Professor's Academic's Antisemitism Isn't Helping Palestinians Like Me

(Washington Examiner) Bassem Eid - With the Palestinian people, our whole identity is often assumed to be bound up with the anti-Western, violent ideology promulgated by Yasser Arafat and his proteges. George Washington University professor Lara Sheehi is just the latest example of this violent misrepresentation, which gives my people a bad name. On her now-deleted Twitter account, she frequently showed her hateful bias against Israelis and repeatedly condoned violence against them. This past semester, she used her mandatory diversity course to spread such dangerous views and actively discriminated against Jewish students in her class. When the students complained to school authorities, Sheehi counterclaimed that the students were exhibiting "Islamophobia" against her. Sheehi also verbally attacked a student for speaking about terrorist attacks in Israel, which have killed civilians, including American citizens. Her claim was that the student's use of the phrase "terrorist attack" invoked Islamophobia, even though the student never mentioned Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims. Sheehi and her fellow antisemitic haters do not speak for me or for the many Palestinians who desire peace and coexistence with our neighbor, Israel. Hatred and radicalism harm Palestinians and do nothing to advance our cause. Sheehi's actions do not and should not represent the Palestinian people, the good men and women I know who respect our neighbors and wish for an end to these endless cycles of violence. We see how peace, economic opportunity, and cooperation benefit both Palestinians and Israelis, just as the normalization of political and economic cooperation with Israel has brought tremendous advantages to countries such as the United Arab Emirates. This is what most Palestinians want, too. Violent, hateful rhetoric rejecting the aspirations and experiences of Israelis may get headlines, but it does not represent the majority of Palestinians, who know that peace is the path to a better life for ourselves and our children. When radical actors preach hate and violence, it inevitably leads to violent incidents that only worsen matters and trap us in an escalating cycle. The writer is a Palestinian political analyst and human rights pioneer.

2023-03-20 00:00:00

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