Pro-Palestinian student groups on college campuses across the U.S. are voicing their support for Hamas terrorists' attack against Israel, claiming that the actions by the terror group are part of a "liberation movement."
More than 1,900 people have been killed in the war since Hamas launched its largest attack on Israel in decades on Saturday, leading to retaliatory action from Israeli forces. Thousands more have been wounded, and many others have been taken hostage by Hamas and raped, tortured and murdered.
The statements from several dozen Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at various universities across the country come after about 30 Harvard University student groups faced widespread criticism for signing onto a statement blaming Israel for Hamas' attack. The Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups wrote, "We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence."
The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters purport in their respective statements released since Saturday that Israel is not the victim and Hamas is fighting for liberation.
"We call to attention that the Israeli occupation has created a multi-generational diaspora that is inextricably linked to the insurmountable destruction of the Palestinian way of life," the University of California, Berkley, chapter wrote. "Hence, Israel, as a settler colonial state, renders Palestinian existence inherently an act of resistance. We invariably reject Israel's framing as a victim. Whereas to demonize and condemn indigenous resistance is to overshadow the decades of oppression, ethnic cleansing, and destruction of the Palestinian people."
"We support the resistance, we support the liberation movement, and we indisputably support the Uprising," the group added.
The George Washington University chapter wrote, "GWU Students for Justice in Palestine stands in full support of the liberation of our homeland and our people's right to resist the violent 75-year long colonization of our homeland by any means necessary."
"Over the past few days, Palestinians in Gaza and across occupied Palestine have mobilized against the Zionist entity, seizing settlements imposed on our land in violation of international law," the statement said. "For the first time in our history, Palestinians have reclaimed land that we were ethnically cleansed from in 1948. Over 50% of Gaza's population is under 18 years old. The vast majority of them have never been outside of the colonial prison walls, have never set foot on a single inch of the land that their families were violently ethnically cleansed from. This past weekend we witnessed them breaking free, tearing down the prison walls, and making it known to the world: WE WILL BE CAGED NO LONGER."
The GWU chapter further alleged that the "mobilization is NOT unprovoked," adding the attack on Israel is a "response to the brutal blockade and siege on Gaza that has left over 2 million of our people languishing under starvation and terror."
George Mason University's Students for Justice in Palestine chapter called for a "free Palestine, from the river to the sea, and support all forms of resistance which helps [sic] the Palestinian people inch closer to that reality."
In the Tar Heel State, the University of North Carolina's chapter says it is their "moral obligation to be in solidarity with the dispossessed, no matter the pathway to liberation they choose to take. This includes violence."
The University of Virginia chapter said the attack against Israel on Saturday represents a "step towards a free Palestine." The chapter also said it mourns the loss of human life taken in the war and hopes for "long-lasting peace" that it says cannot be achieved without the establishment of equity and justice.
"Some place the impetus on the Palestinians to be the 'perfect victims' of their own colonial narrative, only resisting through nonviolent protest and appealing to the moral character of the imperialist nations that fund their colonization," the statement reads. "We reject the assumption that oppressed people cannot take their liberation into their own hands or that outside onlookers know better than the subjects of colonial occupation what is necessary to gain their freedom."
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares condemned UVA's statement, saying he denounces the "hateful message" of the UVA Students for Justice in Palestine in the "strongest terms possible." He said, "You cannot 'mourn the loss of human life' and 'hope for long-lasting peace' and also cheer on the murder, rape, and hostage-taking by Hamas, a terrorist organization that exists for the destruction and murder of Jewish people."
Other Students for Justice in Palestine chapters include those from the University of South Florida, the University of Illinois, New York University and Ohio State University, among several dozen others.
The national Students for Justice in Palestine organization, meanwhile, is calling for campus chapters to organize a national "day of resistance" on college campuses across the U.S. and Canada, according to The Daily Signal. In a toolkit released by the national organization, campus chapters are urged to participate in a day of resistance on Thursday. Multiple campus chapters have already announced their plans to organize these events.
"We as Palestinian students in exile are PART of this movement, not in solidarity with this movement," the toolkit reads. "This is a moment of mobilization for all Palestinians. We must act as part of this movement. All of our efforts continue the work and resistance of Palestinians on the ground."
The Anti-Defamation League said it is concerned about these events and the "inflammatory" statements from the campus chapters.
"Although these are all non-violent tactics, they raise the real possibility of creating a hostile environment for Jewish students, and the confrontational spirit that permeates the toolkit raises the concern that these actions could lead to acts of harassment or vandalism targeting Jewish students and organizations," the ADL said in a statement.