Sunday, 18 December 2022

Antisemitism Is Rising at Colleges, and Jewish Students Are Facing Growing Hostility

Yes, and it ain't "right-wing" antisemitism.

At the Wall Street Journal, "Some students report being spat upon and harassed, while some campus groups have forced out those who support Israel":


Adina Pinsker commutes to Rutgers University in Newark, N.J., to study supply-chain management. She is also active in Hillel International, the nation’s largest collegiate Jewish organization.

When she arrives on campus, she takes an indirect route to class and tucks inside her shirt the silver Star of David she wears around her neck. These are precautions, she said, to avoid harassment from students who dislike Israel, the people who support it, or both.

“We have basically been shunned,” said Ms. Pinsker, who said she has been subject to derogatory remarks about her beliefs.

Ms. Pinsker’s actions are emblematic of rising fear among some Jewish college students around the country, who have begun shrouding their religious identity and political beliefs to avoid growing ostracism and harassment, according to interviews with dozens of students.

College campuses have long hosted heated debates about the Israel-Palestinian conflict. But now, students say anti-Jewish antagonism is on the rise: Antisemitic incidents have increased, and a growing number of campus groups bar students who support Israel from speaking or joining.

Hostility, including vandalism, threats and slurs toward Jewish students on college campuses increased more than threefold to 155 incidents in 2021 from 47 in 2014, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a New York-based Jewish civil rights organization which has tracked reports of such behavior since 2014. The group counted 2,717 antisemitic incidents in the U.S. overall last year, up 34% from 2020 and the highest number in its records dating to 1979.

Students at schools including the University of Vermont, Wellesley College and DePaul University have ejected Jewish students who support Israel from clubs and study groups, according to interviews with affected students.

Students at Tufts University, University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles tried to prevent Jewish classmates from serving in student government or attempted to remove them from positions in student government because of their support of Israel, according to students, administrators and campus news reports.

The uptick in incidents and tension on some campuses comes amid a string of recent high-profile controversies that have drawn renewed attention to antisemitism. This month Twitter suspended the account of rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West—who now goes by the name Ye—after he tweeted to his 32 million followers an image of a swastika merged with the Star of David, weeks after he tweeted: “I’m going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”

On campus, students say that stereotypical antisemitic slurs are directed at Jews, but that much of the hostility derives from growing criticism of Israel’s handling of its political and military conflict with Palestinians over land rights. Jewish students say harassment often compounds when criticism of Israel increases.

Most American Jews feel an attachment to Israel, though many are critical of the Israeli government, according to a 2021 survey from the Pew Research Center.

Some of the conflict on campus stems from competing definitions of antisemitism and anti-Zionism and whether they overlap.

Anti-Zionism is a political position distinct from antisemitism, which is a prejudice, said Dylan Saba, an attorney with New York-based Palestine Legal, which works to support the civil and constitutional rights of people in the U.S. who advocate for Palestinians. The two are conflated by supporters of Israel to discredit critics, he said.

Condemning Israel may make some Jewish students feel uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean it is antisemitic, he said. “All we are asking for is equal rights,” he said...

Bullshit. 

Anti-Zionism is anti-Israel is antisemitic. Full stop. "From the desert to the sea, Palestine will be free" means wiping Israel --- and all its Jewish citizens --- off the face of the map.

It's easy to prove, too. Just walk up to any pro-Palestine student organization --- literally in any college campus in America --- and ask its leaders if they support Hamas. In my experience they will not answer. Not only that, in my case, they'll call the police on you. 

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