by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[P]rogressive politicians and activists over the past few days have been on message, arguing that the phrase “free Palestine from the river to the sea” is, as Rashida Tlaib put it, “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate.” ..
…. [G]iven that the phrase refers to the entire swath of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, establishing a Palestinian state between those boundaries would necessarily entail, at the very least, the mass ethnic cleansing of Israel’s Jewish population: “The only way you can eliminate Israel and turn that whole area into Palestine is by killing millions of Jews,” he writes. In fact, “from the river to the sea” is a mistranslation of the original Arabic, which accurately reads, “from the water to the water, Palestine is Arab.” That version of the slogan actually appeared at Princeton University last month when demonstrators chanted “min al-mayye il al-mayye, falastine arabiyye.”
Even a brief look at the rallies on college campuses can dispel the idea that these activists just want, as Tlaib said, “peaceful coexistence” with Jews in the Holy Land. Those students at Princeton who shouted the Arabic slogan were not part of some small cohort within the broader rally — the event’s organizers wrote and distributed a chant sheet with the call for an Arab-only Palestine themselves.
A University of Pennsylvania student who spoke at a rally in Philadelphia over the weekend celebrated the “joyful and powerful images which came from the glorious October 7.” This is not one activist gone rogue; the Philly Palestine Coalition posted a video of her words on its Instagram account.
Even when the organizations don’t share the videos and images on their social-media accounts, they can never seem to clarify that the explicitly pro-Hamas statements their members make don’t represent their official position.