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U. Maryland Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: A case study in ‘Jew hatred’


WGSS: ‘The current escalation must be viewed in the context of decades of illegal Israeli military occupation and systemic violent campaigns.’

By Sara Dogan, Front Page Magazine

Editor’s note: Since the barbaric Hamas attacks against Israel on October 7th, American universities have become an undeniable locus of Jew hatred within our nation. Much attention has deservedly been paid to the radical campus groups like Students for Justice in Palestine who call for the genocide of the Jews and cheer the terrorists of Hamas. What has received less attention—but should in fact rank as the universities’ worst offense—is the Jew hatred promoted by official departments and institutes of the universities themselves. In the case of our campuses, Jew hatred is “the call coming from inside the house.”

The Freedom Center’s is exposing these academic institutes and programs as “The Top Ten Jew-Hating Academic Departments” in a new report. We will be publishing one school per day as a series on Frontpage. The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is #8 on our list.

The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) at the University of Maryland has repeatedly promoted Jew hatred and demonstrated its disdain for academic neutrality by using official university channels to demonize Israel, condone Hamas terrorism, and delegitimize the world’s only Jewish state.

On October 13, just six days after Hamas’s barbaric attack that killed over 1200 innocent Israeli civilians in the most brutal ways imaginable, WGSS posted a statement on the official department website concerning “violence in Gaza and Israel.” The statement was attributed to the National Women’s Studies Association and was reproduced in full on the Maryland WGSS departmental page as an obvious show of solidarity and agreement with its precepts.

Instead of condemning Hamas for its brutal and unprovoked attack on Israeli civilians or excoriating their use of rape as a weapon of war, the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department attempted to whitewash the terrorist group’s action, urging that “The current escalation must be viewed in the context of decades of illegal Israeli military occupation and systemic violent campaigns.”

Using anti-Semitic language which demonized and delegitimized Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, the statement went on to condemn “the ongoing and persistent U.S. government’s support for Israel’s apartheid regime” and to characterize the Palestinians and Hamas as exemplars of “liberation and resistance movements led by other indigenous, colonized, and oppressed peoples everywhere.”

Lending a note of irony, the statement claimed that “As feminists, we recognize that violence and war often inflict gendered and sexualized harms on women and queer, trans and non-binary people.” It is clear from the context of the statement, that its authors believe such “sexualized harms” to stem from the actions of Israel, a laughable claim given that Hamas forces literally raped and mutilated women and children on video during the October 7th massacre and punish homosexuality in Gaza with death.

The statement also vowed its support for the genocidal and Hamas-directed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel: “Today, we reaffirm our unwavering support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolution, which NWSA passed in 2015.”

Not content to let this tribute to Jew hatred stand on its own, approximately a week later, WGSS posted a second statement on the official department website “in solidarity with the people of Gaza.” The statement was attributed to the executive committee of the American Studies Association.

Making absolutely no mention of Hamas’s unprovoked atrocities on innocent Jews at a music festival and elsewhere in Israel, the statement instead alludes only to “the escalation of violence in Palestine and Israel” as if Hamas—which controls Gaza—was not the sole instigator of the recent barbarity. It goes on to explain that the organization “continues to stand with the Palestinian people and their ongoing struggle for liberation” and to offer “support [to] those who speak out against the intensifying onslaught on Gaza, whose destruction has killed nearly four thousand Gazan residents and displaced hundreds of thousands more.” Instead of condemning Hamas’s brutal terrorism and violence to civilians, the statement urges the “need to situate today’s events in a historical, political and regional understanding.”

Rather than demanding that Hamas immediately cease its genocidal war on Israel and the Jews—an objective stated plainly in the Hamas charter—the statement instead called for “an immediate ceasefire and release of humanitarian aid to Gaza” as well as for “the US to end support of Israeli apartheid and work toward negotiations.”

Such language demonizing Israel—the only liberal democracy in the Middle East which counts millions of Arabs as full citizens—constitutes blatant anti-Semitism. It has no place on the website of an official university department. Moreover, demanding an Israeli ceasefire while Hamas continued to hold over 100 innocent Israeli and other civilians as hostages, just weeks after the worst terrorist attack in Israeli history, is tantamount to asking Israel to surrender to Hamas, their genocidal enemies.

Just in case the promotion of terrorist violence was not clear enough in the rest of the statement, the last paragraph goes on to valorize Fatima Bernawi who is described as “the first female Palestinian imprisoned by the Israeli army” and an “Afro-Palestinian of Nigerian descent” who “served 10 years in Israeli prisons.” What this description leaves out is that Barnawi was arrested along with other terrorists after she attempted to bomb the Zion Cinema in downtown Jerusalem in October 1967, an attack that could easily have been fatal if the explosive was not discovered in time. “The Palestinian struggle is also the struggle for global Black solidarity in our collective liberation,” explains the statement, choosing to overlook Barnawi’s attempted homicide in favor of highlighting her role in the Marxist struggle against the Israeli oppressors.

For its blatantly anti-Semitic characterization of Israel and whitewashing of Hamas’s barbarism, the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Maryland deserves its place among the worst Jew-hating academic departments.

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