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February 19, 2016 9:59 am

Top Jewish Leader Says ‘We Have Collective Responsibility’ to Fight Campus Antisemitism

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Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. He said  “we have a collective responsibility to address” antisemitism on campus. Photo: Algemeiner.

Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Photo: Algemeiner.

JNS.org – Seventy-five percent of American Jewish students say they have witnessed or experienced antisemitism on their college campuses, a problem that “we have a collective responsibility to address,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, in an interview published Thursday by the Israeli website Ynet.

In many cases, the reason behind the antisemitism is “ignorance” rather than hatred, explained Hoenlein, whose Conference of Presidents represents 50 national Jewish organizations.

Hoenlein affirmed that Jewish leaders are working on the “security and safety of Jewish students, and we have lawyers who go onto campuses all over the country — many of them, by the way, non-Jews — to protect the interests and rights of Jewish students, to enlist faculty, to go after the administrations, to work with them. In many cases we find it’s ignorance, it’s the lack of understanding — it’s not hatred or antisemitism.”

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“It’s not Europe yet, but [antisemitism] is definitely on the rise [in America],” Hoenlein said.

On the topic of US-Israel relations, Hoenlein said he believes both President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are working to allay any current tension between the longtime allied nations.

“The American public supports Israel by an overwhelming majority, and it’s been consistent and constant. Even on the Iran issue, the American public supported the position that we advocated and expresses concern today about the Iran deal,” Hoenlein said of the now-implemented nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.

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  • EVE LAING

    It seems to me that the anti-Semitism, throughout the world is becoming more prevalent and toxic. To want to counter this trend, means to me that we as Jews need to become PRO-ACTIVE NOT JUST RE-ACTIVE which has been our stance for centuries. Isn’t it time, and using our many gifts for narrative, insight, political understandings and general nous, to lead a movement that takes us into a different direction of strength? Most Universities depend on financial support from previous students. Why not become active in letting the administrations of these Universities know that if they continue to ignore Anti-Semitism on their campuses, they will lose their support bases? Attack the BDS movement by filming Palestinian workers now out of work because their factories were closed by successful BDS activities……We are good at making films and documentaries. Let’s use our skills to bring truth to lies…..What are we waiting for? It can get worse if we do nothing to counter Anti-Semitism in Europe and America.

  • Beth Gershovich

    Why can’t more donors to the campus’ of the colleges stop funding them? The most effective way to shut down BDS is to STOP FUNDING them! There needs to be an awareness campaign set up for donors of these colleges to see the horrible effects of BDS.

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