May 01, 2024

The Hamas Encampment at the UW: A Sad Collection of Ignorant, Virtue-Signaling, Law-Breaking Students Enabled by a Weak UW Administration


The UW Hamas encampment has tripled in size.

Jewish students have been attacked and had items stolen from them.

Media representatives have been attacked and bloodied.

Major pathways have been blocked.

All of this is documented on video. Where is the UW administration?  Why do we have to follow the path of Columbia and UCLA?


The hapless anti-Israel encampment finally occurred yesterday at the UW and it would be hard to find a more ineffective, ignorant, and morally lacking group of university students.  

Originally scheduled for last Thursday, the whole affair had to be delayed because Muslim students were angered that they were not asked to participate and plan the event by the Progressive Student Union.  And when the camp was finally established yesterday morning on wet/muddy ground it was raining hard and continued to rain during the day.

Only a handful of tents were set up, the pro-Hamas activists numbered perhaps a dozen or two at the peak, with most UW students taking little notice.   Many of the anti-Israel crowd wore masks to avoid identification, like many lawbreakers.  Some were screaming  (at a student who was quietly holding an Israeli flag) in ways that suggested some kind of mental affliction.

These students were breaking the law.  Encampments are illegal on the UW campus and warning signs were placed around the quad, with the specific regulation cited (see below) 

I have passed the encampment several times and have never seen even a single member of the UW Police force in the area.

This encampment interfered with instruction in the many classrooms facing the quad due to the blaring noise from their bullhorns and loud music.  Some of the student bouncers were physically blocking individuals taking pictures.

The Hamas activists called for the destruction of the State of Israel (from the river to sea, Palestine will be free chants) and global violence (Global Intifada).  But they had particular hate for President Biden and the Democratic Party, with frequent screams of "Biden, Biden You Can't Hide, You are Guilty of Genocide".

The Democratic party was considered far right for many folks in this group.  Some wore Communist Party shirts while others held signs for the Revolutionary Workers Party (see below).

Some of the signs called for violence against police, which I suspect is illegal (see below).

But it was the stunning ignorance and lack of historical knowledge that really was shocking. 

 I calmly asked one the the folks in the yellow jackets why he was against Israel.  He told me that the Jews were colonialists. I calmly told him that he was incorrect. That the Jews were in the land for at least 3000 years and that the Arabs were the recent conquerors.  He told me that I was wrong, that there were no Jews in the region until the 1900s.  I noted that Jews were noted in both versions of the bible.  He countered that the bible was mythology.  I noted that Roman literature talked about Israel and there was definitive archeological proof.  He then walked away.

Some people call these Hamas supporters Nazis.   I can't agree.  They are so poorly grounded in history that I suspect they don't even know about the Nazis.  Or know about the Holocaust. 

They are ignorant.  They are foolish.  These are kids without meaning in their lives and trying to secure some meaning by screaming slogans about a conflict they don't understand.  Many appear to be outcasts or odd.  Kind of a sad group.  

I am not as charitable regarding the UW administration.

The encampment was illegal and notice was given.  But when this criminal activity occurred, an activity that interfered with the education of hundreds of students, the UW administration did nothing.

This is after many of the same students disrupted university functions a half-dozen times with bullhorns and drums.

Criminal destruction in the UW HUB

After they took over the Administration Building and the President's office.

After they disrupted the Chanukah celebration on Red Square.

And after they trashed the student union building, causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage.

All good parents learn that children will test authority and that being permissive for anti-social behavior leads to even worse behavior.

The pro-Hamas UW students are no different.  These are kids who don't have internal moral or ethical values and need to be taught that inappropriate and hurtful behavior has consequences.

Their near-complete lack of knowledge of history and society further cripples them.

The UW administration seems determined to follow the disastrous policies of Columbia and Harvard, which is a tragedy for the University and the region it serves.  


  1. The best way to deal with the protests is a two-tiered approach: 1) Ignore peaceful protests and encampments. 2) Prosecute (trespass, arrest) any vandalism, building occupation or efforts to block access to classes. Regarding 1): protestors want attention from the media. Ignoring peaceful protests and encampments will rob them of attention and help avoid adding sympathizers.

  2. We're in big trouble if these kids are our best and brightest. This is a display you will not see in Pullman. In most cases common sense abounds.

  3. You speak of morals, ethics, and tragedies. 13,000 children have been killed in this latest attempt at genocide. Not to mention the murder of thousands more innocent civilians. These are facts. We must all work responsibly and with compassion to move the planet into a better spot. Ignoring our common humanity and our duty with regard to the protection of children will not solve these grave problems.

