In the latest of its "advocacy letters" aimed at Israel, the region's sole democracy, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) makes the disingenuous claim that its security forces harass peaceful Palestinian students with "arbitrary arrests." In reality, such operations are anything but arbitrary, given the promotion of terrorism among students and faculty at Gazan and West Bank universities alike. Students groups like Islamic Bloc act as the arm of Hamas, as does Shabiba for Fatah, or the Palestinian Authority.
Campus Watch Fellow A.J. Caschetta calls out MESA, both for its willful blindness towards Palestinian university-based terrorism and its unwarranted criticism of Israel. His article appear at the Tower.
So, who are the innocent students MESA would have us believe were "arbitrarily" arrested, while working diligently toward their degrees? One was twenty-four-year-old Birzeit student Omar Al-Kiswani. His Hamas contacts include Yassin Rabie, who was released from an Israeli prison as part of the 2011 deal in which 1,027 terrorists were traded for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Rabie funneled 150,000 euros ($171,000) to Al-Kiswani to "cover Hamas activities at Birzeit University," according to Shin Bet. Three other Birzeit-Hamas students were arrested in July and August: Issa Shalalda, Omar Ma'soud, and Hazem Hamayel. MESA doesn't mention them.
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