A new report from the Anti-Defamation League found that the rhetoric and actions of anti-Israel organizations on college campuses in the United States often marginalizes and demeans pro-Israel students, and sometimes turns into antisemitism.
The ADL’s Center on Extremism found what they described as a “a pattern of anti-Israel groups and activists blatantly demonizing pro-Israel and Zionist students,” that occasionally veered into antisemitism stereotypes about Jews being greedy or all-powerful.
The anti-Israel rhetoric escalated in May 2021, when Israel and Hamas had an 11-day conflict. In July of this year, dozens of CUNY employees resigned from the university system’s union in protest of the union’s statement that was released during the conflict, which was criticized as one-sided against Israel without mentioning Hamas.
This negatively impact many Jewish students, “for which a connection with Israel is an integral component of their religious, social, or cultural lives and identities,” the ADL report said.
During the 2020-2021 academic year, 17 U.S. colleges had student governments bring up motions supporting BDS, and 11 of them passed.
“Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to harass and intimidate. While all students have a right to express their views about Israel openly, expressions of antisemitism under the guise of Israel criticism are unacceptable,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.