physically for protesting anti-Israel propaganda. On three successive days last summer, the Boston police had to protect a student rally for Israel from pro-Palestinian mobs shouting “Jews back to Birkenau!”… Every year, some 200 campuses now host a multiday hate-the-Jews fest [called] “Israel Apartheid Week.”

Indeed it sounds like something that goes beyond “protest” or attempts to achieve a “two-state solution.” A 2013-2014 survey by the Washington-based Louis D. Brandeis Center, founded in 2011 to counteract such intimidation, reported that “more than half of Jewish American college students [have] personally experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism.” Jewish students at UCLA and Stanford who wanted to run for the student government were challenged on the basis of “strong Jewish identity”—as evidenced by having traveled to Israel.

Something other than a mere protest movement, something fueled by outright hatred of Israel and Jews, seems to be at work here. As Israeli researcher and writer Dan Diker described it in a Jerusalem Post op-ed:

Many accept BDS as grassroots pressure on Israel to complete the peace process and accede to a Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967 lines…. This is a fundamental misrepresentation. Much BDS…activity in Europe and the United States is connected to radical Islamic groups and Palestinian terror organizations such as Hamas.

Hamas and its parent Muslim Brotherhood organization fuel and direct international BDS and anti-Israel political activities on hundreds of university campuses across the United States via the Muslim Students Association.

As Diker notes, the cry heard from pro-Palestinian groups during Israel Apartheid week is: “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” (you can see examples here and here). And as Diker points out in a longer exposé, “the BDS movement’s objectives parallel Hamas’ war goals.”

The family resemblance between campus BDS, with its undisguised anti-Semitism and destroy-Israel fervor, and the Hamas terror organization emerges clearly enough from some main points of the Hamas Charter, which include:

• “The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is a distinguished Palestinian movement…. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.”

• “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” 

• “Palestine is an Islamic land.... Since this is the case, the Liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Muslim wherever he may be.” 

• “Hamas regards itself as the spearhead and the vanguard of the circle of struggle against World Zionism.... Islamic groups all over the Arab world should also do the same, since they are best equipped for their future role in the fight against the warmongering Jews.”

As Diker summed it up in his Jerusalem Post column: 

…Israel Apartheid Week and its accompanying BDS campaign is far from being a peaceful grassroots movement to bring “justice, equality and peace to Palestine.” Rather, it is largely a Muslim Brotherhood- and Hamas-fueled network that supports the same radical Islamic agenda of destroying Israel.

All that should put in clearer perspective the “four maps” that have become a ubiquitous part of BDS activity. As Shany Mor, an Israeli writer and former member of its National Security Council, puts it

You can’t walk very far on an American or European university campus these days without encountering some version of the “Palestinian Land Loss” maps. This series of four—occasionally five—maps purports to show how rapacious Zionists have steadily encroached upon Palestinian land. Postcards of it can be purchased for distribution, and it has featured in paid advertisements on the sides of buses in Vancouver as well as train stations in New York…. The maps are egregiously, almost childishly dishonest.

As Mor notes, the maps—labeled “1946,” “1947,” “1967,” and “2005”—convey that “The Jews of Palestine have been assiduously gobbling up more and more ‘Palestinian land,’ spreading like some sort of fungal infection that eventually devours its host.” The maps give that message by leaving out the most fundamental historical facts. 

The “1946” map, to begin with, shows small sprinkles of “Jewish Land” and a much larger amount of “Palestinian Land.” It does not indicate that this “Jewish land” had been privately purchased, that comparable amounts of land privately owned by Palestinian Arabs also existed, and that, as Mor points out, 

none of pre-1948 Palestine was under the political authority of Arabs or Jews. It was ruled by the British Mandatory government, established by the League of Nations for the express purpose of creating a “Jewish National Home.”

The next map, “1947,” shows much larger “Jewish Land” and much smaller “Palestinian Land.” Here’s what it leaves out entirely: this is the map of the UN partition plan, which, aiming at a compromise solution, divided the intended Jewish National Home (minus Transjordan) into a Jewish state and a Palestinian state roughly equal in size (though with the Jewish state consisting mostly of desert). This was an offer—as you would never know from the map—that the Jewish side accepted and the Palestinian Arab side “could” refuse, and did, hands-down.

So next comes the “1967” map—which is actually a map of the armistice lines drawn after Israel survived and won the 1948-1949 Arab war that was launched to strangle it in the cradle. Again, there’s more “Jewish Land” and less “Palestinian “Land”—reflecting the fact that Israel, fighting with its back to the sea, conquered lands in the war. Entirely left out is that the “Palestinian Land” shown in this map was actually, from 1949 to 1967, part of Jordan (the West Bank) and Egypt (Gaza), with no deliberations, discussions, or intentions whatsoever of turning these territories back into the Palestinian Arab state that could have existed if the Palestinian and Arab side had accepted the 1947 partition plan.

And so, finally, the “2005” map shows still more “Jewish Land” and less “Palestinian Land,” while leaving out the facts that: the 1967 Six Day War, forced on Israel by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, had occurred; Israel had by 2005 withdrawn from 90% of the land it had conquered in that war; in 1994 it had created the Palestinian Authority, a self-governing entity in parts of the West Bank and Gaza; and in 2000 it had offered the Palestinian side a state in all of Gaza and over 90% of the West Bank that, again, the Palestinian side—unable to accept the existence of the Jewish state under any contours—had turned down flat.

Thus the maps are indeed “egregiously, almost childishly dishonest”—and rely, unfortunately, on the almost childlike historical ignorance of the large majority of the people who set eyes on them. The message, again, stems straight from the terrorist origins of BDS: Israel as a rapacious, land-grabbing, illegitimate entity that has no claim to existence.

Does a movement that spreads mendacious propaganda, intimidates and attacks Jewish students, works for the violent destruction of a U.S. ally, and is fueled by Hamas and other terror organizations belong on American campuses?

Of course, it doesn’t—neither morally nor, as Diker stresses in his article, legally:

BDS activity linked to Hamas is legally actionable in both Europe and the United States where Hamas is designated as a terror organization…. NGOs involved in Israeli Apartheid Week and BDS should be placed under the legal and media spotlights for direct and indirect ties to…Islamic terror groups…that use BDS as a soft terror strategy to complement their “hard” terror campaigns.

Hamas is designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department, which asserts that “FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism….” Hamas has no place on a campus near you.