Article published by the Gatestone Institute, 3 November 2021. © Richard Kemp
‘Free, free Palestine — from the river to the sea.’ I was met, as so often elsewhere, by this ubiquitous chant from the standard issue protesters when I arrived at the University of Essex in the UK to give a talk last week. What river? What sea? I doubt many of them knew. Most of these students are fed such slogans when they are coaxed to come out and demonstrate by the campus rabble-rousers — a little bit of animation to distract from the monotony of student life on an autumn evening.
Their distraction comes at a cost. Not to me: I’ve seen and heard it all many times, often belted out with a bit more gusto and venom. The cost is to the Jewish students on campus who, even if they are not Israeli, are the real targets of Israel Apartheid Weeks and constant agitation against the Jewish state and anyone who supports it. The Jewish students have heard it all before too, but they have to live their lives alongside fellow students and sometimes professors who are demanding an end to the Jewish national homeland.
That is of course the meaning of ‘from the river to the sea’ — tearing down the State of Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state. For those who artfully deny that reality, Hamas, owners of the slogan, again helpfully explained what they intend in chillingly banal detail at a recent conference in Gaza.
The conference of officials, held in September, was entitled ‘Promise of the Hereafter — Post-Liberation Palestine’. In his opening remarks, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said: ‘The full liberation of Palestine from the sea to the river’ is ‘the heart of Hamas’s strategic vision.’ He meant from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, in other words, the entire territory of the State of Israel.
The conspirators plotting the downfall of a democratic UN member state came up with recommendations on laws to be applied in the conquered land, currency, borders with neighbouring states, international relations, confiscation of property and the use of existing resources and infrastructure. (more…)