Palestinian Professor on Baby in Oven: 'With or Without Baking Powder?'

A Palestinian professor who only a month ago presented at the University of Pennsylvania’s Palestine Writes Festival has provided an interesting take on the Hamas atrocities in Israel.


He was discussing poetry here in America two weeks before Hamas terrorists invaded Israel. Now he is providing blow-by-blow commentary on the war.

Responding to the revelation that Hamas barbarians put a baby in an oven before raping its mother to death, he asks an incisive question:

With or without baking powder?”

This man teaches poetry at the Islamic University in Gaza City. He is a respected “scholar.” Penn invited him here to speak. The New York Times had him write a guest essay.

The professor, Refaat Alareer has been the subject of glowing profiles and has been a pundit on the BBC and elsewhere during the Hamas-Israel war, reporting on conditions in Gaza. He has been trotted out as an exemplar of compassion and empathy and as an example of hope that Israelis and Palestinians might one day live together in peace. ABC interviews him on the hospital blast.

His response to the murder of an infant by baking it alive is “With or without baking powder?”

It is impossible to overstate just how distorted the view presented to us is by the MSM. The Times’ profile–which they were forced to admit was more than a bit too flattering to Professor Alareer–made him out to be a beacon of hope for reconciliation. On his teaching a poem written by an Israeli the Times writes:


It was a moment that added nuance to two contrasting narratives: That embraced by the students themselves, many of whom knew someone killed or injured by Israeli missiles, and whose interaction with Israel is often limited to airstrikes; and that of many Israelis, who often assume the Palestinian education system is simply an engine of incitement.

Here was an appreciation of one of Israel’s best-loved poets from a Palestinian professor at a university co-founded by the former leader of Hamas, the militant group that runs the Gaza government, does not recognize Israel, and was responsible for dozens of suicide attacks on Israelis. Experts say the study of Israeli poetry in Palestinian colleges is rare, though not unheard-of.

What Mr. Alareer admired about the poem, “Jerusalem,” he told his students, was the way it blurred divisions between Israelis and Palestinians and implied that “Jerusalem can be the place where we all come together, regardless of religion and faith.

“When I read this,” he added, “I really was like, ‘Oh my god, this is beautiful. I’ve never seen something like this. I never thought that I would read it.’ And then I realized: No, there are so many other Israeli people, Jewish people, who are totally and completely against the occupation.”

It was all BS, the Times had to admit. They simply took the word of their reporter in Gaza who misrepresented the reality. The Editor’s Note, which they were forced to append after hundreds of instances of the professor’s antisemitism were shoved under their noses, makes clear how distorted the view they presented truly was:


After publication of this article, Times editors reviewed additional information that is at odds with the article’s portrayal of Refaat Alareer, a literature professor at Islamic University in Gaza, who was described as presenting Israeli poems in a positive light to his Palestinian students.

In the class witnessed by a Times reporter, Mr. Alareer taught a poem by the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, which he called “beautiful,” saying it underscored the “shared humanity” of Israelis and Palestinians. He said he admired how it showed that Jerusalem is a place “where we all come together, regardless of religion and faith.”

However, in a video of a class from 2019, he called the same poem “horrible” and “dangerous,” saying that although it was aesthetically beautiful, it “brainwashes” readers by presenting the Israelis “as innocent.” He also discussed a second Israeli poem, by Tuvya Ruebner, which he called “dangerous,” adding “this kind of poetry is in part to blame for the ethnic cleansing and destruction of Palestine.”

When The Times asked Mr. Alareer about the discrepancy, he denied that there was a “substantial change” in his teaching and said that showing parallels between Palestinians and Jews was his “ultimate goal.” But he said that Israel used literature as “a tool of colonialism and oppression” and that this raised “legitimate questions” about Mr. Amichai’s poem.

In light of this additional information, editors have concluded that the article did not accurately reflect Mr. Alareer’s views on Israeli poetry or how he teaches it. Had The Times done more extensive reporting on Mr. Alareer, the article would have presented a more complete picture.


In other words, the Times had participated in the same sort of indoctrination that takes place in Hamas classrooms, only tailoring the message for Western audiences. What was a lesson of hate was presented as a lesson of reconciliation.

Our hero, it turns out, has a heart filled with hate.

With or without baking powder?

Some beacon of hope for reconciliation.

Professor Alareer apparently went to some trouble to tweet out his hatred. The internet is hard to access in Gaza right now, per his complaints. Perhaps this is why he is angry enough to think baking babies to death is something to be joked about.

Or, perhaps, like so many fellow Gazans, he has trouble getting the internet because he thinks raping and killing women and children is just another day at the office, an occasion to joke.

What is striking about Refaat Alareer, though, is not his casual brutality, but rather the respect with which he is treated in the very best circles, such as the University of Pennsylvania, who funded his participation in the Palestine Writes Festival. And not just Penn, but all the foundations that kicked in to sponsor these monsters.

How many Hamas supporters attended this “festival?” And how much taxpayer money went to fund it? How many Jews were swindled into supporting it?


And why do the institutions that occupy the commanding heights of our civilization whitewash the darkness at the heart of this “decolonization” movement?

These institutions feel caught in a vice right now, as ordinary Americans and, more importantly, large donors are waking up to their utter corruption, while their core constituency on campus is wholly committed to the destruction of all that is right and good in the world.

I am not deluded enough to believe that Western culture is without flaws, nor do I believe that even some of the most radical critiques of our culture are not worth studying objectively. When I was studying philosophy my primary interests were Nietzsche and Rousseau, although my sympathies lay with Aristotle and Locke. I could give you a decent lecture on the virtues of studying critical theory–both on what it helps us understand and on why it is so dangerous. It actually belongs in college curricula and is to be taken seriously.

Cultures develop and improve by taking seriously critiques.

But anything that uses the term “critical,” “colonial,” or any of the terms in vogue today are about revolution, not intellectual critiques. At base, we are dealing with a brutal revolutionary movement, not a benign group of philosophers and poets striving for a more peaceful and free world.


We are dealing with people who embrace genocide, and who can joke “With or without baking powder?” They must be destroyed.

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