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September 8, 2016 1:36 pm

Head of World’s Largest Jewish Student Organization: BDS Activists Resorting to Violence on Campus Due to Effectiveness of Pro-Israel Efforts (INTERVIEW)

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Eric Fingerhut, the next president and CEO of Hillel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Anti-Israel campus activists are resorting to violent behavior due to the effectiveness of the pro-Israel community in combating their efforts, the head of the world’s largest Jewish student organization told The Algemeiner.

“We saw a real reduction in the number of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions last year,” said Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International, in reference to a finding from a recent report on anti-Israel campus trends. “Alongside this, there was a dramatic uptick in disruptive and even violent behavior targeting pro-Israel programs and students.” 

This radicalized conduct, Fingerhut told The Algemeiner, is in reaction to the pro-Israel community’s “successful engagement of the BDS debate.”

According to Fingerhut, today’s campus antisemitism is in some ways the “outgrowth of tolerance of an increasingly virulent form of anti-Israel behavior.” Jewish students are coming under attack “regardless of what their individual commitments and relationships are to the state of Israel,” he said.

“What started as a normal form of debate and dissent about Israel — to which Hillel International wanted and needed to respond — has clearly become an excuse for conduct that has absolutely crossed the line into antisemitism,” he told The Algemeiner.

This “broad base” attack against Jewish students, Fingerhut said, has “led the nature of anti-Israel discourse on campus to become non-rational and has changed campus environments to become havens for antisemitism.”

Antisemitism and its outgrowth — antisemitic anti-Zionism — is one of the greatest threats facing Jewish and pro-Israel students today, Fingerhut said, and Hillel International, which works with 550 campuses in North America alone, is on the front lines combating it.

“We are seeing anti-Israel bias is steadily permeating certain university departments, disciplines and even entire institutions. This bias is manifesting itself in completely unacceptable and intolerable ways, and Hillel International is making sure the universities we partner with understand and address these challenges head on,” he told The Algemeiner.

Pointing to his organization’s proactive approach, Fingerhut said Hillel International is working with its professionals and university officials to “learn from some of the challenges that we have been seeing on other campuses and figuring out ways to get in front of the problem.”

“You can’t just wake up when there is a crisis,” he said. “You have to set the building blocks beforehand.”

As reported by The Algemeiner, according to the above-mentioned campus trends report, released this week by the Israel On Campus Coalition (ICC), while college campuses saw an overall decline in BDS campaigns, there was a major increase in disruptions of Israel-related events. 

The ICC also noted a growing presence of anti-Israel Jewish groups, which have “proved critical [in] helping [anti-Israel groups] legitimize anti-Zionist rhetoric and effectively defend against accusations of antisemitism.”

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  • tomar medidas drásticas contra ellos preparase a enfrentarlos en todos los campos, no permitirles que avancen deben de ser neutralizados, asi como se neutralizo a los países cuando atacaron, Israel no se quedo impávido reacciono de acuerdo a la circunstancias y venció los civiles tambien debemos preparan y actuar con valor

  • Richard Smiley

    Conor Cruise O’Brien: “Anti-semitism is a light sleeper”

  • As odious as the BDS bunch and all the other anti-Israel hate groups are, the biggest threat to Israel – as well as to the Jewish world community comes from within ourselves. Has anyone read about the secular/haredi friction within Israel? It seems to me that nobody – least of all Netanyahu’s government – has absorbed the lessons of Tisha B’Av. In a strange way, those Israel-haters are doing us a favour

  • nat cheiman

    It will eventually dawn on these idiots that BDS is harmful to all concerned

  • Markus Elkana Brajtman

    Those Jewish students who are helping the anti Semitic anti Israel hate campaign, hopefully, will never need to run to Israel as the only place in the world where Jews are safe from persecution.

    What is their reason or motivation to show the haters that they, as Jews, support their hatred?

    They must realize that they too, are Jews, and as well “loved” as every Jew in the world.

    Have these self hating Jews, ever seen the inside of a shul/temple?

  • Sarah Kohn

    It is extremely painful for us to learn that the colleges and universities from which our family graduated have become sooo anti-Semitic.
    Happily for us, G-d and our children showed us the way, and we dropped everything and came home to Eretz Yisrael!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BDS is a racist and hate speech organisation funded in part by American Taxpayers who also fund BLM that both Obama and Clinton support. The ruling party, the Democrats are part of the war against America itself. I say ‘ruling’ party as Obama rules he does not govern for the people by the people.

  • stevenl

    Congress must defund universities and college allowing antisemitism (= racism)! NY governor backed down after proposing to penalize CUNY!

  • Jonah

    The answer my friends is blowing in the winds the answer is blowing in the wind.

  • Jewish American students are imperiled by increasing Jew-hatred on campuses. Jewish students should consider studying in Israel, and making Aliyah. The future for young North American Jews is in Israel. Finally, no matter how people rationalize it, anti-Zionist rhetoric is unadulterated Jew-hatred.

  • Reform School

    Fingerhut’s Politically Correct approach to BDS parallels Europe’s Politically Correct approach to anti-semitism leading up to the Holocaust. Hitler was content to deport or starve Europe’s Jews until al-Husseini gained his ear. Are we to believe Islamic student goals are peaceful? Wishful thinking of the the world’s Fingerbutts aside, they want Israel, America and the West in pieces, not peace. Obama has it well underway. Clinton will complete it.

  • Lia

    Thank you Mr Fingerhut and ICC.