Tags: Israel | US colleges | Jewish students | anti-Semitism | campus

Jewish Students Under Siege on College Campuses, Reports Say

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 12:32 PM

Two new reports indicate that anti-Semitism is growing on college campuses, with one stating that more than half of Jewish students claim to have witnessed or been subjected to some form of anti-Jewish harassment.

One, conducted by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, involved interviews with 1,157 Jews students at 55 campuses across the United States. The poll, conducted in the spring of 2014, found that "54 percent reported instances of anti-Semitism on campus during the first six months of the 2013-2014 academic year."

The survey most likely understates the level of anti-Semitism because it was conducted prior to last year's war between Israel and Hamas, when incidents of anti-Semitism spiked in much of the world, the Guardian reported.

Nonetheless, "the patterns and high rates of anti-Semitism that were reported were surprising," said Ariela Keysar, an associate research professor at Trinity College and co-author of the report.

Keysar said that rather than being confined to a few campuses or targeting "politically active or religious students," the problem turned out to be widespread.

"Jewish students are subjected to both traditional prejudice and the new political anti-Semitism," she told The Washington Free Beacon.

Of those who said they had "witnessed or personally been subjected to anti-Semitism," 29 percent identified the perpetrator as another student.

According to the report, membership in a Jewish campus organization "such as Hillel, Chabad, or a Jewish fraternity/sorority raises the likelihood of reporting anti-Semitism."

The anti-Semitism appeared to target Jews across the political spectrum, ranging from members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a coalition group encompassing liberals, moderate and conservatives, to members of the liberal-oriented "pro-peace" group J Street. In fact, 50 percent of J Street members reported instances of anti-Semitism.

The latter finding "belies the canard that campus anti-Semitism is perceived primarily by conservative or right-wing students," the researchers concluded.

The Free Beacon noted that one student who responded anonymously to the survey said the anti-Semitism is often associated with left-leaning groups advocating boycotts of Israel.

"The divestment campaign and other anti-Israel campaigns on this campus are intertwined with rampant anti-Semitism," the student was quoted as stating.

According to that student, following "a widespread anti-Israel/anti-Semitic attack earlier this year the University issued a weak response. Jewish students … want to know that our University stands by us."

The Brandeis Center survey findings are buttressed by those in a new report issued by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative group based in Southern California, which has launched a campaign against "Jew hatred on campuses."

As one of its first initiatives, Jew Hatred on Campus has compiled a list of the "10 U.S. campuses having the worst anti-Semitic activity in 2014."

Universities included in those rankings "played host to numerous incidents of anti-Jewish acts, such as Israeli Apartheid Week (a weeklong event that demonizes the Jewish state); interrupting university activities by staging mock 'checkpoints' on campus; campus speakers that call for the destruction of the Jewish state; and verbal or physical harassment and violence against Jewish and pro-Israel students," the Freedom Center claims.

These incidents "occur on university property, often with the support of university funds, despite the fact that such behavior is explicitly forbidden under campus codes of conduct," it charges.

Columbia University was listed as number one, followed by Cornell, George Mason, Loyola-Chicago, Portland State, San Diego State, San Francisco State, Temple, UCLA, and Vassar College.

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Two new reports indicate that anti-Semitism is growing on college campuses, with one stating that more than half of Jewish students claim to have witnessed or been subjected to some form of anti-Jewish harassment.
US colleges, Jewish students, anti-Semitism, campus
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2015-32-25
Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 12:32 PM
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