On October 7, the Hamas terrorist organization committed the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Nazi Holocaust. More than 1,400 people in southern Israel were butchered, the vast majority of whom were civilians. Babies were burned alive, shot in the head, and beheaded. The Hamas terrorists gleefully filmed their acts of barbarism and posted the videos online.
Throughout the world, antisemites rejoiced. On the streets of New York, London, and Sydney, celebrations were held for the mass murder of innocents and calls have been consistently made since then for the genocide of the Jewish people. Sometimes it's "gas the Jews." Other times it's "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." It all has the same meaning: dead Jews.
So of course many of the leading antisemites are trying to gaslight (or should I say "gazalight") the Jews and all other decent people by claiming they really mean something nicer when they chant slogans that have only one meaning, which is not very nice at all.
Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, perhaps the leading antisemite in the US Congress, insists that "From the river to the sea" is merely "an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence" and not a call for the destruction of the State of Israel and its Jewish citizens.
The phrase was prominently featured in a video Tlaib posted to X attacking US President Joe Biden for standing with Israel in the aftermath of the Hamas massacre, along with the chant "No peace on stolen land."
Tlaib may claim that "From the river to the sea" is merely a call or peace and equality, but her own actions prove that peace and equality are the last things she wants.
Tlaib has refused to condemn Hamas in the month since the massacre. She has continued to spread the blood libel that Israel was behind the bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza even after it was conclusively proven that the explosion in the hospital parking lot was an Islamic Jihad rocket that misfired, while accusing both the Israeli and American governments of lying about it to cover up Israel's guilt. These lies fan the flames of anti-Jewish violence around the world.
In 2019, a Jewish resident of Michigan asked Tlaib after hearing her speak about coexistence: "So would that be a right for Israel to exist?" Her response to being asked if Israel has the right to exist was to get angry. "Do they pay you guys? Do you work for Netanyahu?" she demanded, as if the issue of Israel's right to exist was merely a right-wing talking point.
When pressed on if "the Jews would have a state that they felt safe in," she flat out said "no," because in her opinion, the existence of a Jewish State meant her grandmother could not achieve equality.
So yes, when Rashida Tlaib says "From the river to the sea,'" she means "destroy Israel."
The phrase was also defended by CUNY Professor and Al Jazeera host Marc Lamont Hill, who brought "From the river to the sea" to global prominence when he uttered those words in a speech to the United Nations in 2018, an act which got him fired from CNN the next day.
"When I say, 'Free Palestine from river to the sea,' I wasn't echoing the Hamas charter. When you go to any 'Free Palestine' rally, when you go to a Palestinian rights rally, you're going to hear 'From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,' ... these aren't calls to kill Jews. These are calls for Palestine and Palestinians to have freedom, safety, dignity and self-determination in all areas of historic Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea," Hill claimed last week.
Left unsaid is why use a phrase associated with Hamas and its genocidal intentions in the first place? Would he also say that it was ok to chant Ku Klux Klan slogans on the grounds that the chanter had a different meaning in mind than the KKK does?
Between Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and the nation which does the most to protect the civilians on the side of its enemies during wartime, and Hamas, a genocidal terrorist organization which beheads babies, throws gays off rooftops, and is dedicated to the eradication of the Jewish people, Hill sides with Hamas.
On Briahna Joy Gray's "Bad Faith" podcast, Hill said that the media should not treat Hamas as terrorists, saying: "And it's part of a broader project, I think, of framing Hamas not as a government organization – even if you think that what happened on October 7 was an act of terrorism – by framing them as a terrorist organization rather than a government, rather than a democratically-elected government and/or political party, it makes it easy to avoid political and diplomatic solutions."
In 2014, Hill lamented the existence of the Iron Dome system, a purely defensive system which saves Israeli lives by shooting rockets launched at civilian areas out of the air, because it "takes away Hamas' military leverage." He opposes any form Israeli self-defense and any effort to keep Hamas from murdering Jewish children, putting the lie to the weak, token condemnations of the October 7 massacre he makes so that he can he can condemn Israel for not agreeing to commit suicide and allowing all of its citizens to be brutally murdered.
