UCLA’s Jewish professor Dov Waxman opposes police intervention at university.

Protests opposing Israel’s genocide in Gaza continues in US universities including UCLA. Police has arrested many students for being pro-Palestinian. Meanwhile, some pro-Israeli protestors who are mainly from outside the university clashed with students. On the other hand,UCLA’s Jewish professor opposed Dov Waxman the police intervention at university in one of his tweets.

Waxman wrote;

I’m a scholar of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a longtime advocate for peace and for Palestinian rights. I have publicly opposed Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, and its blockade and now destruction of Gaza. I support the rights of students and faculty to peacefully protest against Israel, including by establishing protest encampments, such as the one on my campus at UCLA. I do not want these protest camps to be removed by the police, whose propensity for unnecessary and excessive use of force is well-established.

As a Jew, I do not personally feel threatened or unsafe because of the protest encampment at UCLA. I know some of the students taking part and believe they are well-intentioned. Many, probably most, of the protesters are simply horrified by the mass killing and near-famine in Gaza and want it to end. So do I. But I cannot join this protest because it is not just a protest against the war in Gaza.

Among the demands of the protest organizers is the demand to “sever all UC-wide connections to Israeli universities, including study abroad programs, fellowships, seminars, and research collaborations, and UCLA’s Nazarian Center.” Needless to say, I oppose the demand to boycott the Nazarian Center, which I direct. The Center is devoted to the academic study of Israel and has no ties to the Israeli government. I also oppose boycotting Israeli academic institutions and academic boycotts in general.

But it isn’t only the demands of the protest organizers that I have a problem with. One of the organizations behind the protest, Students for Justice in Palestine, has expressed support for Hamas and has even celebrated the massacre of Israelis on October 7. Being in solidarity with Palestinians does not necessitate supporting Hamas. On the contrary, Hamas oppresses Palestinians and has no concern for the lives of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. They have openly stated that they are willing to sacrifice countless Palestinian lives—“martyrs”—for their cause, which is the ultimate eradication of Israel. They have spent billions building a vast underground network to protect themselves and their weaponry, but they haven’t built a single bomb shelter for Gazan civilians or sheltered them in their tunnels. They are prolonging the devastating war in Gaza, and the humanitarian crisis there, in order to maintain their power and authoritarian rule in Gaza.

I know that many people in the pro-Palestinian movement don’t support Hamas and don’t praise the October 7 massacre, but groups like SJP lead the movement on many college campuses, exploiting the sympathy that many students rightly feel for the suffering of Palestinians. Students and faculty demonstrating in support of Palestinians shouldn’t ignore the fact that the organizers of these demonstrations are, in many cases, ideologically committed to eradicating Israel and expelling Israeli Jews, supportive of violence against Israeli civilians, and willing to ignore or even justify Hamas’ strategy of sacrificing Palestinian civilians for their political ends.

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