'Genocidal Intent': Brown University Holocaust Professor Blames Israel for Hamas Terrorism

Israel holds a 'clear intention of ethnic cleansing,' says Omer Bartov in interview with left-wing journalist

Omer Bartov (Bildungsstätte Anne Frank/Wikimedia Commons)
December 6, 2023

A professor of Holocaust and genocide studies at Brown University is blaming Israel for Hamas's Oct. 7 terrorist assault and arguing that the Jewish state holds "a clear intention of ethnic cleansing" in its retaliatory war against Hamas.

Omer Bartov in a Nov. 10 interview with left-wing journalist Amy Goodman said Israel is operating with "genocidal intent" and aiming to use the war in Gaza to ethnically cleanse Palestinians, citing comments in which Israeli leaders referred to the terror group's fighters as "human animals." Weeks later, on Nov. 29, Bartov in an op-ed blamed Hamas's terror assault on Israel and said the Jewish state should have expected the attack.

"If you keep over 2 million people under siege for 16 years, cramped in a narrow strip of land, without enough work, proper sanitation, food, water, energy and education, with no hope or future prospects, you cannot but expect outbreaks of ever more desperate and brutal violence," wrote Bartov, who joined Brown's faculty in 2000.

The professor's comments come as Jewish students at the Ivy League school experience a spike in anti-Semitic rhetoric following Hamas's attack.

One day after the terror group slaughtered scores of innocent Israelis—including women and children—a Brown student group during an "emergency meeting" argued that Hamas's attack was "justified violence" and "in fact a victory," the Washington Free Beacon reported. Brown students have also sympathized with Hamas on Sidechat, a popular app on Brown's campus that allows students to share anonymous thoughts with their classmates. Students have taken to the app to share comments such as "There is no such thing as an innocent Israeli."

Brown president Christina Paxson has also faced criticism for abandoning Jewish students—during a recent event, Paxson cut from her speech a planned remark denouncing anti-Semitism after pro-Palestinian students heckled her. A university spokesman said Paxson merely "abbreviated" her remarks in an attempt to wrap up her speech.

Neither Bartov nor Brown responded to requests for comment.

Bartov in his op-ed also urged Israel's government to "define a clear political endgame that will create conditions to end this conflict." While the Jewish state has identified that "endgame" as the destruction of Hamas, Bartov in the op-ed said the removal of "Hamas's political and military control … may not be entirely feasible."

"Even if Hamas were somehow removed from Gaza—as the Palestine Liberation Organization was removed from Beirut—there is no known plan by the Israeli government as to what would happen next," Bartov wrote. "The Israelis do not want responsibility for governing an additional 2 million Palestinians; nor does Egypt." Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the nation's military will control Gaza following the war.

In addition to Bartov, Brown professor of Palestinian studies Beshara Doumani has endorsed the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to wage economic warfare on Israel. The movement's founder, Omar Barghouti, has touted BDS as a way to "end Israel's existence as a Jewish state" and "turn Israel into a pariah state."

Brown's Students for Justice in Palestine chapter appeared to turn to Doumani to craft its public response to Hamas's attack, which blamed the attack on Israel's "settler colonial regime of apartheid" and expressed "solidarity with Palestinian resistance." The group in its Oct. 8 "emergency meeting" suggested sending that response to Doumani for his review, internal documents obtained by the Free Beacon show.

Jewish students at Brown have responded to the flurry of anti-Semitic incidents seen on campus by saying they no longer feel safe at school. "It's tense—everywhere I go, it's tense," one student told the Free Beacon last month.