October 7 and its aftermath should be prime material for America’s tens of thousands of sociologists. Those who study the factors that shape social behavior should be keenly interested in questions such as: What moves people to join terrorist groups that fire rockets into kindergartens? What influences civilians to accompany and assist gangs of killers on a cross-border murder-and-rape spree? What inspires people around the world to deny or justify ghastly atrocities against Jews?

Yet instead of examining these important questions, a number of extremists in the world of sociology are promoting a resolution about Gaza that pretends the October 7 attack never happened and claims Israel launched a genocidal campaign against the people of Gaza for no apparent reason.

The process leading up to the proposed resolution began ten days after the October 7 pogrom, when 2,000 sociologists released a statement accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. That was nearly two weeks before a single Israeli soldier had set foot there. The sociologists’ statement did not contain a single word condemning the October 7 massacre. It was just a tirade against what it called “75 years of settler colonial occupation and European empire,” that is, 75 years of Israel existing.

In the weeks to follow, a number of the signatories on that statement established “Sociologists for Palestine,” which, according to its website, was created in order to “support and amplify the work of Faculty for Justice in Palestine [and] Students for Justice in Palestine.” FJP and SJP are the organizers of the extreme and often violent anti-Israel rallies that are taking place on American college campuses. They oppose Israel’s existence and defend the October 7 pogrom.

Recently, 573 of these anti-Israel sociologists asked the American Sociological Association (ASA) to adopt a virulently anti-Israel resolution. The ASA’s general membership will vote on the text in the weeks to come.

The drafters of the resolution were trained in a profession that emphasizes dispassionate, scholarly objectivity. Yet their resolution is a wild anti-Israel screed that does not even pretend to be objective or evenhanded.

Like last year’s statement, the proposed resolution does not condemn the October 7 pogrom. In fact, it does not even mention the Hamas attack. It depicts the Mideast events of the past few months as an unprovoked genocidal aggression against Gaza by bloodthirsty Israelis. The resolution compares Israel’s actions in Gaza to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

If the Ukrainian government had sent an army of several thousand heavily-armed soldiers across the Russian border, to slaughter 1200 Russian civilians, behead babies, and gang-rape and sexually torture scores of Russian women, and the Russians responded by invading Ukraine in pursuit of the killers, the sociologists’ analogy would make sense. But since Ukraine did not do any of that, what the resolution is saying is that Israel, like Russia, is guilty of unprovoked aggression against its peaceful neighbor.

Significantly, the draft resolution invokes an earlier statement by the American Sociological Association praising “the hundreds of Indigenous Nations who continue to resist, live, and uphold their sacred relations across their lands.” Since that resolution had nothing whatsoever to do with Israel or Gaza, the drafters seem to have brought it into the resolution in order to suggest that the Arab residents of Gaza are an indigenous nation who have the right to “resist.” That euphemism has been widely used by pro-Hamas groups to justify the October 7 massacre.

Remarkably, the proposed resolution does not mention Hamas. The text does cite wildly implausible statistics from Hamas about civilian casualties in Gaza, but since the resolution calls the source of those numbers “the Gaza Ministry of Health,” those who vote on it will not know that the information actually comes from a division of a Holocaust-denying terrorist organization—not the kind of source most reasonable people would consider reliable.

As is typical of contemporary pro-Hamas activists, the radical sociologists wrap themselves in fake victimhood. They claim that those who “support Palestine” have been “silenced, intimidated, punished, and harassed” and “often misrepresented as anti-semitic.” Note the vague terminology and passive tense; no actual proof of those charges is provided—because none exists. In reality, “supporters of Palestine” are amply represented on op-ed pages, television shows, podcasts and countless university podiums.

The draft resolution concludes with a superfluous declaration of the right of ASA members “to speak out against Zionist occupation.” Of course, the United States Constitution already protects their right to speak out against anything they choose. But it does not compel the rest of us to pretend that “Zionist occupation” is anything but a thinly-disguised codeword for “Jews.”

Sociologists who are interested in fulfilling the principles of their profession have their work cut out for them. If they are as concerned about women’s rights as they claim to be, they should be studying the mental and social factors influencing the Hamas gang-rapes and sexual mutilations. If they are as interested in the welfare of children as they say they are, they should be analyzing the factors that motivated Hamas’s decapitation of babies. The proposed resolution, which in effect justifies the atrocities as “resistance” to “genocide,” represents a betrayal of basic sociological principles and a giant step backward for the profession.