Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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LTE: Wake up and smell the coffee — who is pulling the strings of the pro-Hamas protesters?

Dear Northwestern Community,

There’s a famous line from “All the President’s Men,” the Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein book about the Watergate affair during the Nixon administration. When the informant called Deep Throat first contacted the two Washington Post reporters, he told them to “follow the money.” Following the money eventually led to the unraveling of the Watergate break-in and ultimately to the first ever resignation of a U.S. President.

It is just as important to follow the money now, to learn exactly who is behind the efforts to normalize the terrorist attacks of Oct. 7 and leverage those efforts to support the goals of terrorist organizations bent on wiping Israel off the map and killing Jews. It’s not too late to learn what is really going on behind the scenes so you can turn your support away from terrorism and toward building a Middle East where nations live together in peace. That will not happen under Hamas.

Fortunately, information has recently surfaced that — according to sources — shines a light on the people and the web of organizations that develop the strategy, raise the money, write the scripts, train the organizers and pay for the encampments and messaging campaigns that target supporters of Israel in our community. That information points straight to the Islamic Republic of Iran, its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxies, including Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen. These groups, according to their own principles, seek to overthrow Western democracies and re-establish a caliphate imposing Sharia law as now applied in Iran and Afghanistan.

For our students whose only source of information seems to be pro-Palestinian (i.e. pro-Hamas) professors, websites, colleagues and outsiders, it is important to learn who you are supporting and what values you have aligned yourself with. Read the sources cited below, read critically — after all, it’s how you got into NU in the first place — and draw your own conclusions about the motives, goals and tactics of the people who are pulling the strings.

Then decide for yourself whether you want to tear down the only democracy in the Middle East where all citizens, including two million Arabs, enjoy equal rights; the only safe haven in the world for Jews; the shining beacon for entrepreneurship and innovation — or whether you want to side with terrorists who murder innocents (Muslim and Jew), lie, cheat, steal, abuse women and children, and violate every principle that marks our way of life.

I will not attempt to paraphrase every allegation and every source of information. I leave it to you to read and analyze the meticulously documented findings outlined below.

First, last week, a lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Virginia by American and Israeli survivors of the Oct. 7 massacre: Parizer, et al. v. AJP Educational Foundation, et al., Case No. 1:24-cv-00724 (E.D. Va.). The plaintiffs seek to recover damages under a U.S. law called the Anti-Terrorism Act, which allows people harmed by terrorist attacks to sue and recover money damages from the perpetrators. Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that two leading pro-Palestinian groups in the U.S. are part of a Hamas propaganda front working to recruit “uninformed, misguided and impressionable college students to serve as foot soldiers for Hamas.”

You can find the 49-page complaint, which links to many primary and secondary sources to support its allegations, on the website of Greenberg Traurig, the law firm that represents the plaintiffs. Unfortunately, you will have to find it yourself — fortunately, not a difficult task — as The Daily does not link to outside websites.

That lawsuit lays out in excruciating detail serious allegations about the campaign by Hamas and IRGC to destroy Israel by, among other things, waging a sophisticated propaganda campaign to persuade people to oppose Israel and support Hamas, which has been designated by the United States and many other nations as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Among other things, the complaint lays out how Hamas developed this strategy and coordinated its execution through hundreds of chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and related entities.

It cites to Hamas documents that scripted the chants we hear on campuses around the U.S., including our own — scripts written before and in the days immediately following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks (and before Israel began its campaign to root out Hamas in Gaza). The complaint also alleges how Hamas used U.S. organizations that are ostensibly “charities” to raise the necessary funds and coordinate nationwide activities to support this propaganda war, as well as to support the encampments we see at college campuses in the U.S. and Canada, including at NU.

Just two weeks ago, the public interest monitor group NGO Monitor released a report describing the organizations in the U.S. that provide key support for Hamas’ propaganda campaign. The report is titled “The NGO Network Orchestrating Antisemitic Incitement on American Campuses.” Again, I cannot provide a link — but you can look it up and read it on the NGO Monitor website.

As with the complaint in Parizer, the NGO Monitor report lays out in detail key information about the groups that support the anti-Israel protests on our campus, including links and citations to primary and secondary sources. The report shows how SJP and supporting groups like Jewish Voice for Peace have supported the Hamas propaganda campaign.

Finally, rather than simply accept the Hamas propaganda that Israel is conducting “genocide” in Gaza, we have an interview that the BBC recently conducted with Joan Donoghue, the just-retired head of the International Court of Justice that is hearing South Africa’s claims of genocide. She explained that, contrary to what has been widely reported in the media, the court did not decide that the claim of genocide was “plausible.” In fact, she added, the Court simply ruled that South Africa had the right to bring the case in the first place to protect the Palestinians in Gaza from the possibility of genocide.

You have the opportunity to change the narrative — to support peace and justice here and in Israel. But that will not happen if you continue to carry water for the terrorists. The resources in this article give you the tools to understand that the supposed “pro-Palestinian” movement you are supporting is in fact part of a sophisticated, expensive, long-term strategy by avowed terrorists.

Wake up and smell the coffee. The world is counting on you.

Stuart Gibson (Medill ’73)

If you would like to respond publicly to this op-ed, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.

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