SAN DIEGO — This is one of the hardest subjects I've ever written about; as I did research, I realized the problem is more widespread and virulent than I thought. Part ll will deal with how the Jewish community is responding to the crisis.
It has been 75 years since Holocaust images of skeletal Jewish survivors were seared into the consciousness of all who saw them. But people forget or choose not to remember. Anti-Semites armed with code words for Jews are emerging again. In Stalinist Russia, the word was 'cosmopolitan,' today it is 'Zionist.' Anti-Semitism is on the rise and its' locus is the college campus. Students and faculty across the nation are being harassed and intimidated solely because they are Jews.
In 2014, at New York University, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) slipped eviction notices under the doors of 2,000 Jewish students. Spurred on by their success, SJP repeated this vicious prank at many other schools, safe in the knowledge that lawyers at the Council of Arab and Islamic Relations (C.A.I.R) were standing by to defend them.
The BDS movement, which targets only one country, seeks to de-legitimize Israel. Started in 2001 by SJP, Berkeley, it soon spread to other colleges. According to AMCHA, a campus watch-dog group, 89 colleges voted on BDS. between 2012 and 2016 alone! An ever- growing atmosphere of Jew hatred on college campuses emboldened White Supremacists and garden variety anti-Semites to add their random acts to the well-organized, well-funded SJP campaigns.
There is a greater awareness now, but, for far too long, the Jewish community failed to even admit there was a problem, let alone address it.
The University of California, Berkeley — Home to the Free Speech Movement in the '60's and '70's, it is now a place where anyone expressing pro-Israel views pays dearly. Hatem Bazian, former president of the Muslim Student Association, and co-founder of SJP was made a lecturer there in 2002, and remains so today, even though he called for an intifada in America and instigated the violent disruption of Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies, leading to 79 arrests. Indeed, Bazian, who recently retweeted a video showing a Chasidic boy with the inserted caption: "Mom, look! I is chosen! I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs and steal the land of Palestinians," is, not only secure in his job, but has just been honored with an appointment to the Peace and Justice Commission of Berkeley.
The noxious atmosphere at Berkeley makes it a dangerous place for Jews who wear their identity proudly. It has even led to death threats like the one posted outside the office of a Jewish professor in February, 2018, Benjamin Brinner.
UCDavis, 2018 — The Jewish Student Association, in a letter to Chancellor May, complained that anti-Semitic incidents are constantly being swept under the rug, after his lukewarm response to anti-Semitic fliers on campus. At a recent Jewish event, Muslim students chanted, "Allahu Akhbar" with fists upraised, drowning out the speaker. Since 2010, police have investigated at least six separate hate crimes from swastikas spray painted on a dorm room and fraternity to anti-gay graffiti spray painted on a student center. A study by the Amcha Initiative, a group focused on anti-Semitism on college campuses, has UC Davis at No. 4 with the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country.
U.C.Irvine — The SJP, at a recent screening of a pro-Israel film, threatened the audience and physically blocked all the exits so that frightened students had to call the police. For the last ten years the SJP has created a hostile atmosphere of bullying and intimidation on campus. Ten years ago the Zionist Organization of America filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights on behalf of students who were subjected to anti-Semitic harassment, but nothing was done. Since then, emboldened by the inaction of college administrators, the SPJ disrupts all pro-Israel events and speakers. On May 10, 2018, five Israeli reservists and their audience were subjected to anti-Semitic taunts of thirty thugs who disrupted their event and no college personnel stopped it.
Stanford University–In July, 2018, "I'm gonna physically fight Zionists on campus" Hamzeh Daoud, the incoming resident director wrote. He resigned from the post but was supported by the SJP and Jewish Voices for Peace, which illustrates how common anti-Semitic rhetoric is on campus.
City College of New York — Not just the SJP, but other well-funded organizations like The Nation of Islam and the communist Progressive Labor Party are targeting Jews. City College, in New York, once the "Harvard of the Hudson," was largely Jewish. It was a place where students were so busy studying and working at part-time jobs they didn't have time for extra-curricular activities let alone demonstrations. Nothing distracted from the quiet, studious atmosphere. Everything changed with an open enrollment policy that allowed in less qualified students, and the hiring in 1972 of the anti-Semitic Leonard Jeffries to head the Black Studies Department. For more than twenty years, he blamed Jews for everything, the slave trade, their ownership of the word 'holocaust,' the negative depiction of Black people in films, etc. The school tried to fire him and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. Today, Jewish students still suffer from the persecution that afflicts all Jewish students where the SJP and Nation of Islam have power. A 24-page report on anti-Semitism on campus was just released by the college, but it is unlikely that anything will change.
Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, 2018 — Michael Goldstein, an adjunct professor of economics has been the target of the communist Progressive Labor Party which distributed more than a thousand fliers on campus and published articles on their website calling him racist, sexist and anti-Muslim and demanding his firing. A faculty member from the Progressive Faculty Caucus lodged the same complaints, which an inquiry by the diversity officer found to be groundless. She commented that " In my fourteen years at Kingsborough, I have never seen such an aggressive campaign by a faculty member……. to harm another's career." Goldstein, an ardent Zionist, now has a security guard by his office at all times.
It would take volumes to report on all the anti-Semitic incidents on campuses today, but the following are those with the most incidents in 2018 (from a list compiled by AMCHA): University of California (Berkeley, L.A., Santa Barbara), Swarthmore College, Temple University, NYU, Ohio State, University of Minnesota, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, University of Vermont, Columbia University, and University of Wisconsin.
Applebaum is a former adjunct professor of writing from New York. Her articles can be found on the Jewish Women Who Write website.