After numerous independent surveys have suggested alarming rates of anti-Semitic activity on college and university campuses across the country, AMCHA Initiative, today released the first empirical study of its kind demonstrating that anti-Zionist activities, including BDS, anti-Israel student groups and faculty who endorse an academic boycott of Israel, are at the heart of the rise in campus anti-Semitism.Here are the worst universities according to the study:
Major findings include:
- Campus anti-Semitism is highly prevalent in public and private schools with significant Jewish undergraduate populations, irrespective of school size.
- Strong correlation between anti-Zionist student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and anti-Semitism.
- Strong correlation between the presence of faculty who have expressed public support for an academic boycott of Israel and anti-Semitism.
- BDS activity strongly correlates with anti-Semitic activity.
- Presence of SJP, faculty boycotters and BDS strong predictors of anti-Semitism.
- Anti-Zionism permeates and is inseparable from contemporary campus anti-Semitism.
AMCHA has been leading a coalition of more than 40 groups that is calling on university leadership to acknowledge a distinction between scholarly debate and criticism of Israel’s policies and anti-Zionism – i.e. calls for the destruction of Israel — which is anti-Semitic and breeds additional anti-Semitism. Pope Francis, President Obama, British Prime Minister Cameron, French Prime Minister Valls, former Secretary of State Clinton and the majority of presidential candidates have all stated that denying Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitism.
A Trinity College and Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law study revealed that 54% of surveyed students experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism during the first six months of the 2013-2014 academic year. A survey by Brandeis University in the Spring of 2015 found that three-quarters of North American Jewish college student respondents had been exposed to anti-Semitic rhetoric. Both surveys found that anti-Israel expression, particularly expression related to BDS campaigns, was a major factor in anti-Jewish hostility. A 2015 survey conducted by AMCHA Initiative of Jewish students at the University of California found that 70% had experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism.
Last night I had a wide ranging conversation with Tammi Rossman-Benjamin of AMCHA about this survey and what can be done to help the rights of Jewish students to have an education free from hate.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.