Opinion: DePaul University should censure “morally justified” hate against Palestinians
Genocidal rantings against an entire people are not confined to dark corners of the internet or Twitter profile bios of trolls hiding behind anonymity and their computer screens. Indeed, they have emerged from the classroom of a prominent Chicago university professor.
In an article published in The Federalist on April 16, DePaul University philosophy professor Jason Hill attempts to justify, and indeed propose, the annihilation of the Palestinian people.
Hill’s article , “The Moral Case For Israel Annexing The West Bank—And Beyond” is not your average Pro-Israel propaganda piece. Rather than simply spouting the usual Zionist talking points, such as “We won the war,” or “Palestinians have never existed.” Hill, however, acknowledges the existence of the Palestinian people by default, but essentially declares them to be brutish, morally inferior beings whose lack of values and civilizational value render them worthy of decimation.
Hill’s claim that “Jewish exceptionalism” naturally entails that Jewish civilization be provided an “unconditional space for [its] continued evolution” implies that by default, Palestinian (which is both Muslim and Christian) civilization is thereby unworthy not only of preservation, but of existence. Anything in the interest of what he calls Jewish civilization therefore good for all of humanity, even if that good entails the systemic oppression and vanquishing of people based on their race, nationality, ethnicity or faith. In his opinion, “Jewish civilization is an international treasure trove that must be protected,” regardless of at whose expense such protection comes.
Notwithstanding the numerous factual inaccuracies including that Jordan is the “political homeland” for Palestinians, characterizing the 1967 war as “defensive,” and that Gaza was “relinquished,” his worldview alone should shock the conscience of any reader.
One of the most repugnant and frightening assertions Professor Jason Hill outlines in his piece is his validation of Israeli settler colonialism as morally justified. He frames any “concession” that Israel has made to the indigenous inhabitants of the land as “altruistic.” Genocide, colonialism and the complete erasure of a people’s roots in their own land being peddled as altruism and morally tenable is an abominable affront to reason, morality and basic human decency.
Hill spouts the dangerous and lethal, not to mention counterfactual rhetoric of the “clash of civilizations,” claiming that “not all cultures are indeed equal. Some are abysmally inferior and regressive based on their comprehensive philosophy and fundamental principles—or lack thereof—that guide or fail to protect the inalienable rights of their citizens.” It is unclear what “culture” and “fundamental principles” he is referring to, seeing as Palestinians represent a spectrum of beliefs and values, both culturally and religiously. Regardless, his flawed judgment, racial, and religious prejudice reek of the type of social Darwinism used to justify systems of imperialism, racism and tyrannical militarism. Hill states, “continued militarization of Israel comprises protracted support of our political and moral alter-ego in the Middle East.” In some twisted way, Hill deems calling a hyper-militarized, settler colonial state the “moral alter-ego” of the United States a compliment. Although accurate, it is certainly not a compliment and nothing for any nation to aspire to.
Finally, Hill erroneously conflates anti-semitism and anti-Zionism. He believes the only solution for dealing with “anti-Semitics [sic] devoted to the destruction of Israel into the domain of Jewish civilization” is “a policy of radical containment or expulsion.” However, Palestinians, just by existing in their own land, as the indigenous inhabitants of that land, do not seek to destroy Jewish civilization because they demand equal rights and the dismantling of an apartheid system. Palestinians do not constitute a threat to Israel because “a core feature of their identity is a commitment to destroying Israel as a Jewish state.” Rather, Hill does not acknowledge the truth: that Palestinians constitute a threat to Israel in its current form because they aspire to a higher level of morality, one that recognizes the value of every human being as worthy of equal treatment under the law, regardless of their race, nationality, ethnicity or faith.
During a time when a Muslim member of Congress, Ilhan Omar, dares to point out hypocrisy in American foreign policy with regard to Israel, being met with death threats for speaking truth to power, a professor at a reputable Chicago institution should not be given a free pass to spread his brand of “morally justified” hate against an entire people. Such bigotry must end.