Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, who recently spoke at several American universities, reports that "there is more sympathy for Hamas there than there is in Ramallah." He encountered a barrage of hate from small groups of non-Arab, non-Muslim extremists.
"I never imagined that I would need police protection while speaking at a university in the U.S. I have been on many Palestinian campuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and I cannot recall one case where I felt intimidated or where someone shouted abuse at me.
Ironically, many of the Arabs and Muslims I met on the campuses were much more understanding and even welcomed my 'even-handed analysis' of the Israeli-Arab conflict."
Why should this be so? In his view:
"What is happening on the U.S. campuses is not about supporting the Palestinians as much as it is about promoting hatred for the Jewish state. It is not really about ending the 'occupation' as much as it is about ending the existence of Israel."
This, folks, is a really dangerous state of affairs, whether you're a supporter of Israel or not. Thugs should never be allowed to dominate academic settings - or anywhere else, for that matter. (Thanks to Melanie Phillips.)