Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Anti-Semitism surged on college campuses across the United States during the first part of 2016, according to a new study that found Jewish students supportive of Israel are being targeted “for harm.”
Nearly 100 more anti-Semitic incidents were recorded on U.S. college campuses during the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015, according to the report, published by the AMCHA Initiative, a group that works to combat discrimination against Jews.
In addition, “the number of incidents involving the suppression of Jewish students’ freedom of speech and assembly approximately doubled from 2015 to 2016,” according to the report, which also found that a massive uptick in anti-Israel behavior “was highly correlated with behavior that targeted Jewish students for harm.”
“The sheer volume of incidents is rising at an alarming rate, and how much a campus is afflicted is directly tied to the presence of anti-Zionist students and faculty and the level of anti-Zionist activity.”
The report examined anti-Israel and anti-Semitic behavior at 113 schools in the United States with the largest number of Jewish students.
“From January to June 2016, one or more kinds of anti-Semitic activity were found at more than half the schools most popular with Jewish students,” the study found.
At least 287 incidents targeting Jewish students for verbal or physical harm were recorded during the first six months of 2016. More than half of the schools included in the study experienced an anti-Semitic incident or activity targeted against pro-Israel Jews.
This type of activity is tied to the rise of anti-Israel campus groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP, which has disseminated Nazi propaganda at some schools and been involved in physical confrontations with pro-Israel students, according to the report.
“Unquestionably, [the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement], SJP and anti-Israel faculty are the prime predictors of hostility aimed at Jewish students,” Rossman-Benjamin said. “But what’s even more astonishing is how much bolder and more brazen the anti-Zionists are becoming.”
“While the focus used to be solely on Israel, the damage is now also being unleashed on Jewish students,” she said. “Instead of boycotting Israel, it’s now common practice to boycott Jewish students. Universities must stand up against this hate and clearly distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism, as the University of California did earlier this year.”