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A ‘Smash Zionists’ rally at the U of Illinois

Students advocate violence as the "only option" against Zionists and other "fascists"

Matthew Vadum author image /

The radical Students for Justice in Palestine organized a “Smash Fascism” rally this week at the University of Illinois to attack Zionism and the fiercely democratic State of Israel as a supposedly white-supremacist, fascist country.

What these left-wingers meant by “fascism” is subject to debate. Fascism has long been in the eye of the beholder. The term has been used so promiscuously in recent decades that it has been drained of meaning.

George Orwell’s observation in the essay, “Politics and the English Language,” that “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable,’” is as true today as the day he wrote it.

When the Left speaks of fascism they don’t refer to actual fascism as an ideology and political system — they mean whatever they oppose. What is fascist changes, sometimes daily.

But today’s leftists don’t oppose fascism: they demand it. They want speech codes on university and college campuses. They want to abolish the First Amendment. They want omnipotent government and central planning of the economy. They want to kill police officers and persecute white people. They want to tear down old statues commemorating people they don’t like. They want to extinguish whatever freedom remains in this country after Barack Obama’s eight-year anti-American juggernaut.

Speakers at the rally Tuesday led the small audience in a chant of “No Zionists, no KKK, resisting fascists all the way.” Among the other groups participating were United Muslims and Minority Advocates, Jewish Voice for Peace, Asian Pacific American Coalition, Campus Union for Trans Equality and Support, Black Lives Matter, and the Chicano separatist group MEChA.

What they said was less important than what they did.

Old-time liberals, as opposed to flaming leftists, were not welcome at the rally whose organizers went out of their way to use the descriptor “radical” to refer to themselves in communiques. Tellingly, one commenter on the event’s Facebook page, linked to an old clip of Malcolm X speaking.

The assassinated Nation of Islam figure is shown saying:

There are many whites who are trying to solve the problem but you never see them going under the label of liberals. That white person that you see calling himself a liberal is the most dangerous thing in the entire Western Hemisphere. He’s the most deceitful. He’s like a fox and a fox is always more dangerous in the forest than the wolf. You can see the wolf coming. You know what he’s up to, but the fox will fool you. He comes at you with his mouth shaped in such a way that even though you see his teeth you think he’s smiling and take him for a friend.

Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky, now the patron saint of the Democratic Party, also despised liberals, viewing them as wimps for shunning aggressive, disruptive tactics aimed at driving change in society.

Posters promoting the event didn’t refer to Israel or Zionism specifically, but the SJP expressed its bigotry another way. It stated, “There is no room for fascists, white supremacists, or Zionists at” the university.

The Left has been fairly consistent on this point for some time. Free speech is supported, but only the Left is entitled to it.

After some blowback, SJP reacted to criticism of its event on its Facebook page. The statement only amplified their call for violence against Zionists and other “fascists”:

We, the collective organizers of the “Smashing Fascism: Radical Resistance to White Supremacy” rally, are disgusted with the preemptive backlash our event has received. This opposition highlights the unholy union of American fascists, white supremacists, and Zionists which seeks to weaken and destroy intersectional movements for mass liberation….

Apparently the language of “smashing fascism” has connotations too severe for those who believe that being nice to Nazis may curry their favor. We do not believe there is any other option when it comes to dealing with fascists and white supremacists. Granting them any platform will only lead to further normalization of their violent ideologies. Granted, violent resistance is not always the best option. Nonviolence and peaceful civil disobedience have their places and have achieved great change throughout history. However, violent resistance–whether it is a black bloc or full-scale armed conflict–also has its place. The struggle for liberation must exist on multiple levels and scales–it cannot, and will not, be confined….

Today’s rally is not a culmination of our activism, but a beginning. We will continue to resist injustices which surround us, whether it be at the hands of the US government or this University. We will fight and we will win, by any means necessary.

Groups criticizing SJP “seek to protect the rights and speech of literal Nazis, of white supremacists all along the political spectrum, and those who seek to implement and continue all manner of ethnic cleansing or indigenous genocide.” Their “speech is not just expression but violence.”

In other words, the First Amendment doesn’t apply at the University of Illinois.

The SJP’s posters promoting the rally referred to “Zionists,” by which these leftists actually mean “Jews.” These Zionists were not welcome to participate at the event held at the university’s Urbana-Champaign campus, unless of course they embraced the anti-Semitic SJP’s objectives.

As Cornell Law professor William A. Jacobson reports at Legal Insurrection:

The demand that Zionists leave campuses or be excluded from events is something that we are seeing more and more of as anti-Israel activists hijack other causes. Zionist Jewish members of the LGBT community were excluded from the Dyke March Chicago, and [sharia-supremacist] Linda Sarsour has demanded that there is no room for Zionist women in the Women’s March movement.

