Recently I came across a disturbing article in World News Israel about a particular incident at SUNY (State University of New York) at New Paltz (Upstate NY). Here, Jewish students were pointblank discriminated against and harassed simply for being Jewish and having a connection to (and affinity for) the land of Israel. Not only that, but they were also discriminated against by being denied vital mental health services designed to be inclusive and safe.
This reminds me of the woman’s march back in 2018—where the leadership there told Zionist women they are neither feminists nor welcome. Israeli and Jewish women are likely among the most progressive and forward-thinking population of women in a culture that values all women regardless of ethnicity, color, or heritage.
This incident at SUNY is not isolated, but illustrative of what is happening on college campuses throughout the Western world. The false narrative against the modern state of Israel is providing a haven and incubator for antisemitism to flourish, under the noses of and with the blessing of so-called Progressive Liberals.
Meanwhile, Jewish students on college campuses suffer greatly. In this case, they are denied the opportunity for healing after being victims of sexual assault (a crime). Two women, who were seeking support from an on-campus sexual assault victims support group, were ostracized and bullied out by members of the group after they learned of the women’s Jewish identities and outlooks regarding Israel. Quoting from the World News Israel article:
Both Preis and Blotner were then subjected to anti-Semitic harassment and bullying online by the group’s members. They threatened to spit on them in public and some called the women “dumb bxxxx” who support “mass genocide.”
To add insult to now two injuries, the school has done absolutely nothing in response to the groups or the hostile individuals. And, it has been nearly 10 months since this all came to light. They requested additional security and were denied.
The university declined Blotner’s request for a security escort to accompany her to class and advised her not to attend,” according to the Brandeis Center. “Unable to attend class safely, Blotner left campus to be with her family. The hostile anti-Semitic atmosphere for Jewish Zionist sexual assault survivors brewing on campus after posts caused Preis … to feel so anxious about her safety she was also unable to attend class.
Let’s remind everyone about the he IHRA definition of antisemitism, part of which includes holding Jews or Israel to a different standard then others as well as blaming Jews individually for political activity of a national government.
We don’t see this support group or other groups on campuses ousting Russian students who are sympathizing with Putin (of which there may be many) . We don’t see the multitude of Chinese students who are often under the behest of the Confucius Institutes on campuses being ousted for their connection to the communist, oppressive, and human-right abusing Chinese government (nor should we). But how much more obvious can we get that folks with an antizionist agenda are purely antisemitic and simply found a safe socially acceptable way to express it?
What happens in the quads of local universities will trickle up to the world stage, but prayerfully and hopefully, we advocate for watchdogs worldwide to call out antisemitism when we see and hear it.
Palestinian Authority president Abbas made public statements on stage with Germany’s chancellor and trivialized the Holocaust. He also likened it, erroneously, to clashes that have occurred in Israel.
In Germany, it is a crime to deny or trivialize the Holocaust. The result is a police inquiry is open to investigate this happening. While heads of state are immune from criminal prosecution in Germany when in country on official business, Germany does not recognize the PA (Palestinian Authority) as a sovereign nation. Legal experts are on the case.
Meanwhile German citizens not only immediately took offense to Abbas’s comments, but they have also railed against their Chancellor for allowing the comments to go unchecked in that public forum. German citizens, including German Jewish citizens and descendants of Holocaust victims, were outraged not just at the comments of the PA’s Abbas (comments that are in par with Abbas’ character, history, and even his college dissertations) the anger at the Chancellor is for not taking his opportunity at the podium to publicly address the vitriolic and hurtful words of Abbas just as they were uttered.
Recognizing antisemitism is the first step in combatting it.
While antisemitism in Germany is still alive and well, I have reported in the past the Mayor of Berlin has been proactive in working against, it, for example, passing regulations that no antisemitic or BSD related organization can use or rent public spaces for their meetings and events.
While I am not seeing the feminist or ‘Me-Too” movements pick up these heinous stories about Jewish women (or men) who are being not just denied but harassed out of support services because they are Jewish, I am glad that this incident in Germany received more press than I would have expected. The Associated press report was picked up by ABC, a mainstream US news service, while World News Israel, JNS (Jewish News Syndicate), and The Jerusalem Post, among others, all reported on this and posted reports to their social media pages as well.
Continue to address antisemitism in your own communities while also being aware of and willing to expose it wherever you find it, even in a newspaper half a world away. Sharing it to your own social media pages exposes your own network to the news so they are aware and can act however they are able, including re-sharing a post with vital news otherwise overlooked.
Shavua Tov; have a great week.