Anti-Semitism on college campuses on the rise, report says: “Every act has become bigger and bolder”
A new report reveals an increase in anti-Semitic incidents on US college campuses, with hundreds of current and former students noting that anti-Semitism is a problem.
Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), a network of alumni trying to combat campus anti-Semitism and anti-Israel prejudice, conducted the investigation between March 25 and June 14 and noted that the report included testimonials from students who said they had faced Holocaust comparisons, Jewish stereotypes, and anti-Semitic tropes common on their college campuses. Students also cited administrative negligence in the report titled “Growing Threat: Anti-Semitism on College Campuses.”
ACF released the results of the survey of Jewish and former students last week and found that 95% of those who participated said anti-Semitism is a problem, with three in four describing it as a “very serious problem”.
The survey found that nearly half of current students said anti-Semitism was getting worse on their college campuses.
An anonymous student noted that a professor made “a horribly offensive analogy about the Holocaust.”
“When I told her it was offensive, she got me on fire and said if I was so sensitive I should find another career,” the student continued, adding that “there was a increased anti-Israel activity on campus “and that” we found swastikas and hate speech from right-wing groups on campus. “
Another student said that “UConn [The University of Connecticut] experienced seven anti-Semitic incidents during the year and three during Passover alone. ”
“Each act got bigger and bolder, and the students got scared,” the student continued.
In April, a 21-year-old UConn student was arrested and charged with a hate crime a month after a swastika was found spray-painted on a chemistry building during the Jewish holiday of Passover, the Hartford Courant reported, noting that the building was located directly opposite the Hillel, the center of Jewish life and learning on campus.
In a statement sent to Fox News on Sunday, a UConn spokeswoman said the same person was arrested twice for painting swastikas found on two campus buildings in two separate incidents, noting that the ‘arrest had taken place “after a thorough investigation which included reviews of videos and Wi-Fi access.”
“Hateful acts, including instances of anti-Semitism, will never be tolerated at UConn,” the spokesperson said. “Every member of our community – students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests – deserves to feel safe and respected at UConn.”
She added that “anyone who violates this principle goes against the values that this university exists to uphold.”
The report also found that 79% of those polled had experienced or heard directly from another student making offensive or threatening anti-Semitic comments.
In addition, the survey found that more than half had received or heard offensive or threatening anti-Semitic comments from a faculty member or university employees.
In May, a required Zoom lecture at a New York public university reportedly turned into a pro-Palestinian protest, as many students and at least one professor “hijacked” the planned schedule and read what has been described as anti-Semitic tropes on the conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
A group of Jewish students from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, CUNY, told Fox News they feared returning to campus for in-person instruction in the fall.
During the organized intervention which some said resembled a “Zoom Bombing”, many of the nearly 200 class participants changed their backgrounds to Palestinian flags and their names to “Free Palestine: Decolonize”. Protesters took turns reading a manifesto, and the discussion section was also inundated with comments – one of which claimed Israel was using the Holocaust as “a tool.”
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One student, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Fox News: “They were totally and completely demonizing Israel, and I was so horrified that I had a stomach ache.
“What’s horrible is that there were professors voicing their opinions on this,” she added. “They are meant to be the mediators of the discussion, not the ones fueling the fire.”
In a statement sent to Fox News, Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work said it “takes any allegation of anti-Semitism very seriously.”
“While we abide by the principle of an open and free exchange of ideas, we will not tolerate any hate speech in any form,” the school added. “As the oldest and largest public school of social work in New York City, we will continue to work seriously with our students, faculty, staff and alumni to ensure our school remains a safe and inclusive environment for all. “
Also in May, neighboring Rutgers University in New Jersey apologized to pro-Palestinian students after school officials first denounced anti-Semitism after a fraternity house was established during a Holocaust memorial event, then replaced the statement on the university’s website.
In 2019, ACF published a report that referred to Columbia University and its sister school, Barnard College, in New York City as “a hotbed of hate,” documenting “systemic anti-Semitism and a entrenched delegitimization of Israel. ” in schools.
The report cited more than 100 incidents “which contributed to a hostile climate” in colleges since the 2016-17 school year and included “anti-Semitic expressions, incidents targeting Jewish students and staff, and BDS activity. (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions). “The report recorded how the work of Columbia faculty members allegedly targeted Jewish and Zionist students.
“These campuses are arguably the most important places for academic anti-Semitism in the United States,” the 2019 report said.
An incident mentioned in the report dates back to November 2018, when the office of a Jewish professor at Columbia University was vandalized with swastikas and an anti-Semitic slur was found painted red in the entrance to the office of the scholar on the Holocaust.
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The report also documented an April 2018 letter from Barnard’s Student Government Association urging directors to part ways with eight companies with ties to Israel.
At the time, a spokesperson for Columbia University said in a statement to Fox News: “Colombia is deeply proud of our thriving Jewish communities of students, faculty and campus staff, contributions and achievements of our Institute for Israel and the Center for Jewish Studies, and the many other academic initiatives, public programs and social events that are part of the fabric of Jewish life here. “
A statement sent to Fox News by a spokesperson for Barnard College said: “Barnard College values its vibrant Jewish community and is committed to providing all of our students, faculty and staff with the support and resources they need to express their religious beliefs in a welcoming environment. environment. Anti-Semitism has no place at Barnard and is a direct violation of our non-discrimination policy. We will continue to stand up for the rights of everyone on our campus and provide students with the skills and abilities to think critically, deeply and with moral courage about the complex world around them. “
The report released last week provides recommendations to curb the increase in anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses and urges universities to create safer environments for Jewish students.
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One recommendation mentioned in the report includes immediate responses to anti-Semitic incidents by college administrators. Another asks colleges to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of anti-Semitism, which may include criticism of Israel.
Danielle Wallace of Fox News contributed to this report.