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June 23, 2015 1:43 pm

New Webpage Documents Over 100 Testimonies of Antisemitism on US Campuses; Jewish Students Report Feeling Targeted, Terrified

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Jewish students reported feeling frightened, targeted and intimidated on campus. Photo: Jonathan Hoenig.

Jewish students reported feeling frightened, targeted and intimidated on campus. Photo: Jonathan Hoenig.

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.”

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“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.”

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  • Radmila K.

    I went to San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California from 2004 to 2008. There were always groups protesting in the quad area for Palestinian rights, their signs and language were extremely hateful towards Jews and towards Israel. I complained to administration about them but nothing was ever done.

  • JJ Biener

    Our universities have become so obsessed with “micro-aggressions” they have lost site of real aggression.

  • Alexi

    It’s really very simple. This will continue until they are made to pay for it; be it expulsion from the school, which I recommend be done IMMEDIATELY, or a beating. As long as this costs the haters nothing it will continue.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    If American Jewish students would stop feeling like guests in this country and demand respect like they have fought for every other group they would stop being afraid.

    Unfortunately Jews are so divided among themselves that they are pro-Israel, pro-Arab, anti-Israel.

    In short there is no unity other than “Let everybody just get along.”

    It doesn’t work and when you are a hated, despised minority who has fought and died for Civil Rights and numerous other causes but find yourself hated by the one group that you have been helping since 1909, the NAACP, then what do you do?

    You stop being so afraid and you stand up for yourself.

    College is supposed to be great not fear. Sadly many of those anti-Jew students are there because of affirmative action or because they’re on student visas. Get rid of them or does one of them pull a Charleston on a Jewish meeting or synagogue.

    Sadly that is the lesson of the Holocaust because Jews did not stand and fight, not in the Warsaw Ghetto, but in Germany in the 1920’s with 600,000 German-Jews in Germany.

  • Paul

    It is an unfortunate fact of life that the jews have been persecuted and hated throughout history. What is happening now has happened throughout our history, and is continuing after a brief time-out inthe USA. (MOST of the USA. Some places in the USA have ALWAYS forbidden entry to negroes and jews, but this was politely ignored)
    Perhaps the greatest irony in the current situation will be, when those anti-zionist jewish youths who today bash Israel find that they are still targetted, despite their views, because they are jews, and it is actually not about views, it is about anti-semitism. That is what happened to many jews in Nazi germany – they were killed because their grandfather had been jewish, no matter what they thought.
    The existence of Israel is about being the place where the anti-semites have to come well armed, because HERE is where the jews fight back.
    The jewish youth who is cowed by what is now happening to them should know that they cannot achieve anything by hiding. They should tell anyone saying zionism is nazism, that by their acts of hatred THEY are the Nazis, not the jews. They should remind them that jew bashing is a Nazi trademark. They should stand up proudly and ATTACK the attackers.
    Israel IS doing things wrong – especially, the totally self-destructive settlement policy and total lack of effort to make peace with the Palestinians. but you do not discard a child who is sick, and you do not discard your country because the current leadership ins making mistakes. You come to Israel and try to correct things. You try cure the sick child, do don’t abandon it.

    • doug hogan

      excellent statement.
      “Jew-bashing is a Nazi trademark.” you have that exactly right.

    • John walsh

      learn the facts. Israel has offered the palestinians a state on at least two occasions,once to that terrorist arafat and again to abbas. The palestinians do not want a state- they want to get rid of israel as a state. How peaceful is that? The sjp is a hateful group that needs to be confronted at every opportunity.

  • nelson marans

    While university authorities are reluctant to reprimand Muslim and anti-Israel individuals or organizations on campus for harassment of Jewish students, when the shoe is on the other foot, they have been supportive of their Muslim students. Certainly alumni and alumnae of the universities involved in the biased treatment of Jewish students should not only let the hierarchy know of their displeasure but close their wallets and pocketbooks when donations are requested.

    • doug hogan

      a very good idea.

      alumni have a lot of potential power that is not being used.

