By Amy Zewe—
Since the May 2021 Gazan rocket attacks on Israel, student participation in SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) and other groups seemingly advocating for Palestinian rights has nearly doubled. Why might this be?
The events last May produced a 24/7 news and social media tide of false narratives and incorrect contexts about what was and are the ongoing issues in Israel and among its neighbors. As universities are heading back to class this month, we can expect a scourge of misinformation and biased agenda-driven activism by celebrities, journalists, and student/faculty groups. We must be ever vigilant of the spreading germ of antisemitism on campus and into our communities.
Once again, celebrities famous for simply being famous took to social media spinning and even lying about Israel calling it white-supremacists, genocidal, oppressive, and being occupiers of the land, and engaging in apartheid. Hashtags such as #hitlerwasright trended for weeks with no mediation from the social media platforms.
All these buzz words are negative are not a true reflection of the situation of Israel. While Israeli government policies and actions are worthy of critical analysis and indeed open to debate and further examination, this is not what is being called for by celebrity influencers or colleges, faculty, social justice organizations and even some elected officials. What was once political discussions about policies has shifted to a seemingly moral discussion about the existential right for Israel to exist and the Jewish people’s right to live peacefully worldwide, regardless of their opinions about Israeli politics.
This discussions effects Jews worldwide. Not only is Israel being singled out for scrutiny by standards that are not just false, but they are held to standards not being held up against other nations, including its neighbors, the terrorist leaderships of Hamas and the PA and even other nations such as Syria, North Korea, and Nigeria. Moreover, Jews on college campuses and in any given community are being targeted for hostility, attacks, and discrimination –all of which is being ignored or excused by journalists and leaders.
Consider this, a report this week from The Focus Project, notes that In the past two months alone organizations on 152 college campuses released statements condemning Israel, many of them going well beyond respectful discourse into dangerous antisemitic tropes.
What brings people to these unfounded conclusions about Israel? What compels them to make formal statements entirely blaming Israel only for the recent flare-ups vis-à-vis the Hamas terrorist organization. Couple what is happening on campus with journalists, scholars and celebrities accusing Israel and the Jewish people of conducting “genocide” or practicing “apartheid” — or even pushing “Jewish supremacy,” a neo-Nazi theory that accuses Jews of seeking evil world domination.
From the actual faculty teaching our students about the world, more than 200 “scholars,” including dozens of professors at prestigious universities — including Harvard, Cornell, the University of Virginia, Fordham, and Brandeis all blamed Israel unilaterally for the flare up in May.
And these indictments against Israel are from both student groups and faculty organizations. The Yale College Council, for example, blasted “the injustice, ethnic cleansing and genocide occurring in Palestine.”
And these statements are spilling over to the Jewish populations of colleges. Currently at Johns Hopkins University, a most prestigious school, Jews and advocates for Jews are getting little response regarding a teaching assistant who is openly discriminatory against Jewish students. As the Focus Project noted, leadership at Johns Hopkins has been silent on complaints over a teaching assistant who tweeted she was considering failing “a Zionist student” even if the student earned enough test points to pass. This same student wrote about a chemistry lab period in which “I was blessed enough to be paired w a black woman to mentor who has good race analysis. didn’t get pinned with an Israeli or some b**ch white boy to have to share my knowledge with.”
Swap out any other ethnicity or race in this statement and you’d have an open and public lashing of this teaching assistant.
Here is just a short sample of the list of schools currently documented to have ongoing issues indicating antisemitism on campus manifesting among student and faculty members as official statements, policies and positions, specific social media posts, and public activities:
City Universities of New York (multiple Campuses)
University of Montreal
San Diego State University
The George Washington University
University of Bristol
University of California Davis
University of Pennsylvania (Law School)
Tune in to the red alert report next week, Aug. 11 for the rest of this examination of the antisemitic contamination or our college campuses and communities.
Shavua Tov, have a great week.