Israel - Hamas War October 2023

@Lucy explained this well enough.

And again, I am offering a different perspective on the links you posted. I have no interest in Harvard, or any of the other schools in the news. I see an ugly situation (the war) with lots of people on both sides making disingenuous claims. The chance that either of us can read an article about student activities and walk away with an accurate assessment of the overall situation is practically 0.

Keep in mind too that in today’s politics, “elite colleges” are a top target for many on the right looking for any opportunity to go after these schools and their leadership. It’s all a messy situation.


I read more about this confrontation on another website. I gather that a Jewish student complained that he was assaulted by the anti-Israel protestors (who touched him with their keffiyehs). But then more information came out. The protestors had been peacefully protesting, when this Jewish student walked into their midst and started photographing their faces. And it’s useful background to know that some asshole hired a truck to drive around Harvard with giant screens showing photos and names of protestors, which made those protestors feel unsafe. So this student taking close up photos made those present very uncomfortable. They asked him to leave, and he refused. So some organizers basically herded him away using their keffiyehs. No one was injured.

As @The_President says, this was not an entirely civil interaction. But it’s also not evidence that the protestors are harassing Jews, or preventing other students from engaging in their regular activities. Had there been police “keeping the peace”, they would have removed the photographer, and likely been more forceful about it. If Harvard acted badly, it was by letting that Jewish student harass the protesters in the first place.

This whole situation is ugly. As i said months ago, the organizers of Oct 7 succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They provoked Israel into a response that is looks disproportionate to most of the world, and as a result, anti-israeli sentiment is running high around the world. And yes, that spills over into generalized antisemitism, too. I am less safe because of October 7. But also, i am less safe because Israel is destroying Gaza, and killing tens of thousands of civilians, leaving the rest without food, homes, medical care, or other infrastructure of life.

It’s a really ugly situation.


Thanks for the additional context on the story.

It’s frustrating to see examples like that where things are distorted to portray rampant antisemitism. The motivation seems to be due to political alignments between groups rather than truth seeking. I think many people want to side with the historically marginalized and persecuted group, so they quickly accept these stories as presented. Note: liberals/Democrats do this often with their politically aligned groups as well. It’s a good reminder that if you read or watch something, and your initial reaction is outrage, your next reaction should be to try and understand why.

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Excellent summary. Thank you.

Here is a couple of videos describing what is happening now. Note the first video was made 7 months ago.

The manuals that Beau refers to exist I have looked them up. I have not read them.

Agreed. Lets their constituents know they are on their (less elite) side.
Never mind that most of the politicians went to those elite colleges.

He doesn’t provide a lot of sources for his “facts.”
Also, he doesn’t know what “I’m sure” means. Needs a “% confident” number.
“I don’t know, but I’m sure…” sounds real dumb.

I thought he meant, “i don’t have direct evidence but i am nonetheless certain”.

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I don’t think that is any better of a claim.

Which facts are you struggling with? I’ll see what I can do to fill in the sources or context for you.

I had a literal school shooter at my college, but didn’t particularly consider it a school of shooters.

Anonymous postings might be 1,000 Harvard students, or 25, or 5, or 1. Especially in a charged environment where anti-Semitism will draw much more attention, I’m entirely unsurprised that >=1 persons are posting anti-Semitic content, the same way that the NYC-Dublin portal had a handful of people displaying pictures of 9/11 to New Yorkers and a ton of normal people.

To be clear, antisemitism is common. Nasty, potentially violent antisemitism is less common, but hardly rare. And there has definitely been an increase in public displays of antisemitism recently. There was a big surge when Trump was elected, and there’s been another surge recently, due to the war in Gaza.

But when you talk about shutting down protests due to antisemitism, you have to make a case that the protesters are acting in antisemitic ways. And that seems to be happening at some schools. (After all, an anti-Israel rally is awfully attractive to antisemites.) But i still haven’t seen any evidence that the protests at Harvard and MIT have any significant antisemitic component. Harvard rallies had some antisemitic statements early on, which, as best as i can tell, were changed after the university engaged the protesters. Protests at both schools have been peaceful.

Is it uncomfortable to be a Jewish student right now? Yes. Antisemites are crawling out of the woodwork and making nasty statements. Some are anonymous. I gather there’s been some pretty nasty dormspam at MIT, too. (And also nasty dormspam aimed at Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians. Let’s just say that dormspam has hosted a lot of flame wars.)

It’s not clear to me that the administration of colleges can prevent that.

