Anti-Semitism on the Rise on U.S. College Campuses

Student wearing an Israeli flag at the Auschwitz concentration campCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

A new nationwide survey has revealed an alarming rise in anti-Semitism on American campuses with more than 54 percent of students saying they either witnessed, or were a victim of, anti-Semitism on campus in the first six months of the last academic year.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, a nationwide survey was conducted by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and polled 1,157 self-identified Jewish students at 55 colleges across the U.S.

“That a majority of Jewish students felt that they had suffered or witnessed incidents of anti-Semitism on the college campus in only one academic year was an unexpected finding which requires very serious investigation,” the report states.

Even more alarming is that anti-Semitic incidents were found to be underreported which means the number of incidents is likely higher than what was found in the survey.

Of the 54 percent who reported having witnessed or been personally subjected to anti-Semitism, 29 percent said it had occurred at the hands of another student. Ten percent said it occurred in a club or on-campus society and three percent cited the “university administrative system” as the culprit.

“The data shows that few types of Jewish students are immune from or can avoid this problem on today’s campuses,” the report states.

Even the researchers who performed the study were surprised by the findings.

“The patterns and high rates of anti-Semitism that were reported were surprising,” said Ariela Keysar, an associate research professor at Trinity who co-wrote the report with her colleague Barry Kosmin. “Rather than being localized to a few campuses or restricted to politically active or religious students, this problem is widespread. Jewish students are subjected to both traditional prejudice and the new political anti-Semitism.”

Students who were members of traditional Jewish campus organizations such as Hillel or Chabad were more likely to report anti-Semitism.

It also found that higher rates of anti-Semitism were found among students who are attending colleges in the traditionally liberal areas of the Northeast United States, and where liberal political groups are advocating boycotts of the Jewish state on-campus.

“The divestment campaign and other anti-Israel campaigns on this campus are intertwined with rampant anti-Semitism,” said one student who responded to the survey. “After a widespread anti-Israel/anti-Semitic attack earlier this year the University issued a weak response. Jewish students … want to know that our University stands by us.”

Ken Marcus, president and general counsel for the Brandeis Center, said his organization often hears from students who say universities don’t take their experiences of anti-Semitism seriously enough.

“This report gives substance and data to their experiences,” Marcus said in a written forward to the report. “The scope of this problem is greater than most observers had realized.”

“Kosmin and Keysar’s eye-opening findings should awaken authorities to the need to address campus anti-Semitism much more aggressively, comprehensively, and effectively than they are now doing,” he said.

Truth Revolt lists Columbia University as the worst campus in the nation for discrimination against Jewish students, mostly because it remains the home of well-known anti-Semitic professors such as Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad, who have been accused of harassing Jewish students on multiple occasions – and yet remain employed.

Cornel ranks second, followed by George Mason University, Loyola University in Chicago, Portland State University, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, Temple University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and Vassar College.

These great bastians of liberal thought, who preach tolerance for everything from cross-dressers to pedophiles, need to add Hypocrisy 101 to their academic repertoire. Obviously, there are too many people on campus who need to learn how to practice what they preach.
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