Jacobson writes that the doctrine of intersectionality is a tool routinely used to hijack political events. After all, what on earth does Israel, of all places, have to do with this fascism Illinois radicals believe is in need of smashing? Segments of the Left appropriate, for lack of a better term, political rallies and forums all the time.

But intersectionality has always been embraced by the hive-minded Left even if the word itself is relatively new. Another term for it might be solidarity. Left-wingers honor each other’s picket lines, boycott the same businesses, riot at the same rallies, smash the same windows, and defecate on the same police cruisers. There is a shared, some would say enforced, allegiance to leftist sacred cows like Planned Parenthood and the racist National Council of La Raza that can generally be assumed among so-called progressives. Nowadays, Antifa can be added to the subversive pantheon.

To the intersectionality-embracing demonstrators, the idea “that Israel is the unifying evil force in the world that ties together problems far distant from Israel, including alleged police brutality against and inequality among non-whites in the U.S. Israel thus serves the organizing purpose that Jews historically served in international conspiracy theories,” Jacobson writes.

There have been many “intersectional hijackings” in recent years, according to Jacobson. Other, unrelated left-wing causes have attached themselves to protests regarding the deaths of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner. Radicals have poured in to condemn so-called white-supremacy at the Standing Rock Sioux pipeline protests. Black Lives Matter and illegal-alien advocates have super-glued themselves to various women’s marches. This is not an exhaustive list.

The most dangerous hijacking is in progress, Jacobson argues. The violent anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which targets Israelis and pro-Israel students and faculty, is attempting to turn the “anti-fascist” movement against Israel. BDS-supporting professors are trying to put together a nationwide Antifa network on campuses.

He adds:

One vital participant in this intersectional war is the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace. JVP provides cover against charges of anti-Semitism even as JVP actively stokes anti-Semitism through campaigns such as the Deadly Exchange, which blames American Jewish organizations and Israel for police shootings of blacks in the U.S.

So black bloc Antifa thugs armed with pepper spray and two-by-fours may be coming to your campus soon. Think about that next time you’re tempted to donate to your college.

As FrontPage readers already know, Students for Justice in Palestine is a hate group. And an influential one at that.

As John Perazzo reports in the David Horowitz Freedom Center pamphlet, “Students for Justice in Palestine: a campus front for Hamas terrorists”:

SJP is the most influential and most radical anti-Israel organization in American higher education, with chapters at approximately 200 U.S. colleges and universities. SJP defines its mission as “promoting the cause of justice,” “speaking out against oppression,” and “educating members of our community specifically about the plight of the Palestinian people” at the hands of alleged Israeli depravities, in hopes that “one day [the Palestinians] will be free from occupation, free from fear, free from poverty, and … able to determine their own fate.”

SJP always speaks of Israeli “depravities,” but conveniently leaves out the daily depravities that take place in the Palestinian territory. Palestine is a deeply intolerant place where women are subject to honor killings and gays are persecuted, tortured, and murdered. Political killings are commonplace. Palestine’s leaders commit war crimes by placing armaments in population centers.

Jewish students in the University of California system have complained that SJP members have told them “Hitler was right” and called them “kike” and “dirty Jew.” One Jewish civil rights group reported that 70 testimonials had been collected from Jewish students at UC describing acts of intimidation committed by SJP and other BDS hate groups.

SJP was co-founded in 2000 by pro-Hamas activist Snehal Shingavi and Hamas supporter Hatem Bazian, to wage a campus war against Israel on behalf of Hamas. Bazian is a Jew-hating Muslim whom Rabbi Douglas Kahn of the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council has said is “more responsible than any other student on campus for trying to make life miserable for Jewish students.”

The founding charter of Hamas, by the way, speaks of “the Nazism of the Jews” and asserts that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” It claims that peace initiatives “are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement”; that “there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad”; and that “war for the sake of Allah” is a noble enterprise that requires the faithful to “assault and kill” on a massive scale.

SJP supporters miss the rich irony that the Islamic Republic of Iran and the other Islamist states they adore are the true inheritors of the Third Reich. Like Hitler’s Nazi regime, these countries want to eradicate Jews from the face of the earth. Israel, by way of contrast, only uses deadly force to defend itself. No ethnic, religious, or social group is targeted for extinction. Muslims who live in Israel are treated well, not subjected to second-class citizen status and forced to pay tribute as dhimmis in Muslim countries are forced to pay jizya.

But they can’t very well come right out and admit the ugly truth about their ideological camp.

Then they would be outing themselves as the real fascists.

This article first appeared at FrontPageMag.