The purpose of this thread is to spend some time discussing the experience of Jewish students on college campuses with anti-Semitism, including in its form as anti-Zionism.
Before engaging in this thread, it is important to clarify that, in this thread, anti-Zionism does NOT refer to disagreement with any one particular Israeli policy or some of the beliefs of its current leadership. One can criticize Israel or Netanyahu without being an anti-Zionist, just as one can criticize America or Trump without being anti-American. Anti-Zionism refers to the idea of eliminating altogether the state of Israel, the world’s only state with a Jewish majority.
For those who will insist that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are not the same: to explain how they may be experienced as interrelated by Jewish students on campus, I would like to introduce two recent New York Times opinion pieces that speak eloquently to this relationship:
Anti-Semitism is growing on college campuses, and these experiences have taken place at enough colleges that it cannot be said to be unique to certain college communities. Jewish students I know have sat in classes and/or read class-related blog posts in which fellow students have spoken of how Jews secretly control the United States and direct its policies in regard to Israel from the shadows, and that Jews seek worldwide dominance. These are age-old anti-Semitic tropes. They have also heard fellow classmates proclaim that “the Jews” control finance, the government, and the media. The BDS movement is common on campuses, singling out Israel alone among the world’s nations for boycotting. And observe the following:
2018: The AMCHA Initiative, whose goal is to combat anti-Semitism at colleges, documents 77 swastika incidents on college campuses in 2018 alone.
2018: A “Disorientation Guide” distributed by some Vassar students suggests such action steps as "slap a Zionist.”
2018: Two University of Michigan professors refuse to write letters of recommendation for students to study in Israel, with their stated reason being “an academic boycott against Israel.”
2018: A Columbia professor tweets that Israel is responsible for “every dirty treacherous ugly and pernicious act happening in the world.”
2016: A speaker at Vassar and a professor at Rutgers revives the medieval blood libel against Jews, claiming that Israeli Jews kill Palestinians to use their organs.
2016: An Oberlin professor is finally dismissed after many anti-Semitic statements, including claiming without evidence that Israel secretly controls ISIS and was behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris and after posting an image on social media of a Jew, Jacob Rothschild, stating, “We own your news, the media, your oil, and your government.”
2015: At UCLA, the Undergraduate Student Association Council questions a student’s nomination to the council’s Judicial Board, because “given that [she is] a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community,” she would be unable to be “unbiased.”
2014: Students at Vassar picket a class because it involves a trip to Israel.
2013: At Oberlin, the Kosher-Halal Coop is kicked out of the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, swastikas appear in dorms, Students for a Free Palestine interrupt a meeting of Hillel, and students object to a Shabbat dinner at Hillel featuring typical Israeli food as “cultural appropriation” of other middle-easterners’ food.
If you are a student, an alumnus/a, a professor, or a parent of a student who has experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism on their college campus, this thread is intended as a location to vent about the experience… and also to share any hope with stories of how you, your child, or your child’s peers and/or college worked to counter anti-Semitism on campus.