Letter to the Editor: Jason Hill’s rhetoric is harmful to students at DePaul

Moralizing oppression: A student response to Jason Hill

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Letter to the Editor: Jason Hill’s rhetoric is harmful to students at DePaul

Jason Hill appearing on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show in 2018.

Jason Hill appearing on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show in 2018.

HeresyT | YouTube

Jason Hill appearing on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show in 2018.

HeresyT | YouTube

HeresyT | YouTube

Jason Hill appearing on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show in 2018.

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Editor’s Note: This Letter to the Editor concerning DePaul professor Jason Hill’s article in The Federalist has been printed in full with minimal edits for style, grammar, and clarity. 

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has never been a stranger to controversy, and recently that controversy has come to DePaul through Professor Jason Hill. In his article The Moral Case for Israel Annexing The West Bank – And Beyond, written in The Federalist, Hill presents a rather extreme view. In response to community outrage over his article, DePauls leadership has declined to censure him, and instead encouraged a free exchange of ideals, hence the reason for this article.

One of the major problems with his article is his attitude towards Palestinians. He refers to Palestinians as an inferior culture that is unworthy of the superior Jewish culture. Besides the fact that there are various Jewish cultures, including within Israel, this idea that Palestinians are inherently inferior is ludicrous. The only standard Hill uses is that Palestinians have not created a culture of freedom, liberal principles, and the free market. In reality, the occupation of the West Bank prevents such principles from emerging. As for the idea that one culture is superior to another, this was the same belief as that of the Germans and the Japanese in World War II, and of Europeans during colonization.

Hill uses these racist beliefs to do two things. First he links the idea that Palestinians en masse should be blamed for Hamass and Fatahs terrorism, and treated the same. He then calls for a ruthless and unrelenting war against Hamas, and for Israel to expel the Palestinians to Jordan. He believes that because Israel is fighting terrorism, anything they do is moral. Fatah hasnt committed an act of terrorism in the West Bank for 14 years, and instead has helped the Israelis in achieving the securitythey desire. Israel has waged the types of wars Hill calls for. In each war, Palestinian civilian casualties are always highly disproportionate and often make up the majority of the Palestinians killed. The call for expulsion of Palestinians because of Palestinian militant groups is the same ideology that lead to the Armenian genocide, the Bosnian genocide and other countless tragedies. The idea that fighting terrorism means everything is moral is the same justification China uses to imprison 1.8 million Uyghurs in re-educationcamps.

There is no justification for terrorism, and I will not defend the actions of Hamas. However, Hill’s ignorance on the topic of terrorism should still be addressed, as seen through his comparison of Hamas to other militant groups. First, Hamas is not planning on creating a Caliphate. They are Islamist terrorists, but of a different Islamism than ISIS, as Hamas incorporates Palestinian nationalism in their ideology. Second the idea that ISIS and Hezbollah would ever ally is absurd. The two groups hate each other, and ISIS believes Shia like Hezbollah are worse than Christians and Jews. Hill is using this made up threat in order to give Israel a security justification for its occupation. Israel has been at peace with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt for decades. There is no external threat to Israel’s existence, especially as its main rival, Iran, has galvanized its neighbors around it for its actions in Syria, and sees widespread protests at home. If Israel were to make peace with the Palestinians, it would have security and peace.

Finally, Professor Hill has whitewashed oppression. It’s important to understand that Palestinians in the West Bank have few to no human rights. Israel arbitrarily detains Palestinians, including children, on a daily basis. Israel has seized most of the West Bank’s natural resources, preventing a Palestinian economy. Palestinian civilians have been killed by the Israeli Defense Forces with no consequence. Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian property, destroy mosques and churches and assault Palestinians with impunity. Israel’s actions during wars against Palestinians have seen hospitals, schools, UN shelters and mosques bombed. Yet to Hill these are not problematic, at least, not enough to mention in his article.

Professor Hill claimed he wished to make a moral argument. He failed from start to finish. His principles of demonizing Palestinians as inferior beings who should be blamed en masse for terrorism, and expelled or killed like terrorists, is one of the most immoral things imaginable. He has continued in his ways, calling DePaul students anti-semitic because we oppose his rhetoric. His rhetoric is indeed harmful to Palestinian students at DePaul.

Would Professor Hill like to explain if he thinks Palestinian students like myself at DePaul are inferior? As a Palestinian-American, whose family villages were destroyed in 1948, I have always encouraged peace and understanding between Palestinians and Israelis. Hills comments have no place in dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis, and his morality is shameful.

 


The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of The DePaulia staff.