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Due To Fears Of Anti-Semitism, Jewish Students Refrain From Openly Supporting Israel On Campuses In The US And Europe

nnaDue to fears of anti-Semitism, Jewish students are refraining from expressing support for Israel on campuses in the US and Europe, students told the Committee for Immigration, Absorption & Diaspora Affairs on Tuesday 10 Teves.

According to a survey presented by the Minister of Diaspora Affairs, in 2015 some 9,000 verbal anti-Semitic attacks were reported on Facebook; 11,354 on Twitter and 4,468 on Instagram. In addition, 4,465 anti-Semitic video clips were posted on YouTube. It was also found that 40% of Europe`s citizens are anti-Semitic and 75% of Jewish students in the US were attacked for anti-Semitic reasons.

Jewish students living abroad told the committee that anti-Semitism and the BDS movement are causing them to conceal their Jewish identity (some keep their yarmulkes in their pockets) and their pro-Israel positions.

Committee Chairman MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) said, ”Today, anti-Semitism is disguised as excoriating and arsenic criticism towards the Jewish State, mainly on academic campuses, which are dominated by an extreme liberal spirit. Hatred towards the State of Israel is its fuel and engine”.

“When it is no longer polite and fashionable to hate Jews as they are”, said Neguise, ”the hatred is disguised as criticism towards the Jewish State”.

Prof. Irwin Cotler, former Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada, said the current level of anti-Semitism “is the highest in 40 years, and includes the rejection of Israel`s right to exist at all, and the portrayal of Israel as a monster and enemy of mankind”.

He added that under the UN`s patronage, Israel is condemned more than any other country. “And the amazing thing is that the countries which lead the condemnations under the claim of `damage to human rights` are Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia”, said Cotler.

Gilad Kabilo, activity coordinator at StandWithUs organization, spoke of their 15 years of activity also within the social media. “We thwart boycott-related activities while producing good results on the ground, and we distribute accurate information about Israel, as well as promote discourse on the right of the Jewish nation to its historical native land”.

Ido Daniel, Program Director at Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism, spoke of the increasing anti-Semitic incitement on the web. The program`s activists fight [anti-Semitism on the web] using 16 languages, and have combated more than 30,000 anti-Semitic incidents on social media over the last year.

“People in the world understand that boycott or criticism of Israel`s policy means denial of the Holocaust, the demonization of Jews, and a permit to murder Jews”, he said. “The outcome is that Jews are afraid to openly express their Judaism”.

MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) spoke of the UN-funded textbooks in the Palestinian Authority. “They are full of pathologic hatred towards Jews, desire and aspiration for Israel`s destruction”, she said, while noting that a Jewish friend of hers in Atlanta said that this year she refrained from placing a Chanukah menorah at her window.

According to Hagai Bar of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Today boycott activists withdrew from attack to defense mode, and are currently fighting over the right to boycott”.

Jonathan Elkhoury of the Christian Empowerment Council spoke of the change in the position of many students after hear from a Christian Arab such as himself about his defense of Israel. Juda Stone of the Jewish Agency warned of the phenomenon of Jewish students who are afraid of anti-Semitism, which “leads them to escape their identity”.

Benny Fischer, president of the European Union of Jewish students, said that not all those who support boycotting Israel are anti-Semitic, but they see themselves as “peace activists”, and warned against the use of phrases such as ”Jews have no future in Europe”.

Hadar Farkash, a student at Berkley University, spoke of the phenomenon of anti-Israel lecturers, as well as Palestinians and Americans – and even Jews – who are anti-Israel, while Jonah Shipmiler of NGO Monitor spoke of boycott movements which operate in Israel and encourage Israeli youngsters to not enlist in the IDF.

Jerusalem Institute of Justice, in cooperation with CA-inspiration, operates on US campuses using a unique method which incorporates campaign research in the social media. A campaign which was presented as an example to the committee showed figures related to exposure to content through the social media. The exposure itself brought about a thorough change in the discourse at the Indiana University and Purdue campuses, as well as a profound change in the way organizations which promote inciting and violent discourse against Israel operate on social networks.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

3 Responses

  1. Maybe Jewish groups should encourage parents to ask schools when applying if it is safe and comfortable for Jewish students there who might be even (heaven forbid) pro Israel. And that they may reconsider applying (and their tens of thousands of dollars) if it is not. And of course to encourage alumni to contact the schools as well – especially those that donate. They should also bring up the concerns from pro Palestinian student groups (pro Hamas!)

  2. Couldn’t YWN find more misleading picture for the article.
    The hate Jewish students experience on US campuses comes exclusively from Left-Wing Liberals and their Muslim friends.

  3. But liberal Jewish donors continue to pour in enormous amounts of money into these institutions.
    No, I am not saying that they should be supporting yeshivos instead. Of course they should, but that isn’t the point here. And maybe these big givers don’t care about Israel at all, or even consider it evil. That happens. Yet, how could anyone Jewish fund institutions that allow rampant antisemitism on campus? At the very least, place some caveats on those checks, letting the schools know in defined terms that the largesse is contingent on safety of the Jewish students.

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