Why is the pro-Palestinian encampment craze sweeping our colleges?

Campus fads come and go, but we’ve come a long way from swallowing goldfish, stuffing as many people as possible into phone booths, and the ever-popular drinking until you pass out. The latest craze among college kids is, as Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.) indelibly put it, “living in a pup tent for Hamas.” No sooner do cops clear out one encampment than another one springs up, and it looks as if they’re going to be with us for the rest of this semester and may even be revived once the universities reconvene next fall. This is, however, not even close to being a spontaneous phenomenon. The groundwork for what we’re seeing now has been laid for years.

Not only is it not spontaneous, it’s clearly orchestrated from outside the colleges and universities where the encampments have sprung up. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has acknowledged that “professionals” were involved in the Columbia University encampment. Another sign that this isn’t exactly a grass-roots movement is the fact that a large number of the pro-Hamas protesters have identical tents. Which well-heeled leftist bought them? We don’t know and may never know, but someone certainly appears to have done some buying in bulk.

Still, the movement needed foot soldiers. The cadres had to be recruited and indoctrinated. That has been the work of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the professional organization of Middle East Studies professors at colleges and universities nationwide.

MESA, whose members dominate the Middle East Studies faculties of most colleges and universities in the United States, says that it is “a non-profit association that fosters the study of the Middle East, promotes high standards of scholarship and teaching, and encourages public understanding of the region and its peoples through programs, publications and services that enhance education, further intellectual exchange, recognize professional distinction, and defend academic freedom.” That strikes all the right notes, but as you likely suspect, the reality is not so noble and high-minded. MESA is a far-left, pro-jihad activist organization that is dedicated to providing an academic sheen to Marxist agitprop and Palestinian jihad propaganda.

To see what MESA busies itself with doing, scan the 25 items that are currently on the front page of the news section of the MESA website. Two stories are pinned to the top of the page; one of them is actually on the side of genuine justice and human rights, decrying the Iranian Islamic regime’s dismissal of professors who supported the recent Woman, Life, Freedom protests in Iran.

The other pinned story, however, is entitled “Campus Climate Resources,” which gives the initial impression that it’s propaganda about the myth of human-caused climate change; it’s actually about the “climate” on campus regarding support for the Palestinian jihad against Israel. MESA here offers an assortment of links to this article denouncing the alleged “repression of protest on campuses,” the alleged “targeting of Palestinian students in Israeli universities,” and the like.

Read more.


Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is the author of nineteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI, the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the Justice Department’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council and the U.S. intelligence community.


Hoodie-wearing Democrat senator tells Biden ‘not to pander’ to pro-Palestine protesters

Securing America – Is the Biden administration preventing Israel’s success against Hamas?

The “enemy within” includes the CCP

RELATED VIDEO: Police update after shots fired overnight at Jewish elementary school


EDITORS NOTE: This Center for Security Policy column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *