It’s hard to believe, but according to a recent survey, most American Jewish college students have experienced anti-Semitism on campus. We are not talking about France, the United Kingdom or Eastern Europe, but here in the U.S., the beacon of academic and religious freedom, a nation that honors those who fight for civil rights.
The Demographic Survey of American Jewish College Students, sponsored by Trinity College, polled more than 1,000 Jewish students on whether they had experienced an anti-Semitic incident during the 2013–14 school year. More than half — 54 percent — said they encountered anti-Semitism while on campus. It made little difference whether or not a student was religious. Even most secular students — 51 percent — reported that they had an anti-Semitic experience while on campus.
The poll was conducted prior to last summer’s conflict in Gaza. Likely, the number would have been higher after protests against the war broke out on campuses around the nation.
It’s no coincidence that this frightening level of anti-Semitism comes as the BDS movement — boycott, divestment, sanctions — against Israel on campuses keeps gaining more credibility. The BDS movement and anti-Semitism are one and the same. More and more student governments are voting to support BDS against Israel. Fully half of the student governments in the University of California system have voted for divestment. The votes are non-binding on the actual policy of the universities, but it’s only a matter of time before this hateful movement begins to gain legitimacy and becomes adopted by college administrations.
Why is this movement suddenly spreading like wildfire across campuses? It’s because American universities have become stacked with left-wing professors who have gained control of the liberal arts programs. A 2004 study conducted by the National Association of Scholars found that in the University of California, Berkeley, the ratio of Democratic to Republican professors in the humanities was 17:1. The generation teaching the current cohort of impressionable students are the same radicals who spearheaded the anti-American movement of the 1970s, protesting U.S. involvement in Europe, southeast Asia and Latin America. These liberal professors have one thesis to promulgate: that the U.S., and, by extension, its ally Israel, is the root cause for all the evil in the world.
They don’t tell their students that once the U.S. withdrew its troops from South Vietnam, the Hanoi-based North Vietnamese massacred at least 400,000 people. (Some estimates put the number as high as 1.2 million.) After the U.S. departure from the region, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge wiped out approximately 25 percent of the population of Cambodia, a country with a population of 8 million. These murderers are the so-called anti-colonial heroes of the left.
They also don’t teach their students that it was the U.S. occupation in Germany and the formation of NATO that kept the Kremlin from ordering their forces to invade Europe. It wasn’t the anti-nuclear or Peace-Now activists that brought peace in Europe, but the U.S. military buildup, the deployment of intermediate nuclear weapons and advanced technology that had the Kremlin frightened into negotiating for arms reductions. With its economy crumbling under the strain of an arms race came Perestroika and Glasnost, which were the beginning of the unraveling of the Soviet Union. More than 450 million Eastern Europeans gained their freedom only because the U.S. ultimately triumphed over what Ronald Reagan once called the “evil empire,” preventing it from swallowing up Western Europe.
Israel falls into the same category in the minds of these fraudulent academics. They indoctrinate their students with the narrative that Israel is an occupying force, that it commits war crimes, that it’s persecuting Palestinians. They conveniently omit that thousands of Israelis died from suicide bombings at the hands of Palestinian terrorists or that Israel withdrew from Gaza only to receive indiscriminate rocket fire on civilians in return. Students have no clue that the only reason Israel controls the West Bank is because the Jordanians decided to attack Israel in 1967. Neither do they know that the Arab countries pledged to eradicate Israel from the start of its existence, way before there was ever any Israeli presence in the West Bank. Nothing is taught of the hundreds of thousands of Jews forced out of Arab countries after 1948. And never mind that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Arabs can actually vote.
Where are the protests against Saudi Arabia, where they chop people’s heads off for minor offenses, have no religious freedom and torture political prisoners? Or against China, which has perpetrated a brutal occupation of Tibet for the past 70 years? Is there a China BDS movement? Or would that be too difficult since it would impact iPhones, and then how would students be able to take selfies at anti-Israel protests?
This current wave of college anti-Semitism has broader implications than their impact on Jews who attend college. Today’s college students are the policymakers and thought leaders of tomorrow. A mind can be a terrible thing when it learns to hate.