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July 26, 2016 2:38 pm

Campus Watchdog: Jewish Students Single Largest Target of Systematic Suppression of Civil Rights at American Universities (INTERVIEW)

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Anti-Semitic stencil used to create signs on the SF State University campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

Antisemitic stencil used to create signs on the SF State University campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

Jewish college students are the largest university population “coming under systematic attack,” with an increasing number seeing their civil rights infringed upon, the head of a campus watchdog group told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative — which combats, monitors and documents antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America — made the comment following the release of a shocking new report revealing the dramatic rise of antisemitic activity across more than 100 US college campuses between January and June 2016.

According to the report, anti-Israel and anti-Zionist groups on campus “have become significantly more brazen in both their strategy and tactics,” which has contributed greatly to an increase in antisemitic activity.

Dramatic findings of the report include: antisemitic incidents on college campuses increased by 45 percent as compared with the same time period in 2015; the suppression of Jewish students’ freedom of speech and assembly doubled, while calls for Israel’s elimination tripled. The calls and acts opposing Israel’s right to exist were found to be highly correlated with behavior that targeted Jewish students for harm.

The presence of three factors — anti-Zionist student groups; faculty who support boycotts of Israel; and pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activity — are “each strong predictors of anti-Jewish hostility.”

Rossman-Benjamin said that while anti-Israel groups — such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — still focus on attacking Israel, Jewish students have become new fodder for their malicious activities. Jewish and pro-Israel students across the country are being bullied, harassed and intimidated — many times physically and violently — for their support of the Jewish state. “We are seeing this happen more and more across the country, and it is very worrisome,” she said.  

“These issues are now getting up close and personal, and increasingly so. The campaigns are not just about Israel and targeting Israel for dehumanization and delegitimization, but targeting anyone supporting Israel,” she told The Algemeiner. “Jewish students are the first target, whether they actually support Israel or not. Their support is presumed just based on the fact that they are Jewish.”

Part of the national anti-Zionist campaign being waged on college campuses, Rossman-Benjamin said, is guided by an “anti-normalization” policy, which “attempts to shut down all expression about Israel.”

“The civil rights of Jewish students are being trampled on. Their freedom of speech, expression and assembly are being suppressed by these anti-Israel groups. They make no effort to hide this and state it openly in different forums, such as official documents we’ve reviewed from various SJP groups and public social media postings,” she said. “They are expanding the boycott against Israel to boycott the Jews and Jewish students on campus.”

One of the more interesting findings of the investigation, Rossman-Benjamin said, is the correlation between BDS activity and antisemitic expression.

“What became clear is that at the heart of a lot of the increase are specific campaigns to promote divestment resolutions pending at different student senates. We found that almost all schools that had a dramatic increase in antisemitism that was statistically significant all had divestment resolutions happening during that time period,” she said, claiming that the opposite also held true — with schools that saw divestment resolutions in 2015 and not in 2016 seeing a decrease in antisemitic activity.

“Divestment resolutions and campaigns go hand-in-hand in creating a very hostile environment for Jewish students that manifests in many acts of antisemitism,” she said.  

One of the AMCHA report’s main recommendations to university officials is to “swiftly, forcefully and publicly acknowledge and condemn all acts of antisemitism.” Doing so, it says, indicates a zero-tolerance policy for such activities.

“The attack on Jewish students is a concerning national trend that cannot be ignored any longer. University officials cannot have a type of wishful thinking when something bad happens on their campus and will the situation to not happen again,” Rossman-Benjamin told The Algemeiner. “What’s happening on college campuses today is not students just being students. The activities of these anti-Israel groups have serious repercussions and cannot be excused. Jewish students are being seriously threatened, their civil rights suppressed and routinely violated across the country.”

“University administrations cannot say there is no problem,” she said. “The problem is there. It is national and it cannot be ignored.”

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  • olga berczi

    unfortunately this will not stop. we have the brotherhood in the wh this is not 1960s 1970s usa this 1939s 1940s europe!! THE ONLY ONES WHO HAVE STOP THIS IS US!! WE HAVE THE POWER!! ??????✡️

  • Daniel C. Smolens

    Every college president must forcefully and vigorously see to it that college newspapers condemn this oldest and most harmful expression of hate in all of western civilization’s history.

  • Jak40

    I told a US Jewish friend, Dean and Provost and Lab’s Chief for Research of the best Universities where one can work in the USA, that That would happen soon…I told him it around the early 90ies and told him about De construction of america!
    One year after the book “Deconstruction of America” was published…
    About 2001/2994 I told him that I saw America splitting in multi-focal Sécessions. Three years ago D. Woodard published “the 11 Nations of America”
    Allt that now doesn’t surprise me at all and it is YOUR surprise and call for awakening which are surpising Me!I

  • Dejar de poner la otra mejilla, mejor medida por medida es mas judio, organizarse mejor y defenderse y atacar al adversario, la solucion

  • David Hunt

    We are only waking up, now, to how our enemies are going after the minds of youngsters who don’t have the education, knowledge, and life-experience to resist.