  • Mr. Hoffman

    As read, “Nothing new under the sun.” This hate is a chronic problem. Seen broadcasting were some on a quad. Then , blood libel spoken elsewhere. Just two? The short list.
    On a street in a city block away from a campus, broadhorns with similar messages
    Adonai, help us

  • Bonnie Kaye

    Jewish students need to take an example from Israel. Petitions and forums are nice–but they don’t stop the Jew haters. As we did in this country 45 years ago, we learned to stand up for ourselves with shouts of “Never Again!” We trained in self-defense including learning how to use a gun. When people are afraid of you, they are less likely to bother you–they’ll find someone weaker and more vulnerable. Every campus should set up Jewish Self-Defense and learn how to FIGHT BACK. Let it be known that you won’t tolerate Jew hatred. Band together in groups and do this. Remember–all the respectible and educated Jews went to the gas chambers in he same cattle cars. Do unto your enemies as they do unto you. Stop being “Nice Jewish Boys and Girls.”

    • doug hogan

      you are right.

  • RobiMac

    I just have one question for all the anti Semites.

    What did a Jew personally do to you?!

    • doug hogan

      I have been trying to figure out the causes of anti-Semitism, and nothing adds up.
      this is some sort of evil that makes no sense in any way. it is just evil.

  • Andrew Weiner

    Welcome to the world my young friends. Some things have changed but as far as Jews are concerned, it’s about the same as it has always been in my 59 plus years in 47 states. I am a construction worker, an electrician to be exact. I live in the south. I have a two sons in college. I don’t see that much progress, mostly just changing costumes and masks. Stand up. Speak when helpful and prudent. Continue our culture. Contribute any way you can. That’s what we do. Tikkun Olam.

  • Eric M. Levi M.D.

    Every student who experiences or witnesses such HATE activity should obtain the name of those who are responsible. They then should petition the Dean of student affairs as well as the University and Alumni
    committee to make sensitivity training mandatory. Speakers from the Jewish National Fund or Algemeiner or Simon Wiesenthal center as well as Speakers and Diplomats
    from Israel should give lectures to set the record straight. If the other side wishes to have their view heard they should be allowed. Those who have an open mind will see and understand the truth. Nevertheless, strict and severe action must be taken by he administration to ensure safety and to stop intimidation
    tactics.

    • Miriam Esther

      just wondering if you often chase down people who have attacked you (yes, being spat upon is an attack) to get their names …. most times, the attackers make this an impractical task …. nice thoughts though ….

    • Wm. J. Levy

      Dear Dr. Levi,

      In FL a couple of years ago a school held a Kick-A-Jew Day whee Jews were kicked and humiliated.

      Wht did the ADL do? As you suggested they held seminars.

      If the students were black what do you think would have been the response.

      The race baiters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would have descended on that school district like a hoard of locusts.

      Teachers would have been fired as well as the principle and the white parents would have been shaking in their tennis shoes.
      And on top of that they would have left with a king’s ransom.

      Do you ever wonder why its so easy to hate and target Jews? Because they are so weak and stand up for everyone else but themselves.

      Diplomacy doesn’t work just as in Israel when your haters are irrational. But they learn very quickly, like any bully, to fear you and find someone else to pick on.

      Unfortunately nothing will change because we have the weakest leaders who in reality are not leaders, just wealthy.

      I once told Sheldon Adelson that having 32 billion dollars without having any power is a formula for seizure and expulsion.

      Wealth without power is what Jews have.

      • John walsh

        Look what pamela gellen is doing? She is a fighter.

    • doug hogan

      there is some sort of horrible, evil, anti-Semitism/racism rising up in America, Europe, and elsewhere. no ethnic group is safe. the evil seems to pick whichever group is the weakest at that time and place — Jews on American campuses, blacks in S. Carolina.
      people of all races and ethnic groups need to unite against this evil.

  • Tone Lechtzier

    Shalom,
    another disgusting example of the moral decline encouraged by our present administration and Arab / Nazi propaganda.Those responsible are playing into the very hands that would see them convert to Islam, or die. Our education system is politically biased, and rewriting history in it’s favor.Our Country was founded on Jewish principles and belief in G-d.

  • S r

    please tell me how to add to your work. We have been targeted for being pro-Zionist, Israeli Jews at our Jewish Day School in Durham Nc. Lots of Duke & UNC professors involved as they bring kids here and help run this school.

