Head of Umbrella Group: European Jewish Students Automatically Branded Pro-Israel, Harassed by BDS Activists
By virtue of being Jewish, students across Europe are automatically branded as pro-Israel and harassed by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists, the head of a university umbrella organization told The Algemeiner.
Benny Fischer, president of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), said that even those Jews who do not wish to be involved politically are “specifically and repeatedly targeted for what happens in the Middle East and dragged into talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, whether they want to or not.”
Fischer said that BDS activists go as far as to “contact them via personal phone numbers, publish these numbers and disturb their events.” These BDS-ers “glorify and excuse terrorism and demonstrate in front of Holocaust memorials, while denying the Holocaust happened.
Fischer said that there are even rare cases of Jewish students taking steps to “hide their religious identity” to mitigate potential personal attacks.
However, Fischer rejected the call by some Israeli officials — including, most recently, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman — for Jews to flee the problems they face in Europe and move to Israel.
“Europe is not an easy place for Jews, but we have hundreds of years of history here, and it doesn’t help if everyone shouts at us to leave,” Fischer said. “Instead, they should be helping and supporting us.”
The EUJS, founded in 1978 and operating in 35 countries, seeks to strengthen Jewish communities and European society through student activism.