ChristianHeadlines Is Moving to CrosswalkHeadlines! Visit Us Here

Protests Continue to Rattle College Campuses

Jim Denison | Denison Forum | Published: Apr 29, 2024
Protests Continue to Rattle College Campuses

Protests Continue to Rattle College Campuses

denison-forum-banner

Nearly nine hundred protesters have been arrested on US campuses in recent days, about 275 of them on Saturday. Activists staged a large event outside the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday night, part of a wave of pro-Palestinian protests that has spread across the country and could continue through the summer at political conventions.

Columbia University became the epicenter of the movement due to its proximity to national media in New York and its status as an Ivy League institution. The campus is also home to a large Jewish student population, many of whom have faced harassment or attacks from protesters, fueling more media coverage and political scrutiny.

Columbia made more news when it banned a student protest leader who declared that “Zionists don’t deserve to live.” He said with regard to fighting a Zionist (someone such as myself who believes the Jews deserve a homeland in Israel), “I don’t fight to injure or for there to be a winner or a loser, I fight to kill.”

He added, “Be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists.”

Tragically, that’s already been done.

The “worst day” in modern Israel’s history

In the new edition of Foreign Affairs, the Israeli historian Tom Segev offers a brilliant overview of the modern history of the nation. He begins:

To Israelis, October 7, 2023, is the worst day in their country’s seventy-five-year history. Never before have so many of them been massacred and taken hostage on a single day. Thousands of heavily armed Hamas fighters managed to break through the Gaza Strip’s fortified border and into Israel, rampaging unimpeded for hours, destroying several villages and committing gruesome acts of brutality before Israeli forces could regain control.

Hamas leaders have vowed to repeat these attacks until Israel is destroyed. Consequently, Israel had no choice but to send the IDF into Gaza to destroy Hamas.

More than thirty-one thousand Palestinians have died since the Israel–Hamas war in Gaza began, a tragic fact that is a primary reason for pro-Palestinian protests across our country. In their rhetoric, Israel is completely at fault for these deaths.

However, American legal theory distinguishes between a “proximate” cause and an “actual” cause. The latter is the direct cause of an event, such as the car that runs a red light and crashes into your vehicle. The former is the event that caused the latter, such as the large truck that rams into a car, shoving it into the intersection so that it crashes into your car.

Hamas’s terrorist attack on October 7 is the uncontestable proximate cause of all that has happened since. If Hamas had not launched its invasion and then used Palestinian civilians as human shields, not a single casualty resulting from Israel’s response in Gaza would have been harmed. It is therefore also a fact that, as the Wall Street Journal recently noted, “Those who genuinely care about the Palestinians should hope for Hamas’s defeat.”

MLK on “the hottest place in hell”

The US Army liberated the Dachau concentration camp on this day in 1945. With this sober fact as a historical backdrop, consider a letter written by the chairman of the World Holocaust Remembrance Center to the president of Columbia University. In it, Dani Dayan warns that the ongoing anti-Israel demonstrations at elite US colleges and universities are exactly what happened in Germany in the 1920s, just years before Nazis took over the country.

He therefore called on the president to “take a stand” as “thousands of Columbia faculty, staff, and students call for the elimination of the State of Israel and the abolition of Zionism.” He added: “Not a political stand. A moral stand. When it becomes crystal clear that abolishing the existence of the Jewish State is a prevalent ideology in Columbia, the president of the institution cannot remain silent.”

He then cited the Talmud’s teaching, “Silence is admission,” and reiterated, “Silence inevitably will be interpreted as tolerance or, even worse, consent.” He quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as saying that “the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

Dayan concluded his letter with a quote from Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace laureate who called indifference “the most insidious danger of all.”

An unthinkable and horrific future?

If the faculty and students at America’s elite intellectual institutions cannot stand unequivocally against the genocide of the Jewish people, what does this say about our culture?

Has our “post-truth” society become so confused and corrupted that it cannot condemn the rape, murder, and mutilation of innocent civilians at the hand of terrorist invaders pledged to their annihilation?

If so, is Dani Dayan right in warning that we are on the road to an unthinkable and horrific future?

I believe these are truly precarious days for our nation, a peril I plan to discuss with you this week. Each day, we’ll respond with the hope-filled reality that Jesus is “the light of men” (John 1:4, my emphasis), now and always.

For today, let’s embrace and share this fact:

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

It never will.

Monday news to know:

Quote for the day:
“The purpose of God and the power of God is available for every man.” —G. Campbell Morgan

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Spencer Platt / Staff
Publish Date: April 29, 2024

Jim Denison, PhD, is a cultural theologian and the founder and CEO of Denison Ministries. Denison Ministries includes DenisonForum.org, First15.org, ChristianParenting.org, and FoundationsWithJanet.org. Jim speaks biblically into significant cultural issues at Denison Forum. He is the chief author of The Daily Article and has written more than 30 books, including The Coming Tsunamithe Biblical Insight to Tough Questions series, and The Fifth Great Awakening.

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of CrosswalkHeadlines.

For more from the Denison Forum, please visit www.denisonforum.org.

The Daily Article Podcast is Here!

Click to Listen



Protests Continue to Rattle College Campuses