    1. Thelma,
      First, there is no reliable evidence that 13,000 children have been killed. The Hamas numbers are demonstrably wrong. Second, there is no genocide going on by the Israelis. No nation has worked harder to lessen civilian deaths than Israel. Third, you don't mention that Hamas started the war and they are using civilians as human shields. War is a terrible thing and there are always civilian casualties. What about the many civilians in Israel that Hamas killed in terrible, barbaric ways. Does that register with you? Folks such as you seem to be unschooled in basic ethics and morals. Or it facts and truth...cliff

    2. Thelma-
      You must bo joking. Trying to accuse Israel of genocide is laughable. All they are doing, and have been doing for thousands of years, is defend themselves from just that, genocide. They are surrounded by enemies who would like to wipe them off the face of the Earth. What do you think "from the river to the sea" means? It's not a relay race, I can tell you that much. It means genocide. There are absolutely civilian casualties involved in this, and that is unfortunate, but it started by Hamas killing well over a thousand civilians, deliberately and brutally. There was no collateral damage involved, those were all 100% targeted. Your comments, blaming Israel while not acknowledging what Hamas did to start the whole thing, sounds like nothing more than anti-semitism. People like you, and the people who are down there protesting and causing damage and havoc are not going to make any difference. There is no appetite on either side of the political aisle to support Palestine in any way, shape, or form, other than trying to lesson civilian casualties. Israel has the right to defend themselves and our government is not going to stand in their way. So please, stop wasting everyone's time.

    3. Not as a response to this post, which appears to be driven by ideological axioms with which I disagree and with which it would be pointless to engage in argument, but to share with all others of scientific mind regarding the subject, an analysis by Prof. Wyner (Wharton):

    4. william.. Professor Wyner definitely debunks the Hamas-supplied civilian death numbers....cliff mass

    5. Yes, unfortunately as we know from your regular take-downs of ST fearmongering propaganda articles, there are those who live by ideology and don't care what the statistics tell us....

    6. In that article on March 6, Dr. Wyner wrote "Israel estimates that at least 12,000 fighters have been killed. If that number proves to be even reasonably accurate, then the ratio of noncombatant casualties to combatants is remarkably low: at most 1.4 to 1 and perhaps as low as 1 to 1." So he speculated about say, 14,000 civilians killed. Were this true, he said it would be "a remarkable and successful effort to prevent unnecessary loss of life".

      Well, congratulations, I guess. I can't help wondering if arguing about which side is more immoral than the other is a bit of a side-show. I'd like to hear what we should do to end Israeli-Palestinian wars. The usual method of one side defeating the other once and for all isn't working like it (sort of?) used to pre-1945.

  4. The teaching of unbiased history is just as important as math, ELA, and science. There's a reason it's towards the bottom of our list in public schools. Thankfully, I get to teach both math and social studies at my private school.

    1. Silly comment. As someone who got a Ph.D. in history in 1970, taught eight years, and then got a business degree and a CPA, it is economics. There are more paying jobs for people with science, business, and tech degrees. It is economics.

    2. "Paying jobs..." Is life all about making money? Of course not. If we don't learn history, Marxism and various forms of authoritarianism will (and is) return. Different flavor for a different time.

  5. Regarding "mental affliction", this would appear to be well-supported by Lichter and Rothman's work during the '70s and early '80s:

    While the numbers may be smaller than in the '60s, the powers that be should be concerned that this movement doesn't drive a re-run of the far-left domestic terror operations of the '70s over the coming decade, carried out by few but at the cost of many innocent lives.

  6. Cliff, your response of "That the Jews were in the land for at least 3000 years and that the Arabs were the recent conquerors" is just as tone deaf as the belief that Jews were colonialists.

    1. Louise....the truth is not tone deaf. It is absolutely provable that Jews have been in Israel for 3000 years. You don't believe archeological evidence in peer-reviewed journals? You don't believe the accounts of the Romans and the Greeks? It is hard for me to understand folks like yourself that can deny provable facts..cliff

  7. I am really beginning to believe that the new American dream is to leave it. I am sick of all this politics encroaching on every aspect of our lives. All this selective outrage on both sides.

  8. Can anyone recommend one or more good books on the history of the Middle East, including, of course, Israel. The books you recommend should be, of course, objective, and they should be well written. The books should go back to around 1900.

    1. I’d recommend anything by Bernard Lewis, or a non-academic but very informative book by Noa Tishby entitled “Israel, a Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth”

  9. normal, good people are supporting your side Cliff. Ignore these crumb bumbs. Civilization will survive. I've been to Israel, it's a peaceful, compassionate country. You're right that all these kids are just amped up on the latest thing to seem important it's VERY disheartening. But I think everything will be ok bro! Always have loved your content. Thanks for having the courage to speak up.