  • sara rifka

    IT SOUNDS LIKE GERMANY, AUSTRIA, FRANCE ITALY FROM WHEN…..WAY WAY BACK.
    I’M SORRY BUT IM NOT CHALLENGED BY THIS….ONLY SADDENED BY WHAT IS TO BE FOR ALWAYS AND CAN NOT CHANGE…..

    NOW I AM BEGINNING TO BELIEVE THIS MEASURE AS A GOAL TO SEPARATE OUR BEAUTIFUL SOULS FROM THE UGLY MEASURES OF
    ‘ A HATRED TOWARDS G-D’…..

    ITS A G-DLESS WORLD AT THIS MOMENT……ONLY MONEY HOLDS THE POWER OF REGALITY AND A SOCIETY OF MINDLESS PEOPLE WHOSE DESIRES ARE FOREMOST THEIR PLEASURES AND THEIR WEALTH……

    ALTHOUGH SAD…..ITS NICE TO SEE THAT JEWISH KIDS ARE NO SEEING WHAT THEIR GRANDPARENT SAW…..HEARING THE WORDS THEY HEARD….NO LONGER CAN THEY SAY……REALLY DID THAT HAPPEN BECAUSE IT IS HAPPENING WHERE THEY ARE AS WELL AND PERHAPS BY DISTANT RELATIVES OF THOSE WHO CREATED THE ORIGINAL SIN OF KILLING JEWS….KILLING MORE JEWS AND THEN TRYING TO KILL THEM ALL.

    I LIKE THAT THIS IS AN AWARENESS…LET THE SHOPPING KIDS RETURN TO THEIR MIND AND RECOGNIZE THEY ARE IN DANGER…..MORE SO THEN WE WANT TO BELIEVE

    AND, NO FORGIVENESS……NO PRISONERS TAKEN…….AND THANK YOU AMERICANS AND AMERICA FOR SHOWING YOUR TRUE RED WHITE AND BLUE………YOUR NO DIFFERENT THAN GERMANS AND OTHER COUNTRIES…….

    YOU KILLED YOUR INDIGENOUS RACE TO KEEP WHAT YOU WANTED AND WHAT WAS NOT YOURS…….OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

    • John walsh

      That last is an upsurd comment. America has given more freedom and opportunity to Jews than any other country. Dont bite the hand that nurtures you.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    In a year or two at least one public university in the US will attempt to ethnically cleanse itself of all Jewish student enrollment. It will fail on the first attempt but likely succeed on the second. Private universities are already quietly starting Jewish quotas like the 1930-1960’s.

  • Paul Cerar

    These complainants should s*** or get off the pot! If they have been subject to hate crimes, how many of them have laid criminal charges? If they have been physically assaulted, how many fought back? How many of the alleged criminal acts have been officially reported to the local police, and followed up with criminal charges?

    If someone followed me around and made obscene remarks about me behind my back, or stood in front of me and confronted me, I would immediately fight them AND then lay criminal charges – within the hour, not a month or year later! I would not wait a year and then complain to the media!

    Paul Cerar
    Toronto, Canada

  • Joseph Feld

    Around the world Islamists are attacking Christians and other Westerners, but we can’t imagine American students attacking all Muslim students in America as a result. Islamists like SJP on American campuses should be no more tolerated than the KKK.

  • VictorMc

    Is every single one of these incidents reported (a) to the college authorities in writing AND (b) reported to the police?

  • naomi

    What kind of moderation do you require. I do not deem my comment to be extreme in any form

  • naomi

    Those attacked should not chicken out. The trouble is they do not have the information, the facts, the truth, about Israel, the history of the conflict, etc. to respond with.
    Perhaps they should inform themselves with the facts and truth and then they will be able to handle the situation better.

  • And this happens at the cost of campuses & universities: first because the uni has to spend the money to clean up, repair and undo the vandals’ work; but secondly because Israeli students are the truly brainy ones, the ones who will make scientific discoveries, bring in the Nobel prizes, etc. The Unis are sabotaging their own academic futures by allowing the SJP on campus. It that really worth it? Any uni that wants to stand out, go places, become famous, should ban SJP and declare it itself open, in utter safety, for Jewish students … and see their uni ratings go up … and up … and up.

