When faced with a choice between confronting two evils, elites—particularly academic ones—usually focus on the less prevalent one. “In April, the Fifth Annual Conference on Islamophobia was held at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Law School, organized by Hatem Bazian, a Palestinian activist, co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine, and professor of a current Berkeley course called ‘De-Constructing Islamophobia and the History of Otherness,’ with part of the course requirements being that students open a Twitter account and tweet at least once a week about ‘Islamophobia,’” Richard L. Cravatts, president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East wrote in The Times of Israel.
Meanwhile, Cravatts notes, “FBI statistics indicate that acts of anti-Semitism occur with eight times the regularity of anti-Muslim incidents, and that between 2011 and 2012 alone, the number of anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses tripled.”
Tammi Benjamin of the AMCHA Intitiative did a study of Center for Near East Studies (CNES) events at UCLA from 2010-2013 and found that “Significant anti-semitic activity and anti-Israel bias were found in these events, as well as a singling out of Israel for opprobrium from among all other Middle Eastern countries.”
“A majority of the events about Israel demonized and delegitimized it, with a significant minority condoning terrorism against Israeli civilians, as well as promoting boycott and divestment efforts. A large majority of the invited speakers at the events have demonized Israel and promoted boycott and divestment. One-third have compared Jews to Nazis, and one-third have condoned terrorism.”
Scholars from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (against Israel, that is) movement took issue with Benjamin’s definition of anti-semitism, yet, Cravatts points out, she took the definition used by the State Department, never a pillar of pro-Israel information.