Anti-Semitism on Campus 2014

, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, 60 Comments

As soon as an African American student at San Jose State University who was racially harassed and bullied by his dormitory roommates came forward, university, county, and state officials began an investigation. Within days, prosecutors labeled it a hate crime, battery charges were filed against three of the roommates, and the university had suspended them. Within weeks, California State Assembly Speaker John Perez announced the creation of a Select Committee on Campus Climate, and its first task was to look into this incident and find a way to prevent others like it.

When a white male threw a beer at Trinity College sophomore Juan Hernandez and yelled, “Get off our campus,” Trinity launched an investigation and charges were brought against the perpetrator. When anti-gay remarks were written on message boards that hang on dorm-room doors, Elizabethtown College began an investigation, engaged the FBI, and disciplinary action was taken.

Compare that to the situation for Jewish students. Over the last several years, Jewish students on campuses across the country have been physically, emotionally, and intellectually harassed, intimidated, threatened, and bullied, not only by their fellow students but also by some of their professors:

  •  Anti-Israel student activists at the University of Michigan last month hurled death threats at Jewish student council members and called them “dirty Jew” and “kike.”
  •  At University of California, Berkeley, a Jewish girl holding an “Israel Wants Peace” sign was ramrodded with a shopping cart by the head of Students for Justice in Palestine.
  •  At Harvard University, the Palestine Security Committee frightened Jewish students by placing mock eviction notices on their dormitory rooms.
  •  At Northeastern University in Boston, Students for Justice in Palestine vandalized a menorah and disrupted Jewish events.
  •  At San Francisco State University this past fall, the General Union of Palestine Students hosted an all-day event where participants could make posters and t-shirts that said, “My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers,” meaning Jews.
  •  And just last week, at New York University, pro-Palestinian students slipped “eviction notices” under the doors of 2,000 undergrads, scaring Jewish students and parents.

The official response to these episodes has been silence.

The first major source for anti-Jewish sentiment on campus is members of the Muslim and pro-Palestinian student organizations. For more than a decade, these groups have sponsored speakers, films, exhibits, and guerrilla theater that engage in discourse or use imagery and language considered anti-Semitic by the U.S. State Department. These student groups have also been responsible for aggressively confronting students at pro-Israel events and threatening, physically harassing, and assaulting Jewish students.

Over the past couple of years, the groups have also promoted campaigns to boycott Israel or companies that do business with Israel. These campaigns are accompanied by talks, rallies, and exhibits containing anti-Semitic imagery, rhetoric, and actions. Jewish students have reported fearing for their safety in the days leading up to and after the campaigns, saying they were “continuously intimidated” and “repeatedly threatened.”

The second source of anti-Israel sentiment on campus is faculty. In classrooms and at departmentally sponsored events, faculty members have advanced lies and distortions about Zionism, Israel, and Jews, and advocated the elimination of the Jewish State. Although their rhetoric is unscholarly, politically motivated, and even at times anti-Semitic, these professors have wrapped themselves in the mantle of academic freedom, making it very difficult to challenge:

  •  For four years, David Klein, a mathematics professor at California State University, Northridge, has been using his university’s server to promote his Web pages calling for the economic, academic, and cultural boycott of Israel. His Web pages contain a litany of false and inflammatory statements and photographs intended to incite hatred and promote political activism against the Jewish State.
  •  David Lloyd is a professor of English at University of California, Riverside. In January, he organized an event on his campus that featured Omar Barghouti, the founder and most vocal advocate for the campaign to boycott Israel. Barghouti accused Israeli soldiers of “hunting children,” saying that soldiers “entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.” He also accused “Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups” of “buying and paying for the allegiance of Congress” and controlling the media. Course credit was dangled to students in eight courses for attending Barghouti’s hate speech.
  •  At NYU, Prof. Lisa Duggan hosted a conference for students that constituted nothing more than a platform for 21 anti-Israel activists to spew their hatred of the Jewish state and promote a boycott intended to hasten its elimination. Fully aware of its unscholarly, anti-Semitic, politically motivated purpose, Duggan wrote on Facebook, “PLEASE DO NOT post or circulate the flyer. We are trying to avoid press, protestors and public attention.”

The impact of this academic Israel-bashing on students has been enormous. Students have reported feeling emotionally and intellectually harassed and intimidated by their professors, to the point that they are reluctant or afraid to express a view that is not anti-Israel in their classes. They are often afraid to come forward and confront the professor or complain to the university for fear of retaliation.

Sadly, Jewish students who have spoken out have been vilified and attacked for even trying to call attention to the anti-Semitic behavior they are experiencing. For example, at a University of California, Davis anti-Israel “occupation” rally last November, a student who expressed concern about the anti-Semitic banners displayed at the protest was physically assaulted by a protestor who screamed in his face, “You are racist and you should die in hell.”