But it’s not like it’s everywhere. I just attended a celebration at MIT last night with about 20 students and maybe another 20 hangers-on (like me). There were Jews there. Jews who bring hamantoschen on Purim, and obviously keep kosher for Passover. There were students who are taking part in the protests there. Protestors who say they are doing so to be on the right side of history, and see no shades of gray in the situation, and post about it to the group. And it was a completely non-political celebration of a mutual interest.


Try reading this:,October%207%20massacre%20in%20Israel.

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I read it. It’s long on rhetoric and short on examples. The examples it includes are, weirdly, mostly embedded as links, so you can see a couple of them in the bit i quoted, including video of classes interrupted by students decrying the “genocide perpetrated by MIT, Israel, and the United States”, and then chanting “free, free Palestine, long live Palestine”. I’m sure it’s unpleasant to have your classes interrupted by protests of any type, and perhaps the university should take a harder line on that. But the videos linked didn’t strike me as “antisemitic”. They blame “MIT, Israel, and the United States”.

How can MIT claim free speech for interruptions of multiple MIT classes, while forbidding the display of the Israeli flag and attempting to block the screening of video footage of the horrific October 7 attack on Israel?

And one of the examples confuses me. It says displays of the Israeli flag are forbidden. But the supporting link is a letter decrying the rapid crack downs on protestors and compares that to how long Israeli flags were allowed up. And i personally saw several Israeli flags just outside the pro-Palestinian encampment. As best as i can tell, they remained as long as the encampment.

I have seen some really upsetting examples of antisemitism recently. Swastikas, signs saying “no Jews”, a bomb threat against my Temple. There’s no question that there has been an outpouring of antisemitism throughout the US, recently.

But this letter does not make an especially strong case that the MIT Palestinian rallies are antisemitic.

I am glad these sorts of investigations are being done now without the people involved being accused of antisemitism.

For far too long the settlers have operated with near impunity under the cover of “if you criticise use we will accuse you if being antisemitic in the media”, so naturally they have been able to kill off many stories about their increasingly toxic behavior.

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This photo, a screenshot from one of Yohai Vazana’s videos, shows members of his battalion forcefully entering a home and posing in front of a Palestinian woman with a child.

Many of his videos show his battalion entering homes at night and detaining Palestinians - often binding their hands and blindfolding them. Women are seen panicking as they are filmed without their headscarves.

The detained Palestinians are frequently shown blindfolded and restrained, having been forced to either lie on the floor, or squat, with their hands bound behind their backs, in what are often referred to by military and law enforcement as “stress positions”.

In one video, Mr Ben, who has also served with IDF forces in Gaza, mocks two detained Palestinians, ordering them to say: “Am Yisrael Chai”, meaning “The people of Israel live”.

In response to our investigation, the IDF replied: “The IDF holds its soldiers to a professional standard… and investigates when behavior is not in line with the IDF’s values. In the event of unacceptable behavior, soldiers were disciplined and even suspended from reserve duty. Additionally, soldiers are instructed to avoid uploading footage of operational activities to social media networks.” The IDF’s response did not acknowledge that it had pledged to act on our earlier findings on similar social media misconduct, in Gaza.

Our analysis found that the 45 social media videos and photos that we examined were posted by 11 soldiers of the Kfir Brigade, which is the largest infantry brigade in the IDF and mainly operates in the West Bank. All 11 are, or were, serving soldiers, and did not hide their identity on social media.[…] We asked the IDF about the actions of the individual soldiers we have named and whether they have been disciplined, but they did not respond.

I think this article/interview really does a great job of explaining why Hamas needs to be finished off this time. Also why forcing Israel to move slowly is ultimately more harmful than letting them go in hard.

Unacceptable… hopefully those soldiers and others behaving similarly with a less brazen social media presence are dealt with severely.

Israel is a signatory of the Geneva Convention, and these would clearly be violations if the fighting was subject to the Geneva Convention.

Hamas is obviously NOT a signatory, and this is not my area of expertise so I don’t know if that gives Israel a legal “out” in how they treat detainees. It certainly does not give them a moral “out” in that regard.

ETA: Based on VA’s post it sounds like there is no legal “out” based on Hamas not being a signatory.

An opponent not being a signatory is not an “out” from a legal stand point. The Conventions prescribe how the country will “behave” regardless of who the opponent is.

And IIRC, some of the articles were re-written to make it clear that any armed conflict–regardless of a formal state of war–is subject of the provisions of the Convention.

So the only consideration–from a legal perspective–is which version of the Convention is Israel a signatory of.