    The propaganda is simple, and I’ve seen it time and again. Picture after picture, video after video, whether genuine or without context, or utter fakes or recycling of OTHERS doing bad things (e.g., there’s a video of – allegedly – some IDF soldiers slapping some teenage kids around. No audio, one person in Israel said those are not IDF uniforms… but it’s presented and believed because people don’t have the critical thought training to question it.)

  • Myron Slater

    There seems to be a need for support from Jewish groups to be on campuses to protect students from these anti-Semitic “students”. Perhaps a core of people that can be sent to the campus where appropriate.

  • nat cheiman

    Under Trump………No problem……..extinguished

  • J.J. Surbeck

    Tammi Rossman-Benjamin mentions three key factors that explain the increase in clearly anti-semitic activities over the last few years. One could add two more, equally important. The first one is the refusal(or rather cowardice, leading to dereliction of duty) of college administrations to address the problem face on, which means banning above all the pro-Palestinian “student” groups, who have been allowed for too long to literally poison the climate on all the campuses where they operate. The second one is the fact that the Jewish organizations theoretically best equipped to fight this scourge have been for the most part no-shows, or too concerned about preserving their parochial interests to engage seriously in this struggle. First and foremost I’m referring here to Hillel, but almost as much can be said of the ADL. Mainstream Jewish organizations have carefully stayed away from this battlefield, leaving it to small and extraordinarily more courageous and pugnacious groups to do battle while they stay in their offices. Shame on them. And kudos to Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and the few people like her who are actually doing what needs to be done.

  • Do you not realize that such histrionic hyperbole will turn off even good friends of Israel. Yu can not keep repeating the canard that anti-semitism and protests against Israel’s policies share the same motivations. Needless to say, Jews are quite active in the BDS movement and boycotting is an old, nonviolent, political tactic. Stop whining and obfuscating.

    Do you not see that the real murderous anti-semites are always from the right. They could care less about boycotting Israel, they want Jews hidden or dead. Dummy, they’re back. And they will not be found in the universities. Wake up before its too late.

    • Pete

      The real murderous anti-Semites are always from the LEFT, you colossal moron!

      Hitler and Stalin were Leftists. Socislism and Communism are leftist ideologies. The hate has always emanated from the Left in America. The Democrats are the party of slavery, the KKK, and now BLM. The leftwing Democrats are apologists for Islamic terrorists amnd have had a slobbering love affair with Palestinian terrorists.

      The BDS movement originated with left-wing professors and now they are supported by Muslim lapdogs.

  • Enough with the ‘investigations & analyses.

    Time to bring the Jewish Defence League back to life.
    Time to stop funding these Universities.
    Time to sue them (universities & individuals).

    American Jews should stop complaining and start acting!

  • Peter Joffe

    The use of places of ‘higher learning’ throughout the world are being used to spread hatred and bigotry. They are more about hatred and politics than they are about producing productive and educated minds. Again I ask the question – whatever did Jews do to anyone else to cause them to be hated as they are? Islam deserves hatred and fear. Not Israel.

  • a yid

    Time to sue these universities big time. Shurat HaDin or The Lawfare Project– needs to seriously sue all these schools–all of them. Plus, SJP must be banned from all campuses as well as MSA because they are sourced in the Muslim Brotherhood which includes Hamas, Fatah etc.
    It is time to stop this antisemitic madness for our students and all students.

  • Joel Ehrlich

    will we see football teams boycott playing for Jewish causes? marches and sitins for the persecuted?
    What’s The Jew to do?

  • enufizenuf

    Given the opportunity these arabs, muslims, blacks, Hispanic and white leftists would kill the Jews on campus, and their professors would be there to egg them on. Jews had better wake up and be prepared to defend their very lives against this monstrous pack of swine. It might be a good time for them to receive some training from Israeli experts in security and defense.

  • richard skeen

    Spot-on reporting and study. As a parent of soon-to-be college students, I am especially troubled that Reconstructionist rabbis – including some employed by the RRC – make up a majority of Jewish Voice for Peace’s “rabbinic council”, which includes full BDS support, partnerships with the terror-funded Students for Justice in Palestine and other campus hostility. Stunningly, JVP even opposed the recent California Regents statement against anti-Semitism.
    Until we looked into the RRC’s heavy involvement with JVP, my family actually paid dues to the movement. No more. Worth noting almost 20 Reconstructionist rabbi’s have left the movement troubled by this kind of campus “work”.

  • Stuart

    This is very scary that few American Jews seem to be aware of.

  • Jeff Zucker

    There are Jews on campus and off who will think that their liberal attitudes will prevent harm from coming to them. History has shown that they will be just as vulnerable to the hatred and antisemitism as their Zionist brethren.

  • Israel-Bashing BDS Movement refuted by Alan Dershowitz: