Dueling Narratives Cloud Picture Of Campus Anti-Semitism

Are Jewish college students threatened by anti-Semitism or not? Is it "only" anti-Zionism when BDS proponents hammer the campus with their I-hate-Israel theater? Shouldn't we as Jews, rather than trying to nitpick and decide exactly where anti-Semitism begins in an anti-Zionism hatefest, demand that universities promote the same zero tolerance policy they have in place for every other group?

From the article:

The “Jews Die” graffiti was the first provocation to appear over a several-month period last year in and around the University of Michigan. The hate message was spray-painted at a skate park near the Ann Arbor campus.

Then, a swastika was discovered scrawled in a bathroom stall at the Big Ten school. And soon after, the U of M student government passed an anti-Israel divestment resolution (that was subsequently rejected by the university regents).

The anti-Semitic and anti-Israel trifecta painted a picture of a hostile atmosphere for the school’s Jewish students and supporters of Israel.

But a Jewish student at U of M paints an entirely different picture.

“I wear a kipa daily on campus and am vocally a supporter of the Jewish democratic state of Israel,” Alex Harris, a sophomore at the school, told The Jewish Week. “I do not feel physically threatened to be Jewish or ‘pro-Israel’ on campus.”

Yet Harris, an active member of the U of M Jewish community who participated in anti-BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) lobbying, added that he does occasionally feel himself “the target of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment when the discussion of Israel enters the conversation.”

As long as we allow ourselves to be bullied a little bit, the bullying will continue.


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