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January 21, 2016 2:57 pm

Campus Watchdog Finds ‘Clear Relationship Between Anti-Israel Activism and Targeting of Jewish Students’

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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An anti-Israel protest at a college campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

An anti-Israel protest at a college campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

There is a “clear relationship” between anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions activism and the targeting of Jewish students on college campuses across the US, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, the head of Jewish student advocacy group the AMCHA Initiative, told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.

“The more BDS activity there is,” she said, “the more likely it is we’re going to find Jewish students and Jewish events suppressed or shut down.” These events have mostly been political in nature, she said, and related to Israel, such as when Israeli soldiers speak on a campus.

There is a “whole new campaign directed against Birthright programs” — free trips for American Jews to Israel — and there is heckling at lecturers, such as happened when Hebrew University Prof. Moshe Halbertal spoke at the University of Minnesota late last year.

Rossman-Benjamin’s comments came as her group released a database chronicling some 302 acts of antisemitic incidents at 109 college campuses across 28 states, over the past academic year. Rossman noted that most incidents fell into one of two categories: attacking Jewish students with discriminatory treatment, defamation or racism, and “defamation of the Jewish state.”

For the latter, she noted so-called Apartheid Wall installations — usually a part of “Israel Apartheid Week” — which are made to mimic the Israeli security wall erected beginning in the Second Intifada to stop the flow of Palestinian terrorists from the West Bank into Israel.

Then there were incidents at the University of California, Davis, where a “Jewish fraternity was defaced with swastikas the day after a contentious divestment vote; ‘grout out the Jews’ was etched into the Hillel house; and vandals carved swastikas and ‘F*** the Jews’ into cars and slashed tires on campus,” according to a statement released by AMCHA.

And at the University of Central Florida, “a rash of antisemitic posters swept through campus over a period of a week. One had a Star of David and the words ‘1%’ and ‘Bankers’ underneath, a second had a swastika on a flag with a message calling for an Israel boycott and others contained the phrases ‘Muh Holocaust’ and ‘Truth is Treason in the empire of lies.'” These were just a couple of examples.

Rossman-Benjamin also noted that the University of California board of regents was due to submit a draft statement at the end of January addressing intolerance, including antisemitism, on UC campuses. This comes after the California State Senate last year adopted a resolution condemning antisemitism on the UC campuses, and urging each UC to do the same.

She said, “There needs to be acknowledgement that antisemitism includes some kind of expression about Israel, some kind of anti-Zionism,” akin to the State Department definition of antisemitism that includes the delegitimization or demonization of Israel, or a double standard applied to it.

Similarly, writing in the San Diego Jewish World on TuesdaySusan B. Tuchman, director of the Zionist Organization of America’s Center for Law and Justice, and Morton A. Klein, national president of ZOA, noted the upcoming UC regents vote.

“The forthcoming Regents statement will hopefully be an important step toward improving the campus climate for Jewish UC students,” they wrote, saying they hoped the statement would address antisemitism on campus in a “meaningful way.”

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  • Mickey Oberman

    “There is a “clear relationship” between anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions activism and the targeting of Jewish students on college campuses across the US, ….”

    Has there ever been any doubt???

    Wake up American Jews before you cease to exist.

    • robert stiskin

      Too many American Jews are missing the self preservation gene.And they are too busy putting up Christmas trees in their homes. American Jews were instrumental in giving us 8 years of Obama. As an American Jew I am sickened by many of my brethren.

  • eleanor perlin

    The USA was always seen as a safe haven for all. This behavior is shocking and has nothing to do with human rights and safe spaces. The BDS should be ashamed of itself. They are a bunch of bullies.

  • Every Jewish alumna from these schools should cease making any and all donations until these Universities feel the pinch of lost revenue. The same goes for Corporate donations going to these schools.

    If Individuals and Corporations keep on giving money, then they should be boycotted immediately.


    it is amazing, that so many Christians are so against Israel and Jews,

    In the entire Middle East, the Christians are being persecutes. Refer to Bethlehem. The majorty were Christians.
    Most have left Bethlehem, and hundreds have moved to the Jewish State of Israel, where they are protected, and face no anti Christian attitudes.
    There churces are protected by law.

    Obviously, the Muslim states have spread hate lies about Israel

    TYime for thise Christians to get up and speak up for Israel.
    The les spread by the Muslims is shocking.

    Why has the Christian community incresed in Israel, but getting smaller in the Islamic states?

    Why dont those Christians who hve fled form Islamis states, to Israel, speak up, and tell the truth. THAT THERE IS NO APARTHEID IN ISRAEL

    When will the world Christians wake up, before it is too late? or do the not realise the agemda of the world Muslims, is to convert every one to Islam?

  • Yaakov Holansky

    All of you at AMCHA ZOA HILLEL HOUSE IDF NORTH AMERICA MISSION SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER AND ADL AN UNBELIEVABLY BIG THANKS FOR HARD WORK LONG HOURS and difficult conditions to collect assemble and quantify the data plus draw up a presentation for stakeholder dissemination and presentation to help change the situation.
    ברוך השם ושלום