Columnists, Featured, Mike Rosen, National, Politics, Uncategorized

Rosen: Ignore ‘demands’ of campus Hamas apologists

The outbreak of disruptive protests by anti-Israel students on college campuses and the predictably feeble response of many school administrators and faculty leftists brought to mind the turmoil of an earlier era.

During the Vietnam War, America was sharply divided with many millions opposed to it.  Anti-war protestors acted out on campus, staged massive, sometimes violent demonstrations, maligned U.S. troops — and spat on some who came home.  The protestors got sympathetic coverage in the liberal media.  The true test of public opinion, however, was the 1972 election. President Richard Nixon called for law and order and promised a prudent, negotiated end to the war on terms favorable to the U.S.  The protestors’ hero was Democrat Sen. George McGovern, that party’s leftist peace-at-any-price nominee, who pledged an immediate U.S. withdrawal on any terms.  The magnitude of Nixon’s victory reflected the views of the respectable “silent majority” who didn’t rage and protest.  Nixon won in a historic landslide, carrying 49 of the 50 states.  Wouldn’t it be wonderfully ironic if the havoc caused by today’s left-wing, anti-Israel campus protestors advancing Hamas’s radical Islamist cause stirred a public backlash that helped Donald Trump be elected president?

This time around, anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-Hamas, antisemitic, anti-American protestors who’ve disrupted campus life and erected tent encampments on college lawns are a very small percentage of students and the American public.  The reaction of college administrators has been mixed.  Some have lowered the boom, calling in police or state troopers to enforce school rules prohibiting this behavior and clearing the encampments.  Too many other schools have tolerated and appeased the protestors, even going so far as cancelling classes and graduation ceremonies at the expense of the vast majority of students and their families.

At the Auraria campus in Denver, after protestors set up a tent encampment, school officials initially called in the police to clear the tents.  The next day, protestors put them up again in violation of campus rules and defiantly declared their intent to defend the encampment until their demands were met.  At that point, sadly, feckless Auraria administrators backed down and agreed to negotiate with the protestors.

Negotiate?  This lawless rabble has no standing to negotiate, and administrators are foolish dupes for participating in this charade.  It’s like negotiating with squatters who have occupied your home.  Some of the protestors aren’t even Auraria students. Many at similar protests nationwide are paid outside agitators.  For them this is guerilla theater, creating chaos and bringing attention to their cause, and they’ll draw it out for as long as they can.  They love doing this stuff.  To end it, how’s this?  The negotiation is over, here are the terms of your surrender: If you’re not gone by tomorrow, all who are students will be expelled; outside agitators will face arrest for trespassing.

Student protestors have no standing to make “demands” about anything.  They don’t have an ownership share of the school, administer it, or speak for the student body.  At best they may make suggestions.  They’re just education customers who are free to take their business elsewhere if they don’t like a school’s policies.

And there’s no First Amendment protection for these protestors.  Freedom of speech or expression doesn’t cover trespassing, vandalism, rioting, harassing Jewish students, or violating school rules.  When protestors chant “death to Israel,” “death to America,” or “we are Hamas” it’s clear where their loyalty lies — and where it doesn’t.  Hamas and Palestinians who support Hamas are enemies of Israel, the United States, and Jews in general, whom radical Hamas Islamists pledge to exterminate worldwide.  Hamas’s Oct 7 invasion of Israel and massacre of civilians was an act of war.  Israel’s counterattack is justified, and civilian casualties are unavoidable since Hamas uses them as human shields.  Palestinians who support Hamas and cheered the Oct 7 carnage are now reaping the consequences.

As for well-intentioned students among those protesting, they’re mostly idealistic, naïve, youngsters who lack wisdom that comes with experience, maturity and understanding of other viewpoints.  They’re not all stupid.  Some have high IQs.  But they’re impressionable and have been indoctrinated by leftist educators from grade school through college.  Standing up to this is difficult at their age given peer pressure and the practicality of regurgitating the propaganda their instructors have implanted and will reward on test questions and term papers.

Young leftist students are passionately drawn to political protests.  It gives the them a sense of empowerment, meaning and purpose.  For fun on an autumn Saturday, conservative students flock to the campus stadium to root for their football team and quaff a few brews.  For the lefty kids, camping out overnight at a protest with fellow travelers discussing Marxist revolution is their idea of fun.  As a bonus, this season’s anti-Israel sleepover features an official costume: a genuine Palestinian keffiyeh, you can get yours online from Amazon for only fifteen bucks.  A mask, so you don’t get expelled later, is extra.

Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for


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