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July 28, 2015 1:48 pm

Study: 75% of Jewish North American College Students Exposed to Antisemitism in 2014

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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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.

Nearly three quarters of Jewish U.S. and Canadian college students and young adults reported having been exposed to antisemitic vitriol last year, according to a study by Brandeis University released on Tuesday.

In the study — conducted by Brandeis University’s Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and titled “Antisemitism and the College Campus: Perceptions and Realities” — nearly 75 percent of respondents reported being exposed to “at least one of six anti-Semitic statements,” including claims that Jews had too much power and that Israelis behaved like Nazis in their treatment of Palestinians.

The study, which was based on the responses of 3,199 students to an online questionnaire of those eligible for the free Taglit-Birthright Israel trips to the Jewish state, also found that more than 25 percent of students find a “fairly” or “very big” problem of hostility towards Israel on campus, while another 25 percent reported being blamed for the actions of Israel because they are Jewish.

Those with a strong connection to Israel (21%) were most likely to perceive a hostile environment to Jews or Israel on campus, the report said, which dovetails with the spike in antisemitic incidents in 2014 in part related to the Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip last summer that resulted in several weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.

“It is likely that those who are highly connected to Israel become a target of antisemitic or anti-Israel sentiment because they make their support for Israel known. It is also likely that those who are more connected to Israel are more sensitive to criticism of Israel, or more likely to perceive such criticism as antisemitic,” said the report.

According to the study, exposure to hostility toward “Jews or Israel” was highest in Canadian universities, Midwestern land-grant schools, and universities in California, where state legislators recently passed a resolution calling on the state’s public universities to condemn antisemitism on campus.

At the same time, a little under half (46%) of undergraduate respondents said they had no information at all on the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign called BDS, though some high-profile U.S. campuses such as Stanford and UC San Diego made headlines when student governments voted on measures to adopt a boycott of Israel. Only 20% of undergraduates said they had some information, and just 14% said they had a good amount of material on BDS.

With reporting by 

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  • Tell me WHY, College Student, Tell Me Why You Hate The JEWS ???

    Tell me Why there is so much HATE in your Heart for a Race ???

    After MURDERING All The JEWS, who would you go after next ???
    Who would be your next Target tio wipe off the face of the earth ???

    I am just curious to know & understand WHY The JEWS are so Hateded.

  • robert davis

    It is totally stupid and wrong to identify jews with…nazism after what they suffered from nazism. This is another SOCIALIST LIE. Nazism can be compared to nazism since nazism IS SOCIALISM. And socialists are againg trying to destroy Judaism. With or without Hitler SOCIALISM IS NAZISM AND ANTISEMITISM. Young nazi-socialists on campus are a bunch of criminals who should be JAILED. And they cannot be qualified “liberals” this is another nazi lie.

    • robert davis

      lapsus : nazism can be compared to socialism since it is socialism.

  • Can we have counterpart surveys for UK and France ?

  • ESLombard

    I was a student at UCLA or USC from 1941-69 with a seven year break teaching at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Never once in all that time did I perceive the slightest prejudice If folks could understand that a kind feud has existed between the 865,000 expelled Jews of North Africa and the Arab Leagues’ 700,000 Palestinians. Israel has taken care of its refugees. The Arab League has dramatized and propagandized the suffering of the Palestinian Arabs that the Arab League itself has maintained. It has been a hoax that we are all paying for from 1950 into eternity. UNRWA is now serving the 700,000that has become 5 millions and expects that the number will be 15 millions by 2060.

  • Jewish North American students should transfer to Israeli colleges, where 100% of Israeli students are exposed to a first-class education.

  • Mickey Oberman

    I believe a very high percentage of students carry electronic devices capable of recording sound and pictures.
    They should be trained how to use these devices to record any discriminatory occurrences.
    Those recordings should be used by the school or other authorities against the perpetrators who should be penalized as severely as possible.
    They should also be used in any court actions.