  • Joel Richmond

    I am surprised there have been no incidents of retaliation by Jewish students in response to the intentional baiting of the SJP and other student groups. I am not suggesting that retaliation in kind or with physical reprisals is appropriate. However on many campuses there are predominantly Jewish fraternities comprised of young males whose blood must be boiling over the degrading treatment that many fellow Jewish students have received. I wonder how long before their restraint turns into action.

  • Well known anti – bullying tactics might be useful. All students who care about protecting and standing up against unfair anti-Israel and anti-semitism might be what is needed to turn the tide around.

  • Jewish students should apply to Israeli schools to obtain a world-class education. And make Aliyah to have a better future.

  • steven L

    Petro$ countries from the ME finance and enable widespread academic antisemitism.
    The US congress needs to take action against institutions condoning, supporting, financing and promoting antisemitism = Racism = BDS.

  • Julian Clovelley

    If you allow “Jewish” to be confused with “Zionist” what do you expect.

    The solution is in your own hands

    • Publius

      I thought I had confused Julian Clovelly with “Jew-hating troll”, then I realized it was the truth

    • Miriam Esther

      who, exactly, allows it?

    • DMG

      Zionism is the political self determination of the Jewish people. They are not 100% the same but they are connected. To attack Zionism is to say the Jewish people have no right to a home and safety, a right which has been afforded to so many other people with less legitimate claims.

  • Gilbert

    The only reason from this mess is Barack Obama. Barack Obama mess in the world, Barack Obama mess in United States, Barack Obama mess on campuses for Jews, etc. etc. etc.

  • rulierose

    so…what’s the website? where’s the link?

  • Jane

    May I assume that these students have contacted their university administrations, anti-harassment offices, campus and local media? have they staged counter-protests?
    becoming invisible is NOT the answer — becoming LOUD and VISIBLE is! strength in numbers!

  • Carl

    The key statement here is “Christ killer”. That ancient canard is the reason so many Christians are so accepting of vile Palestinian propaganda. That’s why student governments don’t speak up against anti-Semitism and they welcome SJP and anti-Semitic Mideast studies professors who inculcate young, naïve minds with the Arab version of history, a version that does not comport with reality. Such vile, irrational hatred would never be believable by otherwise civilized people without the underlying “Christ killer” narrative.

  • IN SOUTH CARLOLINA THEY ARE DISCUSSING THE CONFEDERATE FLAG . I Want everyone to join me in saying the swastika is a symbol of hate and using it should be made into a hate crime..

    How dare the Anti-defamation league downgrade the swastika as a Jewish Hate symbol

    The painting of a swastika — that dark, ubiquitous signature of hateful vandals everywhere — is no longer automatically considered an act of anti-Semitism under new guidelines for recording attacks against Jews announced this week by the Anti-Defamation League.

  • Doesn’t all this just give the lie to the efficacy of multiculturalism? It turns out that grouplets defined by culture/religion/”race” don’t peacefully co-exist after all. http://clarespark.com/2015/06/19/multiculturalism-and-the-charleston-massacre/

  • Esther Noodelman

    The article you erased called on young people worldwide to stand in front of the American & Israeli Embassies to DEMAND POLLARD’S IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM PRISON AFTER 30 YEARS FOR A CRIME THAT GETS 0-4 YEARS.PUT ON PRISON UNIFORMS.ISRAELI EMBASSIES HAVE TO ALSO BE REMINDED THAT if Jonathan Pollard who is critically ill and still sitting in prison FOR OVER 30 YEARS,THEN BOTH ISRAEL AND AMERICA HAVE DEFINITELY DONE ENOUGH.SHAME ON BOTH OF YOU AND ALL OF US FOR REFUSING TO BE A “VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS” GET BROTHER ONATHAN POLLARD RELEASED TODAY!

  • Esther Noodelman

    Why did you not print my article on Jonathan Pollard a few minutes ago by saying that I didn’t have my email..I had included it. What gives?

    • Esther Noodelman

      ERROR: BOTH ISRAEL AND AMERICA HAVE NOT,I REPEAT,NOT DONE ENOUGH TO GET POLLARD RELEASED! I AM WILLING TO FOOT THE BILL TO PAY FOR A FREE ICE CREAM AND FREE POLLARD RALLY.I AUTHORIZE ALGEMEINER TO GIVE YOU MY EMAIL TO DO SO PLEASE HEAR MY PLEA!

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