By Amy Zewe—
We hear a lot in the news lately about truth—and what it really is and who gets to decide what it really is.
We know that in God’s eyes, only one objective truth exists. However, humans take on various perspectives and baggage that results in either an inability to see truth or an unwillingness to see truth.
The college and university campus setting are places where truth should be examined and debated with earnest and sincerity. As long as we are in this early state, we often see things through a haze of shadowy glass. Sometimes the scales remain on our eyes because we want them to remain, or we are afraid to have them removed.
Jew Hate more recently labeled antisemitism and vailed in a newer phenomenon called anti-Zionism is one of those topics where truth can be discerned if all parties are willing to examine it and not be afraid of what they find.
Because so much baggage and bad teaching and sinister spirits are behind the generational resurfacing of Jew hate, we must be active to combat it with accurate information backed up by deep prayer and in collaboration with people of all faiths.
The safety of Jews on college campuses—students, faculty, and staff—is a deep concern and largely unnoticed by mainstream news media and even some administrations.
A single case among many occurred at the University of San Diego in California: San Diego—where violence against jews is not an unknown or unheard of occurrence in the community.
The chancellor allowed, during Justice for Palestine week in early May.
“The presence of pro-Palestinian speaker Taher Herzallah on campus on May 4. This spurred outrage among Jewish campus organizations who contend he is a threat to their safety — an alarm sounded further the day after his appearance when a pro-Israel sign was found vandalized.” Per an article in the La Jolla Light newspaper.
The university group Students for Justice in Palestine organized a talk by Herzallah, who is associate director of outreach and community organizing for American Muslims for Palestine.
Ahead of Herzallah’s appearance, pro-Israel groups such as StopAntisemitism and Hillel San Diego called for the talk to be moved off campus. The groups said AMP and Herzallah have “repeatedly called for violence” against Jews.
The folks with deep concern for the safety of Jewish students are basing that concern on both the public rhetoric of the speaker as well as the outcome manifested against Jews when that speaker was present at other universities. The concerned groups also did not call for the speaker to be silenced, but rather to be moved off campus—a public campus supported by the taxpayer and with strict safety guidelines on record.
The point is this happening is not new nor isolated to California. Events like this are happening all over North America and Europe on both private and public campuses—many with strict tolerance and safety policies on their books. It seems that hateful rhetoric against Jews or Israel, and any spillage of violence and hostility into a community against Jews is easily overlooked and excusable while professors and student groups go unchallenged in their evangelism that Israel is apartheid and oppressing and the somehow Jews everywhere represent it.
What can we do to help in this situation? Many of us are not in college anymore—nor do we have exposure to college campus life very often. We must do what we can to pray for and shed light on the false rhetoric and violence that plagues campuses by speakers, professors, and bad curriculum. We can certainly voice truth in any format possible.
But we can also send out truth seekers. The Jerusalem Connection has a scholarship program available to help send young Christian students from US colleges to Hebrew University to study for a semester. This is not a mission trip or a vacation, but an opportunity for an American student to immerse him or herself in the reality of Israeli life –studying what they need to for their own degree requirements—living and collaborating with other foreign students as well as Israeli students and faculty—who come from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds. Students will live and breathe the truth of Israeli society and be able to take that truth back to their US-based school and be the voice of truth amidst the false narrative.
We don’t’ expect every student to return to the US and go head-to-head with JSP or agenda-driven professors. But we expect the students to take what they know and share it the best way they know how. Perhaps even working with any Jewish groups within the community to help form partnerships and friendships to show solidarity and comfort.
Please consider making a one time or recurring donation to our scholarship fund.
We would like to send as many students as possible to Israel to study and learn and immerse themselves in what is truth about Israeli society. The result will be lifelong advocates for Israel and the Jewish people regardless of what vocation or life path there may take on.
If you are someone or know someone who is a college undergraduate student, please have them consider applying for our scholarship. Summer sessions are even available.
Let us be reminded of the promises to Israel and to those Gentiles who comfort God’s people:
Isaiah 60: 4-5 (NIV)
4 “Lift up your eyes and look about you:
All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the hip.
5 Then you will look and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with joy;
the wealth on the seas will be brought to you,
to you the riches of the nations will come.
Shavua tov. Have a great week.