‘Martyr’ vs. Murderer: Ohio State SJP’s Appalling Veneration of Terrorists
The word “martyr” often conjures up images of historical figures such as Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln, and others who died in their fight for the greater good.
However, according to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the Ohio State University (OSU), terrorists who try and succeed in murdering innocent Jews should join this venerated group of heroes. And the suppression of Jewish voices by OSU’s newspaper, The Lantern, only adds to the horrifying nature of SJP’s recent actions.
On June 30, Palestinian terrorists opened fire at Jewish worshipers at the Tomb of Joseph, a holy place honoring one of the patriarchs of the Jewish faith. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a Palestinian extremist organization, claimed responsibility for the horrific attack, which injured three Israelis. The US and Israeli governments recognize the group as a terrorist organization, due to its long record of suicide bombings and rocket strikes against Israeli civilians.
The June 30 attack was just one of several acts of terror planned by the group’s commander, Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, that made him a long-wanted terrorist by the Israel Defense Forces.
On August 12, SJP at OSU held a candlelight vigil and rally at Goodale Park in Columbus, Ohio. The group honored recently deceased Palestinian “martyrs” who were killed in a series of strikes against Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commanders and other terrorists. In SJP’s advertisement for the event, they promised to honor Al-Nabulsi, who had been killed by Israeli forces (the IDF also found arms and explosives in his home).
To make matters worse, The Lantern promoted the rally days before the event took place, including a call to action by the president of OSU SJP for the greater student body to attend the rally. The Lantern also publicized SJP’s claim that all those killed in recent military operations were “innocent Palestinian civilians” — ignoring the fact that several were militants.
Instead of, at a bare minimum, asking for opinions on this two-sided issue from Jewish students on campus, The Lantern publicized SJP’s view of “settler colonialist” Israeli aggressors being responsible for the deaths of these supposedly “innocent” individuals. Moreover, in its report, The Lantern officially refereed to the Israel Defense Force by the misleading title of “Israeli Occupation Forces.”
During the rally itself, aside from lionizing members of an internationally-recognized terrorist organization, SJP found the need to further accost Jewish students at Ohio State by posting videos on their Instagram story of the event’s attendees shouting, “from Columbus to Gaza, mobilize the intifada.”
Intifada refers only to violent attacks against Israelis by Palestinian terror groups and their sympathizers.
During the Second Intifada, which spanned from 2000-2005, Palestinian terrorists orchestrated numerous attacks targeting civilians. These included the bombings of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in which five US students died, a Sbarro pizzeria restaurant, where seven children and a senior citizen were killed, and the Dolphinarium discotheque, where 16 teens were killed. Palestinian terror groups also targeted public buses with suicide bombs — one of many such incidents was the 1994 street bus bombing on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, which left 22 dead.
In all, the Second Intifada left 1100 Israelis dead and many more injured.
Attendees at the Ohio rally also proudly yelled, “no peace on stolen land.” The notion of “stolen land” is a falsehood perpetuated by Palestinian leaders to undermine the longstanding Jewish connection to the land of Israel.
This disturbing rally occurred mere weeks after SJP hosted a Zoom webinar with Hatem Bazian, the founder of the national SJP movement, who re-posted tweets calling Jews rapists and Nazis. Farrell Brody also spoke at the conference, on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). JVP proudly hosts and advocates for convicted terrorists such as Ahmed Sa’adat and Rasmea Odeh, who killed two Hebrew University students by bombing a crowded supermarket.
SJP’s actions demonstrate that its priority is to demonize the State of Israel and the Jewish people — and that it supports the violent murder of Jews.
Their cause is not about the plight of Palestinians, as they claim. This is emphasized by SJP only posting infographics showing Palestinian deaths by “occupation” rockets targeting terrorist operatives, but not about the large number of Palestinians killed by their own terrorist leaders and supporters.
In the aftermath of this Ohio SJP event, The Lantern rejected all articles submitted by Jewish students that shed light on the gross incitement against Jews at the SJP rally. Giving no other reason than asserting that “The Lantern is not interested in publishing this op-ed at this moment in time,” its editor-in-chief ignored all follow up communication that politely asked for clarification.
Students at Ohio State must take a firmer stance against hatred, antisemitism, and attacks on Israel. As SJP strenuously labors to create a less safe and inclusive place for pro-Israel students at OSU, we must resist their glorification of terrorism by promoting collaboration between student bodies to facilitate meaningful discussion of political issues. By the same token, Jewish and Zionist voices must demand equal representation in The Lantern. For the sake of peace and unity on campus, it is imperative that OSU students come together to oppose the hateful ideology that SJP seeks to promote.
The author is a student at The Ohio State University.