SPLC Silent as Leftists Celebrate Hamas Terror Against Israel

SPLC Silent as Leftists Celebrate Hamas Terror Against Israel

The Southern Poverty Law Center bills itself as the authority on “hate groups” and extremism, but it has yet to comment on the left-leaning organizations across America that have celebrated Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Jews in Israel this past weekend.

It has remained silent on those attacks, as well.

Hamas terrorists blew through sections of the Gaza-Israel border barrier Saturday, the last day of a Jewish festival and the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. The terrorists slaughtered more than 1,200 Israelis, including about 250 at a music festival, and kidnapped more than 100. The U.S. State Department confirmed Wednesday that about 22 Americans died in the attack. An Israel Defense Forces commander told journalists that soldiers found beheaded babies in the carnage of Hamas terrorists.

Some Americans seemingly celebrated the attack, which Israelis compared to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S. Some chapters of the American group Black Lives Matter have expressed support for Hamas after the attacks. Black Lives Matter Chicago posted an image of a paratrooper with a Palestinian flag captioned “I stand with Palestine.” The image appeared to endorse the Hamas terrorists, who used paragliders to fly into Israel for the attack.

Students for Justice in Palestine, a U.S. pro-Palestinian group that has reportedly harassed Jews on college campuses, has organized a national “day of resistance” for Thursday. The organization’s document does not call for “peaceful protests” and only mentions peace in the context of condemning the Jewish state. “The occupation, the day to day and the existence of Israel is not peaceful; there is no ‘maintaining the peace’ with a violent settler state,” it reads.

The Anti-Defamation League expressed concerns about the Students for Justice in Palestine event. “Although these are all nonviolent tactics, they raise the real possibility of creating a hostile environment for Jewish students, and the confrontational spirit that permeates the toolkit raises the concern that these actions could lead to acts of harassment or vandalism targeting Jewish students and organizations,” the ADL Center on Extremism, an SPLC ally, wrote.

For its part, Hamas issued a “Declaration of General Mobilization” Tuesday, in what an expert warned was an “unambiguous call to arms” for supporters across the world.

“We declare next Friday, ‘The Friday of the Al-Aqsa Flood,’ as a day of general mobilization in our Arab and Islamic world and among the free people of the world,” the statement reads, as translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “We call upon our rebellious youth throughout the West Bank, in its cities, villages, and uprising camps, in the streets and neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and at the squares of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, to rise up, join massive demonstrations, and shake the ground beneath the feet of the Zionist invaders and their settler gangs.”

“It is an unambiguous global call to arms,” Robert Greenway, director of the Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “It will be heeded. There will be blood.” (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

The SPLC maintains a list of 1,225 “hate groups” and “anti-government groups,” seven of which fall into the antisemitism category.

The SPLC did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment about these developments by press time.

Since Saturday, the SPLC has posted on X (formerly Twitter) about National Coming Out Day, Hate Crimes Awareness Month, and Hispanic History Month.

Meanwhile, critics have faulted the SPLC’s education arm, Learning for Justice, for linking to a resource declaring that “contrary to the standard mythology, especially in Israel, Israeli terrorism has been significantly worse than that of the Palestinians.”

Parents Defending Education founder and President Nicki Neily drew attention to that quote after the superintendent of the public schools in Revere, Massachusetts, urged educators to use Learning for Justice’s “Resources for Learning about Israel and Palestine.” Those resources include a Middle East Policy Council page linking to an article written by former political science professor Jerome Slater. Slater repeatedly claims that Israeli “terrorism” has been worse than Hamas’ attacks.

The SPLC did not respond to a request for comment about whether it stands by that “resource.”

The SPLC has long faced accusations that it focuses so much on extremism on the Right that it almost completely ignores extremism on the Left. The SPLC has long ignored Antifa violence and overlooked the harassment of Jewish students at the hands of Students for Justice in Palestine, for example.

As I explain in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC took the program it had used to bankrupt organizations associated with the Ku Klux Klan and weaponized it against conservative groups, partially to scare its donors into ponying up cash and partially to silence ideological opponents.

In 2019, amid a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal that led the SPLC to fire its co-founder, a former employee came forward to call the organization’s “hate” accusations a “highly profitable scam.”

Earlier this year, the SPLC added Parents Defending Education, along with other parental rights groups, such as Moms for Liberty, to its “hate map,” in part because these groups oppose the LGBTQ activism that the SPLC pushes through its Learning for Justice program.

President Joe Biden and his team have hosted SPLC leaders and staff at the White House at least 11 times since Jan. 20, 2021, and Biden nominated an SPLC attorney, Nancy Abudu, to a federal judgeship.

Biden has unequivocally stood with Israel in the attack’s aftermath, though critics have claimed that Biden’s negotiations with Iran—including a $6 billion prisoner swap—emboldened Tehran, which supports and finances Hamas.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.