By Amy Zewe—
Not just the rise, but the acceptance of antisemitism—what can we do about it?.
College campuses, and the community at large, is increasingly accepting and even promoting of antisemitic sentiments. We are also seeing this in the curriculums and textbooks, even down to the elementary school age.
Raising a generation to believe that vilifying Jews or Israel in any way is an acceptable and even noble is pure evil.
As Christians, and Jews, and any people who seek truth and justice, we must be the first in line to teach our children what the truth is, and make sure they are armed against false teachings that end up on their classrooms, within their school clubs, and even from various pulpits.
I saw a post on Aish.com that truly encapsulates the viciousness and reach of antisemitism in our world and in our history. Aish is Jewish organization founded in 1974 in Israel by Rabbi Noah Weinberg and 5 students to
…. Inspire people to live more thoughtful, spiritual, and impactful lives through learning and sharing timeless Jewish wisdom.
The organization was certainly NOT a website or Facebook page at the time, but now it is an shares pithy sayings and teachings, and insights are available at our fingertips. Using Torah principles, and recognizing godliness is something all can seek, the site provides unique perspectives about life in general as well as issues and events in history, including current events. Just this week I found the following post—and its author was not attributed. However, I find it the best summary of what Jewish people around the globe face—and illustrative of the world’s constant seeking to destroy God via his people—whether the world recognizes this fact, or not.
In capitalist countries, they hate us because we’re communists.
In communist countries, they hate us because we’re capitalists.
When we’re rich, they hate us because we ‘have all the money.’
When we’re poor, they hate us because we’re ‘flea-ridden vermin.’
When we live in ghettos, they hate us because we’re ‘clannish and keep to ourselves.’
When we assimilate, they hate us because we’re ‘trying to infiltrate and corrupt the dominant culture.’
When we live amongst the nations, we’re accused of plotting world domination.
When we live by ourselves, we’re called Zionist colonialist occupiers and oppressors.
We’re the only people accused of killing God. Although that doesn’t make sense, because if we’re really able to kill God, imagine what else we could do…
Obviously, if everything—no matter how contradictory or absurd—is a ‘reason’ to hate Jews, then that’s not really a reason. That’s an excuse. If you’re Jewish, somebody hates you.
Antisemitic persecution is such a common characteristic of Jewish history that the Torah, in Leviticus 26:36-38, describes it like this:
“And those of you who survive in the land of your enemies, I shall make so fainthearted that if leaves rustle behind them, they will flee headlong, as if from the sword, though no one pursues them … So helpless will you be to take a stand against your foes. You will perish among the nations and the land of your enemies will consume you.”
So let’s catalog where in campus life antisemitism is manifested:
(And these are just a few examples)
University of California Riverside the student government passed a BDS resolution and Jewish students mobilized quickly to censure the vote. The measure demanded Israel to be recognized as an apartheid state and treated as such and all study abroad programs to remove Israel as a destination.
In Australia, a Melbourne University student body passed a boycott Israel measure on April 29. Young law students, pro-bono, are filing a case against the measure, including noting that it is against the preview of that body and gathering signatures for a class-action lawsuit.
At prestigious Duke University, this is a great article from JNS cataloged what went on during April’s Israel Apartheid week.
Duke’s student government group spent $16,000 on the event to host el-Kurd, who received $5000 as his stipend. Here is a short account from the article:
Palestinian poet Mohammed el-Kurd advocated “Palestinian liberation,” telling his cheering audience, “We want our land back from the river to the sea.”
When asked what would happen to 7 million Israelis who live on most of this land, el-Kurd replied, “I don’t care. I truly, sincerely, don’t give a f**k” Hooting, laughter and thunderous applause.
In the United Kingdom, University of Leeds the (CAA) Campaign against Antisemitism identified a professor with a long history of tweets that violate the IHRA definition of Antisemitism, which they university has claimed to adopt. As of April, the university notes they received the letter of complaint, but no action has been taken. No comment has been issued either by the University of the professor. This article reports on the tweets in question.
A University of Illinois professor and legal scholar calls out his own university’s participation in antisexist and provides a brief but effective overview of how the leashing of antisemitism into American academy f all levels has been going on for years—with warnings given by many.
Harvard University has been in the news, at last the news I follow, because of its unchecked antisemitism—manifested lately with the student body. In A poorly researched Harvard Crimson article—a student newspaper—the students champion the cause of BDS and anti-Zionism, with only one loan editor voicing dissent (and she received significant blowback). Thankfully, over 70 Harvard professors formally signed a letter admonishing the article and sentiments and identifying antisemitism of BDS and how Harvard’s participation in it is not acceptable. I am glad to see professors standing up for justice, but how wonderful would it be for students and teachers to simply get back to studying their disciplines? And why are some many privileged students to ignorant of the modern history of Israel and the Jews? Even just the last 100 years or so?
Many more issues have gone on very recently, including the University of Washington and more.
I invite you to read about the occurrences and reporting in any of the articles I shared with you here.
As well, if you are on Facebook, consider following the group Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS. This feed is a great source of what is going on in colleges, universities, and k-12 schools around the world.
So what do we do about it?
The Jerusalem Connection has the mission to help offset this bad narrative, one student at a time, by offering a scholarship to an American student to study in Israel at Hebrew University for one full semester. This experience will allow the student to immerse him or herself in the culture and society of Israel—including all its diversity and openness to international visitors. This is not a vacation or a mission trip. Students take courses that align with their majors, and in so doing learn the truth about Israel society and bring that truth back to their home campus. This experience will allow students to have a first-hand account of life in Israel as well as foster live-long advocates for Israel and the Jewish people.
Consider a one time or recurring donation to this on-going fund. We are certainly willing to send more than one student at a time! Summer sessions are available as well. If you want to learn more about the program, donate online, or direct a student to apply for the scholarship, simply go to our website, go to projects, and choose Hebrew University Scholarship from the dropdown menu.
All the information you need is there—and you can aways call or email us to get more information.
Shavua Tov, have a great week.