The Amcha Initiative, a nonpartisan group focused on investigating and combating anti-Semitism on college campuses, is out with a new report. The news is horrifying: “The study, which examined anti-Semitic activity from January – June 2016 on more than 100 public and private colleges and universities with the largest Jewish undergraduate populations, found that 287 anti-Semitic incidents occurred at 64 schools during that time period, reflecting a 45% increase from the 198 incidents reported in the first six months of 2015.”
Moreover, the study finds, as it did in 2015:
[A]nti-Semitism was twice as likely to occur on campuses where BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign] was present, eight times more likely to occur on campuses with at least one active anti-Zionist student group such as SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine], and six times more likely to occur on campuses with one or more faculty boycotters. In fact, schools with more faculty boycotters and more BDS activity tended to have more incidents of anti-Semitic activity.
This is not merely a robust debate about Israel, but shows ongoing efforts to delegitimize the Jewish State and intimidate American Jewish students, which belies the myth that anti-Israel efforts aren’t anti-Semitic. They are, as the evidence shows. Incidents of targeting Jewish students (defined as “incidents involving conduct that targeted Jewish students for particular harm based on their Jewishness or perceived association with Israel”) were up 64 percent from 2015.
The report goes on to explain:
“Anti-normalization” is a known tactic employed by those promoting BDS on campus. Its goal is to stifle all pro-Israel expression. Adherents of “anti-normalization” target not only pro-Israel students, but anyone presumed to support Israel, first and foremost Jewish students, regardless of their actual personal feelings on Israel. As a result, Jewish students engaging in Jewish activity having nothing to do with Israel — wearing their Jewish sorority or fraternity letters, displaying Star of David necklaces, walking to Hillel for Sabbath dinner — report fearing for their safety and wellbeing. In addition, because of their support, or even just presumed support, for Israel, Jewish students report being rejected from progressive social justice activities such as pro-choice rallies, anti-rape demonstrations, Black Lives Matter events and racial justice conferences.
In addition to ostracizing and alienating Jewish students from certain areas of campus life, anti-Zionist students repeatedly attempt to shutdown events organized by Jewish students and suppress their free speech about Israel and other topics. Sadly, because of strong emotions on Israel, Jewish students are being targeted, discriminated against and ostracized, and their civil rights are being egregiously violated.
Mind you, all this occurs as college campuses are going to excruciating lengths to restrict “offensive” speech and set up “safe zones.” The delicate minds of students are apparently too fragile to undertake exposure to ideas they do not like. Oh, but Jewish students are a different matter. It would be wrong to ask for the same speech codes and anti-free speech nonsense for Jewish students, but the fact that none of the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activity seems of concern to the offense police tells us much about their agenda. Some minorities are more deserving of protection and respect, apparently.
There is a piece of good news: “This past spring, the University of California took a critical stand against the rising antisemitism plaguing its 10 campuses. Its Board of Regents issued a statement acknowledging that anti-Zionism is a form of antisemitism which incites additional Jew hatred and, like other forms of discrimination, has no place at the University of California.” Perhaps the federal government should stop subsidizing universities that don’t follow suit and that allow rampant violation of Jewish students’ civil liberties to go unaddressed.