University Of Manitoba Student Newspaper Editor Claims Hamas Attack A Response To “Israeli Settler Colonialism”

October 22, 2023

Post-secondary institutions are meant to be places where minds are challenged to think differently, and to develop critical thought, and campus newspapers, as the grassroots voice of students, are an extension of that goal.

But sometimes, campus newspapers help not to open minds to new information, but to spoonfeed them hateful disinformation.

In an October 17 column published in The Manitoban entitled: “Destruction of Gaza forecasted in film,” the student newspaper of the University of Manitoba, author Jessie Krahn, who serves as the newspaper’s editor, tackled the recent surge in violence between Israel and Hamas, prompted by the Islamist terrorist group’s October 7 terror attack on southern Israel, which was the largest massacre of Jewish since the Holocaust.

Describing Hamas as a “militant group,” Krahn wrote that its fighters “launched an attack that killed at least 1,400 people in Israel,” failing to inform readers that the victims were overwhelmingly innocent Israeli civilians massacred while at a music festival, or at home, or driving down the street.

But rather than identifying the bloodthirsty massacre as a horrific crime against humanity which spurred on subsequent violence, Krahn took the opportunity to provide a moral equivalence between Hamas, a genocidal terrorist group, and Israel.

“Nobody paying attention was surprised by this tragedy. The attack was in response to decades of what academic Ilan Pappé outlines as Israeli settler colonialism. Israel has continually annexed land, displaced Palestinians and destroyed their ways of life,” Krahn wrote.

The absurd claim of “Israeli settler colonialism,” despite it being repeated ad nauseum by anti-Israel detractors, is a farcical statement.

Colonialism is when a foreign power invades a land in order to dominate it for economic or other means. Israel is not a foreign power to the land it possesses; it is the culmination of three thousand years of habitation in the Jewish People’s historic and ancestral homeland. To blithely dismiss three millennia of history in favour of a narrow ideological agenda is not only ignorant, but supremely anti-intellectual.

Ultimately, when groundless propaganda accusing Israel of being a colonial enterprise is adopted, it inevitably leads to such moral blindness as articulated by Krahn, claiming that the massacre of 1,400 innocent people was a natural “response” to Israeli government policies.

There should be no doubt that Hamas, as a demonic terrorist group which gleefully recorded its torture and murder of countless innocent Israelis, seeks to destroy the Jewish State through violent means. This is not a matter of debate or speculation; those goals are set out in the group’s founding charter.

The very presence of Jews living anywhere in their ancestral homeland is clearly such a trigger for Hamas that it will never stop in its quest to murder as many Jews as possible in their land.

Additionally, there is no policy change that Israel can make that would assuage Hamas’ brutality or its bloodthirstiness, and any assertion that if only Israel ceased certain actions, Hamas would lay down its weapons is a flight of fantasy.

In her column, Krahn brazenly and without any evidence whatsoever, claimed that Israel is preparing to undertake a “genocidal project” against the Palestinians, doing “something evil in response to evil,” refusing to acknowledge the difference between the intentional targeting and murder of civilians, as Hamas has repeatedly done, and Israel’s actions, which – as imperfect as they may be – target Hamas fighters and facilities, and do not target innocent Palestinian civilians.

In another column published on October 17 entitled: “The casting of moral stones,” author Kyra Campbell took issue with the depiction of Hamas’ murderous terrorist attack as “unprovoked,” repeating the terror group’s claims that it was merely a “response to the wider oppression of the Palestinian people.”

It is simply unconscionably immoral to draw a comparison between an organization that willingly and enthusiastically rapes, tortures and murders innocent people – and then proceeds to blame the victims for its inhuman actions – and a liberal democratic state, Israel, which despite its many imperfections, has never targeted innocent Palestinians to brutally murder.

In fact, Hamas’ gross misuse of international aid resources and its redirecting of them to fund its terror efforts, its widespread use of Palestinians as human shields, its grotesque kidnapping of 200 civilians from Israel, and its forcible preventing of Palestinians from finding safety, demonstrate unequivocally that it is Hamas which bears ultimate responsibility, not only for its attack on Israel, but for the suffering and death it is willingly imposing on its own people in Gaza.

Another article in The Manitoban, “‘No one really understands unless you’ve lived through it:’ Student group holds memorial for Palestinians killed in conflict,” author Colton McKillop reported on a pro-Palestinian rally held on campus, but provided a one-sided view of Hamas’ war on Israel. Describing Hamas as a ‘militant group,” McKillop wrote that Israel “has continued to construct illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land,” totally ignoring Israel’s extensive legal and historical rights. While McKillop is free to report on a student rally if he so wishes, given the extent of anti-Israel disinformation, he missed a critical opportunity to provide factual information to his readers.

This is not the first time The Manitoban has published extensive anti-Israel content. Earlier in 2023, the newspaper gave extensive coverage to an anti-Israel hate fest which took place on campus, where its writers mindlessly echoed tired anti-Israel tropes.

It is not thoughtful to assert that Hamas and Israel are somehow moral equals. They are not, and to suggest that they are is self-delusion and intellectual laziness at best, and sympathy for Islamist terrorism at worst. Either way, such illiterate gibberish has no place in the pages of a student newspaper at the University of Manitoba.

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