Who bears the most blame for the tsunami of campus anti-Semitism? University administrators. Distressingly, administrators routinely turn a blind eye to this long-standing and pervasive anti-Jewish bigotry and ignore Jewish students’ pleas for help. Language and behavior that would never be tolerated from students or faculty when directed against other campus minorities goes unchallenged by administrators when directed against Jewish students. The primary responsibility for addressing campus anti-Semitism rests with university administrators. Unfortunately, they are missing in action when it comes to protecting Jewish students rights and ensuring their safety.

Administrators: It’s time to stop hiding.


Tammi Rossman-Benjamin is a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz and cofounder of the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that combats campus anti-Semitism. This column was distributed by the Jewish News Service. You can find the original here

  • Salamagundhi

    Seems the Jew haters in the story and comment section fall into two main categories; those that are either immigrant or first generation Americans from moslem countries and Holocaust deniers.

    To the first group I say if you can’t leave your inbred hatreds in the middle east where they belong, you have no business in America; either as student or resident. So the letter of eviction was only a copy of that posted on the doors of “palestinians”? Hey, how about a Jew posts photos of the Fogel toddler decapitated by one of those brave “palestinians” on your doors? Bet the university administration takes notice then! Shame the Jews belief in free speech will be their utter demise.

    For the second category; F’ you.

  • Incitatus

    “An anti-Semite is someone who dislikes Jews more than is absolutely necessary.”
    H.L. Mencken

  • anti-zog

    This much control for two percent of the population and claiming victim status is why people are opening their eyes. Jews have brought it upon themselves w/ their own hypocrisy.

  • Rebecca

    The most vocal anti-Israel people on campus in the past have been non-religious Jews. Now, we have the campus Islamists doing it and it has been taken to a new depth. Christians have been vilified by the same people. The so called peaceful coexistence types are for anything but peace.

  • Richard Hellstrom

    Source Wikipedia – Quote
    On April 3, 2006, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced its finding that incidents of antisemitism are a “serious problem” on college campuses throughout the United States. The Commission recommended that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights protect college students from antisemitism through vigorous enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and further recommended that Congress clarify that Title VI applies to discrimination against Jewish students.[59]
    From 1979 to 1989 the ADL recorded more than 9,617 antisemitic incidents, including 6,400 cases of vandalism, bombings and attempted bombings, arsons and attempted arsons, and cemetery desecrations.
    Their were 2,066 reported Hate Crimes committed against Jews in in 1994.
    See – The government can send cowards to attack children but what they can’t do is stand up like a man in court and openly confess their bigotry – So – What Americans lives under our coward bigots who live their entire lives in fear of being discovered –

    See ==========Word Press – u-s-created-and-executed-genocide-in-Germany/inboxrgh

  • Guest

    Now the government and their services are supporting hitler on our public buses……….
    ‘Islamic Jew-hatred’ ads appear on Washington buses

  • Maliban Al Maliban

    google: crying wolf, hate crimes hoaxes in america. israheili intel is
    running a worldwide propaganda op with its agents running stories about
    “rising tide of anti semitism”. but it is all a lie, just propaganda
    designed to get sympathy for the “poor jews, i.e. zionist thugs” who are
    committing mass murder in gaza. just google: rising tide of anti
    semitism…………you can see the operation for yourself.

    p.s. google also: robert maxwell israels superspy…………..learn how mossad controls media in the usa and europe.

  • Truther

    Agree- this site is disinformation of the worst kind. The tide is anti-arabism- the Israelie agenda is promoting hate against them in order to get the US to do their bidding. none of this would have happened if the US chose the Alternate site for the new state of israel in Argentina, rather than putting in a land which Jews only comprised 10% of the population in the early 1900’s. Or are these facts you would like to hide? the real hate crime is the continued uproorting and stealing of palestinian land by so called “settlers”- really violent international criminals. The US public will wise up and catch the Web of lies.

  • Guest

    Well written piece. Shame the hateful responders are already spewing lies, including the person below who claims that “Jews only comprised 10% of the population in the early 1900’s” – check your census figures – more than half the residents of Jerusalem were Jewish and only 10% Muslim,

  • Richard Hellstrom

    The good news is through the attempt to create higher amounts of Anti Semitic behavior in America , these numbers are declining – The American people just hate the new breed of Jew Haters much , much , much more than they’ve ever hated the Jews.
    On April 2014 the Anti-Defamation League published its 2013 audit of antisemitic incidents that pointed out a decline of 19 percent in antisemitic records. The total number of antisemitic attacks across the U.S. was 751, including 31 physical assaults, 315 incidents of vandalism and 405 cases of harassment