College campuses have become known as havens for some of the most virulent anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic material anywhere. At a recent “pro-Palestinian” rally held near Rutgers University in New Jersey, speakers led a crowd in hateful chants against Israel, and protestors physically attacked a cameraman who attempted to interview them. Israeli Minister Natan Sharansky, who received a pie in the face during a U.S. campus visit last month, had the following view expressed to him by a current Harvard University student:
[She] admitted to me that she was afraid ? afraid to express support for Israel, afraid to take part in pro-Israel organizations, afraid to be identified. The mood on campus had turned so anti-Israel that she was afraid that her open identification could cost her, damaging her grades and her academic future…my conversations with other students at various universities made it clear that her feelings are widespread, that the situation on campuses in the United States and Canada is more serious than we think. And this is truly frightening.
The growing problem extends to ostensibly “neutral” forums: student newspapers. On October 24, the student paper of the University of Florida (Gainesville) published this editorial cartoon for 48,000 students to view:
The cartoonist both resuscitates the canard that the Jewish people killed Jesus, and unfairly characterizes pro-Israel activism as “hateful” ? while outrageously paralleling it with Nazism.
Comments to: email@example.com
[See the new HonestReporting weblog ? BackSpin ? for a follow-up on the U of F cartoonist.]
In response to the problem of biased coverage of the Mideast conflict in campus newspapers, HonestReporting has now launched a new affiliate: HonestReporting for Campus. Student subscribers from campuses across the US and Canada receive weekly updates, which include texts of biased campus articles and the key information necessary to intelligently refute the articles’ claims.
If you know a student on a North American college campus, encourage them to get involved! They can sign up for HonestReporting for Campus mailings or ? better yet ? become a local campus representative by emailing : firstname.lastname@example.org.
By uniting, Jewish students will be able to lessen their fears, and find a common voice to counter the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic material rampant on college campuses today.