New Webpage Documents Over 100 Testimonies of Antisemitism on US Campuses; Jewish Students Report Feeling Targeted, Terrified
A new webpage was launched on Monday featuring over one hundred personal testimonies from Jewish students who have experienced antisemitism on campuses across the U.S. over the past year-and-a-half.
Behind the project is the non-profit campus watchdog AMCHA Initiative, which gathered the extensive testimony from public reports, and students at 47 colleges and universities in 20 states.
In their reports on the site, some students said they felt intimidated and frightened. Others said they wanted to hide their Jewish identities for fear of being targeted by classmates. One student from University of Washington said that after seeing his Star of David, some people “brand me as someone toxic, someone worthy of their disdain and vitriol.”
A University of North Carolina student said he was taunted by antisemitic classmates who also made racist references to the Holocaust. He admitted: “I feel like I am being attacked because I wear my Star of David out in public.”
“I wear shirts with the word Israel on it or shirts with Hebrew lettering, I have Israel stickers on my laptop… [I have been] spat at,” the student continued. “I have been called a terrorist, baby killer, woman killer, [told that] I use blood to make matzah and other foods, Christ killer, occupier, and much more… [a female student] looked at me with a straight face and said to ‘go burn in an oven.'”
A Kean University student said he won’t wear a Jewish star on campus, any clothing that refers to Israel or has any connection to Judaism because “I don’t want to have a target on my back.”
At Northwestern University, which has experienced multiple incidents of antisemitic graffiti this year, including one incident this week in which a swastika was found scrawled on its sports field, one student said, “I am terrified knowing I may not be able to discuss my Judaism without taunts, or worse, violence.”
At Florida State University a Palestinian student visiting the campus accused a Jewish student of being a Nazi, a racist, and “an imperialist who needs to check my white privilege.”
“I think for the first time in my adult life, I truly understood what it means to stare racism straight in the face,” the FSU student said.
Others admitted that attacks on their Jewish identity had not only affected them emotionally, but have also had “devastating effects” on them academically. One student complained of being “so riddled with anxiety that I couldn’t sleep.” Jewish Student Government representatives were called “kike” and “dirty Jew” and some students said they were scared to attend their classes because they felt unsafe.
All of the testimonies published on the webpage were stated publicly at student government meetings or have been quoted by the press, according to AMCHA. Some mentioned the campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as being responsible for making campuses unsafe for Jewish students.
A student from Vasser College said, “From their harassment of students participating in the spring break trip, to the Nazi incident and anti-Zionist rhetoric that verges on blood libel, SJP has done everything in its power to make Vassar an unsafe space for Jews.”