According to the Miami Herald, in 2015 Florida International University (FIU) was ranked #14 in the nation with the amount of attending Jewish-American students (3,500) it had enrolled. But now some of those students, who signed up to take Professor Ronald Morales’s “Terrorism and Homeland Security” course are saying that the last thing they expected was to be subjected to reading anti-Semitic propaganda as part of their education.
This course is required for students seeking a Criminal Justice degree.
Several of Professor Morales’s students reached out to The Floridian last week to inform us about their assignment that asked them to “discuss the Zionist terrorist organizations that have existed in Israel.”
“Discuss the Zionist terrorist organizations that have existed in Israel. Looking at some of the prominent Middle Eastern terrorist groups discussed in this chapter, what are some of the techniques used by terrorist organizations to increase recognition, support, and power? What external forces discussed in previous chapters multiplied the strength of these terrorist organizations? Do you think it is possible to bring religious extremism to an end?”
Fair enough question, right?
The problem lies in the textbook the university has authorized Morales to use for instruction, and what students are taking away from the reading.
The level of anti-Semitic thought being espoused by students is alarming and it appears as if the assignment has spurred on this hateful rhetoric.
“The policies of Zionist is generally to turn Jewry in to (sic) a nation, where the emphasis is not only based on the race but the biblical myth of the promise and the territorial sense of the land,” stated one of Morales’ students.
Another student stated, “I can’t say they have succeeded at all but imposing fear, committing attacks in the name of religion is a tactic as well as showing the world the atrocities they commit,” while another echoed the narrative that Israel was instilling fear into Palestinians with their “use the media as a way to broadcast their attacks, which would instill constant fear in the citizens.”
In the textbook —“Terrorism and Homeland Security, 9th Edition” by Jonathan R. White— Israel appears to be depicted for all intents and purposes as “The Little Satan,” while Islamic terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are described as “health, social welfare, and education” organizations that only have a military wing to “resist” Israeli Defense Forces, or the IDF.
Breaking Down the Text
In Chapter 9 of the textbook, the focus is on Terrorism in Israel and Palestine and includes plenty of information on Hamas and Hezbollah, but the author appears to defend Palestinian terrorism against Israel.
Israel’s targeting of “alleged terrorists,” whether retaliatory or proactive, is categorized as being part of “Middle Eastern terrorism.”
“In the melee of the 1980s, Middle Eastern terrorism fell into several broad categories, including (1) suicide bombings and other attacks on Israeli and Western positions in Lebanon; (2) various militias fighting other militias in Lebanon; (3) state-sponsored terrorism from Libya, Syria, and Iran; (4) freelance terrorism by high-profile groups; (5) terrorism in support of Arab Palestinians; (6) attacks in Europe against Western targets; and (7) Israeli assassinations of alleged terrorists.“
Here the author appears to defend, justify Palestinian terror attacks against Israel because “Arab conventional forces could not defeat the IDF.”
“If the word terrorism is pejorative around the world, it is even more fraught with emotion when applied to Israel and Palestine. Israelis tend to associate the origin of modern terrorism with the rise of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its leader Yasser Arafat (1929–2004). The conventional narrative is that Palestinians began using terrorist attacks against Israel when it became evident that Arab conventional forces could not defeat the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). ”
Again, the author seems to defend the murdering of “innocent defenseless people” simply because the Palestinian terror groups cannot effectively counter the IDF.
“The PLO was composed of many diverse violent extremists, and it fractured into a variety of Palestinian terrorist groups. Hezbollah became part of the equation after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the IDF’s subsequent treatment of Lebanese Shi’ites. The other dominant terrorist group, Hamas, arose in a rebellion in the late 1980s. Several smaller groups, such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, operate in alliance with the two dominant groups. All groups murder innocent defenseless people because they are not strong enough to fight Israel’s military.”
Here the author seems to conveniently leave out the anti-Israel terrorism carried out by Palestinians starting in 1920, with other attacks against Jews in 1929 and during the 1036-39 Arab revolt.
“Move to the other side of the argument, and the logic is quite different. Terrorism did not originate with Palestinians; it began with two Zionist organizations in the 1930s—the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the more militant Stern Gang. The future Israelis abandoned terrorism only when they turned to conventional fighting in Israel’s War of Independence (1948–1949). From this perspective, Israelis use terrorism as a tool for repression. Proponents of this argument point to Israel’s everyday treatment of Palestinians and the massive casualties inflicted by the better armed IDF.”
What’s worse and simply unbelievable is the text that states that the “main focus” of Hamas and Hezbollah is “health, social welfare, and education.” According to a 2017 BBC “Profile” of the terror group, “Hamas as a whole, or in some cases its military wing, is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the US, EU, and UK, as well as other powers.”
The post outlines that “under its charter,” Hamas continues to be “committed to the destruction of Israel,” but still completely committed to the betterment (health, social welfare, and education) of the Palestinian people.
“Organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah have military wings to resist the IDF, but their main focus is health, social welfare, and education. Israel’s continued expansion into Palestinian territories is made possible by the IDF.”
As the chapter concludes, the author regurgitates almost the same consistent rhetoric that accused anti-Semitic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D) and Rashida Tlaib (D) have used in the past to describe Israel, stating that “Palestinian poverty and Israel’s violations of human rights will continue to create political unrest” and that “Arabs are treated as second-class citizens.”
“In hiding the cruel reality of the occupation from us,” said Rep. Ilhan after she was banned from entering Israel. “Occupation is real, hiding it won’t make it go away.”
Rep. Tlaib, in a press release put out by Ilhan’s legislative office after the two House members along with several others, introduced the Israeli Annexation Non-Recognition Act” in 2020:
“Our tax dollars – which we ought to prioritize to fund health care or replace lead water pipes – should not be used to perpetuate and entrench human rights violations in Palestine, including limitations on freedom of movement, further expansion of illegal land theft, home demolitions, and cutting off access to critical resources like clean water. I am proud today to join with Rep. McCollum to say clearly: enough is enough. Whether within our own borders or abroad, we will no longer accept that our national budget be spent on human rights violations. We must make prioritized investments that promote health and social justice for all instead.”
Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R), who also teaches a political science course at the university’s main campus, has been an outspoken defender of Israel and in the past has called out Rep. Tlaib’s anti-semitic remarks in the past.
Israel’s Controversial Tactics
The “controversial tactics” used by Israel against Palestinians that have been called acts are terrorism, have also been posted. Note in the screen-captured below how the tactics are worded, and how the U.S. is painted as an Israeli apologist and defender.
The U.S. Department of State, lists its definitions of antisemitism, including the following two points:
- Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
Neither Professor Morales nor FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg could be reached for comment. FIU’s media relations department responded to our initial inquiry but has not responded to our request for comment even though administration officials were said to be working on the matter. School officials were given 6 hours to respond to our request.
The Floridian also reached out to two prominent Democratic Jewish-American leaders, Rep. Ted Deutch, and former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, for comment about the anti-Semitic language being used at FIU, but have not heard back from either of them.
Mucarsel-Powell worked as the Director of Development at Florida International University, where he also became the Associate Vice President for Advancement at FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and an Associate Dean at the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.