  10. An article in Wikipedia is illustrative of the very complicated demographics in today's Israel. Between 1922 and 1945, the population of the British Mandate of Palestine increased both in Muslim numbers and in Jewish numbers. The number of Christians declined. The Muslims, according to the article, in many cases came from the nearby regions ... Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan, Egypt. Not mentioned in the article is why they came. I heard at one point that it was due to the economic opportunities created by the Jewish arrivals. This is totally at odds with settler colonialism or other theories.

    Post 1945, there were obviously a lot of Jews who left Europe. However, there were also a lot who came in from countries in the Islamic world, ranging from Yemen to Morocco, Egypt to Syria, Iraq and more. They came because they were made uncomfortable by the Arab nationalist governments. These governments were kicking out a lot of people who were non Arab. One of my favorite profs at the UW, Constantine Christofides, was of Greek heritage. His family had lived in Alexandria and had been kicked out by the Nassar regime.

    The bumper sticker and sound bit slogans do not capture the dynamics of population exchanges. Unfortunately, the Arab governments did not welcome Arab refugees ... some of whom might have lived in their country at a previous point.

    As to the UW administration, I had emailed the President's office about a previous matter, and heard back. I emailed again about the recent post on hiring discrimination and the DEI bureaucracy. I did not hear back on that. So I'm not going to waste my time asking about the encampments. What I can say is higher ed in many ways appears to be in a deep state of crisis, with identity playing a very major role in decisions. I am seriously wondering if most schools with a lot of money and / and ample numbers of applicants are going to be able to change course. It may be a lot easier for regional schools to adjust because their customers are much less likely to put up with disruptions to learning, and the faculty know that enrollment drops will mean job losses which is not likely to happen at schools with huge endowments.

  11. Cliff, respectfully, you don't deserve to be afflicted by antisemitism, however your collective faculty is reaping the consequences of decades of treating leftist thought as benign Marxism, while poo'pooing concerns about a slippery slope.

    Diversity of thought has eroded as you rightly pointed out in an earlier post - but I'd argue it's been gone for a long time. It was really concealed by a prevalence of both-sides-ism. In other words, you had leftist professors typically presenting the weakest possible arguments of the center and right. That had been going on for many decades, and not just in academia but also the media. So when the new left decided both-sides-ism was no longer acceptable, the perception of diversity of thought simply evaporated, the leftist faculty no longer had to give lip service to what they despised anyways, and as we've all seen, polemics became celebrated.

    We're only now starting to see a tinge of concern from liberals - but the rest of the spectrum saw this coming for a long time.

    They also saw the almost infinitely reconfigurable victimhood hierarchy contrived by the anti logic of Kendi, which along with the embrace of intersectionality is mobilizing the students.

    1. Respectfully, how can you ignore the conservative efforts to basically end public education in the US and replace it with a theocracy, headed by a serial predator Donald J. Trump? Your entire post, implies to me you live in some sort of odd bubble.

    2. Heavyhemi....what you are saying is complete nonsense. Conservatives trying to end public education? Not happening. Replace with a theocracy? Just silly. You seem to be very angry individual, leaving hundreds of hasty, strange comments each year. Why do you read this blog if you think it is so bad?..cliff

  12. On Sunday late morning, I went by the encampment in the quad. I am really wondering how long this will last. Graduation weekend is in about 5 weeks.

    It was misty, then started raining. Temp was about 45 degrees. The temp and rain were chilling. I am wondering if people have some type of heaters. That could be a real problem, just like it has been along I5. I was wondering if the UW fire department is doing any type of inspections or monitoring of the situation.

    I talked with two students. One was actively involved. I can't tell about the other, maybe she was a camper, maybe she was a supporter just walking by or there but not overnight. I was very surprised at how much of the quad space is covered, probably 2/3. There was one big tent of the type you see at youth soccer matches or tailgates that was physically blocking 3/4 of the main path going from the art/music end of the building to the Red Square end of the quad. This would definitely throttle walkers during busy times.

    Around 11, there was some type of group gathering with maybe 20 people in a circle. I did not listen to it. Not everyone went, were others who were still in tents, or in some other covered shelters. I noticed a power strip in one of the tent-like shelters. I did not see any extension cord coming from a UW building, so there must have been some local power. I couldn't smell any exhaust from a generator, or hear one, so I'm not sure what the source of the power is.

    I enjoyed talking with the two students about their science classes. But I also felt very sorry for one of them who expressed an interest in premed, but was not planning on taking an organic chem lab because "she didn't think it was going to be needed for med school applications." Well I've looked at a lot of pre med curricula with a family member, and I think the student is not getting good advice. But I also wondered how important pre med was to her.

    I think participants are finding community, purpose, maybe a rationale or excuse they can state if their classes don't go well, and possibly a sense of excitement. And there are people involved who walk around asking "how are you doing?" How are you feeling?" I was thinking how that may be unusual around the UW and feed the sense of purpose and belonging.


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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