By Daniel Mael
As the Jewish community remained on edge, desperately waiting for the return of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, two J Street U leaders were concerned about their favorite topic- the Jewish presence in the West Bank. On June 29th, 17 days after the boys were kidnapped, former J Street U Brandeis Co-Presidents Eli Philip and Catie Stewart took to the Jewish Daily Forward to describe their recent student initiative between Al-Quds University students and Brandeis University students. They maligned the university president and attempted to downplay radical Islamist rallies on campus that led to Brandeis severing ties with the Palestinian university last December.
The boys were found murdered a day after the article was published.
“Talking about the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is difficult. Seeing it firsthand is harder. Living under it is nearly impossible. We learned this while leading a trip for a group of Brandeis students to Al Quds University in the West Bank this June,” they began, “The purpose of the trip, organized entirely by students, was to open up a channel of dialogue between both universities and to establish ties on a student level.”
Philip and Stewart then documented their experience at a Israeli security checkpoint, which serves to protect Israeli citizens from terrorists attacks from Palestinian Islamists:
“After one of our long days of touring and dialoging, we, like any other group of students, wanted to have a bit of fun. Someone plugged their phone into the speaker system on the van from Jericho to Ramallah, and an impromptu dance party was born, complete with everyone singing and dancing in the aisle. Out of nowhere, the van came to an abrupt stop. A young face covered by a green helmet peered through the window and glanced at our group of American and Palestinian students, and then promptly demanded we all disembark and hand over our IDs. Outside, a group of Israeli soldiers stood by their jeep, stopping vehicles marked by Palestinian license plates. The music was shut off, and the laughter and singing disappeared. In the heavy silence, we did as we were told, obediently filing off the bus. We were no longer treated as individuals, but rather as faceless suspects. The soldiers’ gaze did not meet our eyes.”
A high-ranking official in the Jewish community told TruthRevolt that “it’s remarkably insensitive” that the students were so concerned about their ability to listen to music. “Their music got turned off? The Frenkel, Shaar, and Yifrach family won’t be having music for a very long time,” said the official.
Sarri Singer, a victim of Palestinian terror, said she was “horrified” by Philip and Stewart’s insensitivity and noted that it is common-place for those who do not live in Israel and lack an understanding of security concerns for the Jewish state. “They don’t understand the security concerns because they live a life here where they don’t have to worry that a Palestinian is going to strap explosives and blow themselves up.”
“It makes me worry for the future generation,” added Singer.
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Originally published on Truth Revolt