Jewish Self-Hatred and the Olive Tree Initiative
The focus of the Muslim Brotherhood in America has been da’wa, or proselytization, in the service of expanding the organization’s clout in the U.S. and delegitimizing, dehumanizing and marginalizing the Jewish state. The MB is represented by myriad organizations, including the Hamas-related Muslim Student Association (MSA), omnipresent on university campuses throughout America. Every year, the MSA sponsors a sinister campaign of lies against Israel called “Israel Apartheid Week” in which the group falsely accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing that the MSA compares to the Holocaust. MSA members disparage Israel’s security fence as unfairly impacting Arab-Palestinian transit, even though it was actually erected to prevent suicide bombers from killing Israelis and has successfully reduced attacks against Jews by over 90%. In addition, as part of their campaign to destroy Israel, the MSA calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish state.
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM), like the MSA, is active on U.S. university campuses and is also affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood’s partner Hamas. In addition, the ISM has ties to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. ISM operatives, who receive funding from the MSA, have even admitted to helping these terrorist groups. Although it bills itself as “non-violent,” ISM members are engaged in both violent and non-violent activities, including acting as human shields for terrorist groups and interfering with Israel’s counterterrorism efforts, and endeavors to indoctrinate students against Israel.
OTI touts its mission to expand dialogue and diversity to gain a nuanced perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet OTI architects sought to accomplish their true goal of undermining support for the Jewish state by surreptitiously introducing students to representatives from the ISM, Hamas and other anti-Israel groups who falsely presented themselves as peace-loving victims of Israel aggression. Students met with terrorism supporters, representatives of Muslim Brotherhood organizations and advocates of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, including ISM co-founder George S. Rishwami, twice-arrested Hamas official Aziz Dweik, Palestinian Legislative Council member and Holocaust denier Hanan Ashwari, Al Mubadara co-founder Mustafa Barghouti, Fatah leader Nabeel Shaath, Palestinian Intifada organizer Sari Nusseibeh, Al-Awda director Mazin Qumsiyeh, Hezbollah supporter Ibrahim Sarsur and others. Student participants on OTI trips visit the grave of lifelong terrorist and former president of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, whose primary goal was the destruction of the state of Israel.
One of the OTI tour guides was a young woman who led a tour for the anti-Israel NGO Sabeel prior to signing on as the Israel office director of a Jewish advocacy group. Sabeel promotes its anti-Israel agenda in Protestant churches in America, supports a one-state solution in which Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish state and advances BDS objectives against Israel.
Jewish Support for Olive Tree
Under the subterfuge of “interfaith outreach” and “fair and balanced dialogue,” several American Jewish organizations have supported the OTI and been complicit in exposing students to blood libels about Israel and sanitized view of terrorism as “resistance operations.” The powerful Orange County branch of the Jewish Federation – one of the largest Jewish organizations in the world whose top priorities include “strengthening of Jewish communities in Israel and around the world” – and Hillel, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world, have supported OTI financially and logistically since its inception. Both groups, supported by Jewish philanthropy, enthusiastically promote OTI and recruit students for tours, despite being fully apprised of OTI’s subversive nature and intention to undermine the Jewish state.