They don’t know the facts

By Joe Rector

I’ve watched the protests on college campuses until I’m just about to be nauseated with them and the individuals who are participating. That doesn’t mean that Israel receives a free pass from me on this whole situation. Plenty of blame is available for spreading.

I was alive when college students protested the Vietnam War. Never did I belittle or blame veterans for their part in the conflict. Too many of them were plucked from their youth and trained to kill and destroy the Vietcong. That war dragged on much too long because the leaders of our country chose politics and cash over young lives.

Back then, police weren’t as restrained or forgiving as today’s officers. Those battles in the 60s and 70s looked more like scenes from the June 6 insurrection. Officers dispersed protesters with a combination of gases, rubber bullets and nightsticks. On the Kent State campus, national guardsmen went a step too far and left the bodies of slain students and protesters on the ground.

Yes, I’m sure that some outsiders infiltrated the groups to push more extreme activities. For the most part, students ran the protests and had a major stake in the Vietnam War. Their age group was being sent to the war front to fight. Cries to “get out” were meant to save the lives of Americans. Most of the protestors were informed about the entire situation.

Presently, college campuses are overrun with protesters. Many of them don’t attend school but are there to support (or stir up trouble). These folks are less than peaceful; film clips show them throwing things at police and destroying property. Tent cities have popped up on campuses, and the inhabitants include outsiders and students. They swear not to leave until their demands are met.

Those demands deal with the situation in Israel and Gaza. They insist that Israel stop its aggression against Hamas and the Palestinian people. More radical voices call for the destruction of Israel as they display the slogan, “From the river to the sea,” a reference to wiping out all Jews and the state of Israel.

I don’t defend all that Israel has done in this situation. At some point much earlier, they should have stopped the fighting and sat at the peace table. With that said, I know that the sudden brutality of Hamas and its wanton disregard for the lives of babies, children and women is reason enough for Israel to want to destroy the terrorist group. When the enemy hides its soldiers and weapons in tunnels underneath neighborhoods and hospitals, difficult decisions must be made.

What is most disturbing about protestors is their inability to verbalize what they are protesting. The fact is that they have no idea, and they hide that ignorance behind the fact that their leaders have told them not to answer any questions about the situation. Students also fail to admit that Israel’s opponents, Hamas and Hezbollah, both identified as terrorist organizations.

The country will continue to support Israel while trying to convince its leaders to meet at the peace table. Young protestors are always free to express their beliefs, but their stances would be much stronger if those things were backed up with research and facts. Knowing the truth is the first duty of anyone who wants to protest against colleges, groups, or our country. That research might begin with the most infamous attacks on Jews during World War II. Understanding that country’s position might be clearer after doing so.