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Why People in the West Need to Stop Giving Visas to Palestinians

By Elianna James

As we move into the mid 2020s, the era has been shaping up to include pestilence (the COVID pandemic), war (Ukraine and now Israel as well as about 45 other wars and other armed conflicts), and extreme climate events. The latest flare-up of the ongoing Israel – Palestine conflict started on October 7, 2023 with a now well-known super-event of massacre  1200, during the first few days and kidnappings of over 240 people, and the casualties of the day included Israelis, and a variety of  other nationalities. The immediate response from Israel was to declare war on Hamas the next day.

The conflict has been on page one of newspapers and created top news headlines consistently since it began. Worldwide demonstrations, mostly in support of Hamas and against Israel, have dominated the news cycle with image after image of large Hamas flags, amidst vigorous chanting and clashes with police. From October 7 to October 27 there were approximately 4200 demonstrations throughout the world, with 90% of them supporting Palestine and opposing Israel. Pro-Palestine demonstrators have engaged in increasingly destructive and disruptive behavior and rhetoric across a variety of major cities in the West, including Toronto, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Paris and Berlin. One Pro-Palestine riot in Berlin injured 65 German police officers, pro-Palestine supporters in London chanted “Gas the Jews” , and in Manchester, Pro-Palestinian demonstrators defaced the Cenotaph, a memorial for those killed during World War One. In Washington D.C., supporters of the Palestinians defaced the Lincoln Memorial and wrote “Free Palestine” in a brazen act of disrespect to the United States. In New York and Los Angeles demonstrators blocked major public highways and thoroughfares, leading to dozens of arrests as law enforcement attempted to restore order and remove the disruption.

Palestinian groups have also infiltrated America’s elite universities, including Harvard, Yale, MIT, University of Pennsylvania and others.  Many of the student campus protests have been organized and energized by an organization called Students for Justice in Palestine otherwise known by its acronym (SJP). This organization was founded in 1993 at the University of California, Berkeley. Its founding father, Dr. Hatem Bazian, has a long and deep history of antisemitism that is often thinly disguised as anti-Israel rhetoric. They claimed, in 2018, that they had chapters on some 200 campuses. Detailed explanations of the history and activities of Students for Justice in Palestine, published by the Anti-Defamation League on October 19, 2023, trace a 20-year pattern of demonization of Israel alongside acceptance and even veneration of violent attacks on Israelis.

On October 24th, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis asked colleges in Florida to shut down the SJP. This move was in response to public statements made by the group that called Hamas’s October 7 attacks in Israel “a historic win for the Palestinian resistance”. In response to the behavior of the Pro-Palestine university students, the Attorney General of 20 different states (Arkansas, Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia) signed a letter from the Attorney General of Arkansas to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas. The letter traces the history in the US of opposition to antisemitism, notes the increase of antisemitic attacks in the US over the past year and mentions the Hamas atrocities committed on October 7 in Israel. 

 It also makes the case to ban Students for Justice in Palestine, because they support terrorist organizations (Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad).  The letter adds that they are asking Homeland Security to consider the Immigration and Nationality Act which specifically says that “[a]ny alien who…endorses or espouses terrorist activity…” is “ineligible to receive [a] visa and ineligible to be admitted to the United States.” The letter specifically asks for a review of the foreign students already in the United States to be “vetted” and see if they are liable for “deportation.”

Admitting Palestinian refugees from around Israel, also poses a security concern. A poll by the Arab World for Research & Development, a polling agency based in Ramallah, asked 668 adult men and women in the West Bank and Gaza 36 questions about how they related to their Palestinian identities, the two state solution and which solution they might support. Those surveyed indicated strong support for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Brigade in both Gaza and the West Bank. Their responses also showed that they do not like the Palestinian Authority; nor almost anyone else including Russia, the US, Iran, the UK, Egypt, or Jordan. Of a long list of possible reasons for the October 7 attack, the most commonly cited reasons were “To Free Palestine” and to “Stop the violations of Aqsa'' (the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem). 77.7% of the respondents in the West Bank said that the solution for the situation in Israel/ Palestine was to have “A Palestinian state from the river to the sea”.  The other choices, “A One-State Solution for Two Peoples” and a “Two-State Solution for Two Peoples'', had a total of 21% support.

This problematic poll shows the extent of the popular support for violence amongst Palestinians.  Granting visas to Palestinians that have been radicalized by Islamic fundamentalist terror organizations poses a serious and significant threat to the values, laws and societal order in the West. It should be clear now, if it wasn’t before October 7, 2023, that the Palestinians abroad and in Israel are not interested in peace, nor in stopping their efforts to globalize the intifada. The West must protect its borders and citizens from individuals that have no interest in Western values or in stopping their attempts to harass, intimidate and target the Jewish population.

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