Why I Was Called a Nazi on my College Campus
Last week, among other things, I was told by a Palestinian student visiting FSU that the 67 innocent Jews murdered in Hebron in 1929 were actually not Jews, but Arabs. I was also told I am less of a person than Hitler because at least Hitler had the chutzpah to declare his genocide on the Jewish people and that I am masquerading as though I want peace. I was told I am a racist, and a Nazi, and an imperialist who needs to check my white privilege. I was told that Israel is not a state but an occupying force directly responsible for the plight of the Palestinian people. I was told that the Palestinians are not interested in peace and coexistence, but that they will take back the land that is rightfully theirs. I was told that Hamas and Fatah are in no way responsible for what is happening to the people in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza. I read a sign “Israel=terrorist.”
And I think for the first time in my adult life, I truly understood what it means to stare racism straight in the face. I had a showdown with our campus chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Students for a Democratic Society, both of whom fervently protest Israel on a regular basis. The conversation circled around the misinformation displayed by the Palestinian supporters on our campus green in front of the library. I asked them for their material and asked them what their views were.
“We support the establishment of a Palestinian state in place of the occupying force of Israel.”
I asked them if they had any interest in coexistence with the Jewish State.
“We have no desire for peace. Leave our lands. You never belonged here in the first place.”
I questioned, “Jews have no claim of control over Jerusalem?”
“Absolutely zero. None.”
“You are aware that the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock were built physically on top of the Jews holiest site on Earth, correct?” I asked.
“You have no way of proving that. Give me proof. You can’t. You have none.”
“What about the archaeological evidence that shows that Jews have lived in Jerusalem since Jerusalem came into being?” I questioned.
“That is falsified evidence and is planted by the Israeli government to make it appear legitimate. Israel is not legitimate. You have no historical claim to these lands.”
“Jews in Israel do not have a right to defend themselves?” I inquired.
“No, Israel is an occupying force and we are going to remove them. Viva Viva Palestina. End the Occupation. We have the Right of Return. Tear Down the Wall.”
These statements and countless others are made on my campus and other campuses every single day. I have attempted to see their rational logic, have them explain to me their views, and tried to understand why they hate us.
The answer is because we are Jews. To deny Jewish history in the state of Israel is simply denying fact. But today someone looked me in the eye and told me my people have absolutely no claim to the city of Jerusalem.
My thought, my hope, and my prayer is always “next year in Jerusalem.” The claim for sovereignty over the state of Israel is threatened by those who deny our history. And my reaction comes in the form of a question: with the blind hatred that I face today, where my friends were called terrorists and I am called a Nazi, can there ever be peace?
In this conflict, the Jews are reprimanded and punished by the world for defending themselves against terrorism. The Jews are Goliath. The Palestinians are David. This is their story – but what about our story? The story of rich cultural history of the Jewish people that has survived more than 3,000 years of persecution and near annihilation to finally come home?
The only thing to do is keep informing people of the truth. Because as these voices grow louder, people begin to question the legitimacy of the Jewish people. And if we do not respond back with the voices of our history, what reason do we give the world not to?
Tatiana Becker is President of Noles for Israel, a Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) CCAP supported organization at Florida State University. A version of this article was originally published in the CAMERA blog In Focus.