Nearly two weeks ago, Hamas terror squads murdered more than 1,400 people in a premeditated rampage directed mainly against civilians. Indisputable evidence shows that there was no strategic goal to this attack. Literature published by Hamas, photos, and videos distributed by this barbaric sinister organization, highlight, without any shame, the desire to kill as many human beings as possible. While Jews were the intended target, the savage hoard also killed Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. While Israeli blood was sought, these cowards indiscriminately murdered and abducted civilians from 17 nations. Currently, they hold more than 200 hostages including children, women, and the elderly. In contempt of International Law, Hamas refuses to allow the Red Cross to assess the condition of these hostages.

The reaction of most of the civilized world was one of shock and outrage. Pictures of victims with heads removed, of babies riddled with bullets and soaked in their own blood, of families burned alive in their homes make the strongest of people sick to their stomachs. At the outset, even the liberal media contritely reported on Hamas’ atrocities. However, the far Left, especially at elite campuses and in the halls of Congress, cannot admit that their heroes are nothing more than psychopathic murderers and that Hamas leaders epitomize evil. Stories demonizing Israel and justifying the Hamas massacre quickly circulated. Pro-Hamas rallies with gleeful dancing, calls for more violence, threats against Jews and cries of 700 (glorifying the killing of what was then thought to be 700 Jews) were seen in the news. Presidents of Columbia University, NYU, UC Berkeley, Harvard, and Stanford, and other elite campuses remained silent or published equivocal statements. They refused to prevent Pro-Hamas students from spewing their lies. Where is their leadership? Where is their moral courage?

In 1987, political philosopher Allan Bloom published a seminal book titled The Closing of the American Mind, which spoke about how higher education had failed both democracy and its students. This controversial perspective has been widely debated and has its critics and supporters. I have spent my entire life in academia. I loved and was devoted to higher learning and to my students. However, I know very well the perspectives and prejudices of some of my colleagues, their intrinsic dislike of limits and authority. Some at my college were capitalists, others were socialists, others communists, and a few were anarchists. Diverse opinions are tolerated in the academy. Debate, challenging norms, and the championing of marginalized groups is accepted, even glorified. Bloom’s perspective that a lack of standards and the tolerance of violent student protests without boundaries have weakened the Academy and allowed radical views to rule American campuses is evident today. Free speech and academic freedom are the Holy Grail of Academia and the Left and Right use these dogmas to further their agendas. However, the pro-Palestinian forces and their faculty mentors, in their intrinsic hatred of a Jewish state, and often of Jews themselves, have lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong. Arguing for a Palestinian state, arguing against Israeli policy, and demonstrating for what you believe may be rationalized. However, cold-blooded murder against defenseless civilians is evil, and justifying, rationalizing, or being “exhilarated” by it is inhuman. Those academics and administrators who allow Pro-Hamas groups to express their views from the perspective of academic freedom corrupt the meaning of academic freedom and freedom of expression. They must be condemned and held responsible. Silence is not an option.



It is no coincidence that last Shabbos we read the story of Noah’s Ark. This eternal narrative has captivated humankind for millennia and provides Divine guidance for the future. In the beginning of the story, Noah is told that the World is to be destroyed “ki mal’ah ha’aretz chamas–because the Earth is filled with chamas.” There are many interpretations of chamas. Of these, the correlation of chamas with corruption seems most fitting. G-d destroyed the world because its inhabitants treated each other corruptly with no respect for human life. Once chamas is obliterated totally, the world can be rebuilt.

Let us pray that Israel, with the assistance of G-d, can destroy the heinous forces of Hamas, and that we will be blessed with peace and security in the future.

Dr. Fred Naider lives in Rehovot and was a Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at the City University of New York. He has two grandsons in the IDF.