Hill has even endorsed violence against Israel. During his hate-filled speech to the UN in 2018, he said that the international community cannot "fetishize non-violence" when it comes to the Palestinian Arabs.
Often, the atrocities an antisemite wants to inflict on the State of Israel are mirrored in the accusations they level at the Jewish State. The thousands who scream at rallies around the world that Israel is committing genocide themselves chant genocidal slogans and openly declare their desire to wipe out the Jewish people. Rashida Tlaib also accuses Israel of genocide and amplifies the demonstrators who call for genocide. She refuses to condemn Hamas' deliberate slaughter of women and children for the sole reason that they were Jewish and gets angry when asked if Israel has the right to exist. Does she seek genocide against the Jewish people in Israel? It sure looks that way.
Marc Lamont Hill loves to accuse Israel of Apartheid and ethnic cleansing. In a rally in Philadelphia in the aftermath of the Hamas massacre, Hill screamed that there "will be no peace until there is justice." What is justice to him? In his own words: "Justice looks will be no more settlements, justice means getting rid of the current settlements." The most charitable interpretation is that he means removing every last Jewish man, woman, and child from Judea and Samaria, as well as Jerusalem. Funny how this opponent of ethnic cleansing is demanding the cleansing of an entire ethnicity from a region. A less charitable and more likely reading is that he means cleansing the land of Israel of the Jews, given his statement that "for 100 years, there's been a settler-colonial project," opposing the Jewish immigration to Israel in the decades before the establishment of the state.
"Tonight we demand that no more Palestinian children are killed," he yelled. No demand has been heard from him that no more Jewish children be killed, nor will there be.
Because to them, if you demand that no more Jewish children be killed, you are not just part of the problem, YOU are the problem. If you are a Jewish person and demand the right to send your children to school or go to synagogue without fear, the right to simply live without being shot, stabbed, blown up, or burned in an oven, YOU are the problem.
Don't notice the crowds chanting "gas the Jews" in Sydney. Don't pay attention to the crowds chanting "Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahud," a threat to repeat the massacre of an entire Jewish city by Mohammed.
Jewish students are trapped in a college library by rabid anti-Israel protestors? It was just a peaceful protest, don't overreact. Jewish students are assaulted at Harvard and the University of Massachusetts? They had it coming for being Zionists. People are tearing down posters of children who were kidnapped by Hamas? They can't help themselves because they care so much about the innocent people of Gaza, and it's the Zionists' fault for provoking them in the first place.
Mobs storm airports in Russia looking for Jews to lynch? The protest just got out of hand. A woman rammed her car into a Black Hebrew Israelite building hoping to kill Jewish children? What do you care since she chose the wrong target? An elderly Jewish man was murdered by an anti-Israel activist in Los Angeles? Nothing to see here.
Hamas committed an act of mass murder against the civilian population of a specific ethnic group with the explicit goal and intention of reducing the population of that ethnicity as close to zero as possible. That is the textbook definition of genocide.
People like Rashida Tlaib, Marc Lamont Hill, Ilhan Omar, Roger Waters, and so many more want the Jews to ignore that, to let Hamas off the hook so they can do it again. No matter how much they may say they oppose violence, they do not care how many Jewish children have to die to achieve their goal of a "Free Palestine from the river to the sea," whether those children live in Israel or in the Diaspora.
They are gaslighting us that the crowds that chant "From the river to the sea," "We don't want two states, we want 48," and "Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahud," are not chanting for the same things as the people who chanted "gas the Jews." They are gaslighting us that the supporters of Hamas and its genocidal aspirations are just passionate for justice. They are gaslighting us that the explosion of antisemitism around the world over the last month doesn't exist.
"Free Palestine from the river to the sea" has only ever meant one thing – dead Jews. They know this, and still they demand it.
80 years ago they gassed us to death in the millions. Now they gaslight us so that those who want to gas the Jews in 2023 can get their wish.