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“You can say many things about Hamas. But to their immense credit ... they made one thing very clear — there would be no end to the war until Israel promised to lift the siege of Gaza.”

This quote might sound like it was taken from a Muslim Brotherhood website or an extremist publication in the Arab world, but in fact, it was taken from the Facebook page of Penn for Palestine.

The board of Penn for Palestine is right. You can say many things about Hamas, and we would like to highlight a few of those things.

The siege of Gaza was instigated after Hamas’ kidnapping of Israeli Gilad Shalit in 2006, who was held for over five years in captivity in gross violation of international law. They later kidnapped three Jewish teens (one of whom was American) in July , triggering the current conflict.

Hamas has fired more than 11,000 missiles indiscriminately at Israeli civilians since Israel unilaterally handed over control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians in 2005 and almost 4,000 since this past July alone.

During the most recent war this summer, as in past conflicts, Hamas used Gazan civilian infrastructure to shield its military infrastructure, weapons caches and missile firing sites, putting countless innocent Palestinians in harm’s way.

These are among “the many things you can say about Hamas,” but we prefer to let the organization speak for itself. In Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s own words:

“We love death the way our enemies love life!”

That is the nature of this organization, a fundamentalist death cult that would rather see every last Palestinian die than let the nation of Israel live. It might seem that it should go without saying that a group labeled as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government is not worthy of “immense credit,” but as Penn for Palestine has shown, it bears reiterating.

“We love death the way our enemies love life!” It bears reiterating not just to Penn for Palestine, but also to the current Democratic administration. While President Obama and Secretary Kerry did not offer material or rhetorical support for Hamas, they managed to bolster the organization’s spirits and raise its hopes by consistently undermining our ally Israel.

By continually insisting upon using Hamas’ two strongest allies in the region — Turkey and Qatar — as mediators, this Democratic administration led Hamas to believe that its terrorist tactics would result in the realization of their demands. Moreover, it undermined the mediation efforts of our Arab ally Egypt as it attempted to broker a ceasefire and alienated Israelis from all parts of the political spectrum.

By ordering “a review” of weapons shipments to Israel during a lull in the conflict, President Obama attempted to draw a moral equivalency between the sovereign, democratic State of Israel and a terrorist organization. He symbolically called Israel’s efforts at self-defense and its very legitimacy into question. Moreover, he did so in a way that could not have helped any Palestinians — if his concerns were legitimate — because the weapons were ultimately delivered and the “review” took place during a temporary ceasefire.

We, the College Republicans, believe that this weak display of “support” for the only true democracy in the Middle East, and one of our closest allies, is unacceptable for Israel, Palestine or America. Weak support for Israel empowers Hamas, whose rule is to the detriment of both Israelis and Palestinians. It also weakens trust among our allies across the world when our president claims to have Israel’s back and turns his own on Israel in its hour of need.

We, the College Republicans, want to reaffirm our support for our ally, the Jewish democratic State of Israel. We want to reaffirm our support for a two-state solution, predicated not on concessions to terrorists, but on security and mutual trust.

We, the College Republicans, initially wanted to express this sentiment of solidarity with Penn Democrats to show that support for Israel is non-partisan, regardless of your political affiliation or opinions of the president. Unfortunately, our desire for a show of support from Penn Dems was received in the same manner as Israel’s desire for a show of support from President Obama. After weeks of trying to work together with them on a bipartisan letter, Penn Dems ultimately tabled our cooperation this past week.

We, the College Republicans, sincerely hope that this article is the last such piece that needs to be written on Israel. We hope that Democratic leadership, both on campus and in the White House, will return to supporting Israel as they have in the past, and that support for Israel will never again be a partisan issue. Until that time, College Republicans will continue to stand on the side of Israel and work towards a strong, functional U.S.-Israel relationship.

Penn College Republicans strives to promote conservative ideals at Penn and foster a community for conservative students. They can be reached at

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