There is a “clear relationship” between anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions activism and the targeting of Jewish students on college campuses across the US, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, the head of Jewish student advocacy group the AMCHA Initiative, told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
“The more BDS activity there is,” she said, “the more likely it is we’re going to find Jewish students and Jewish events suppressed or shut down.” These events have mostly been political in nature, she said, and related to Israel, such as when Israeli soldiers speak on a campus.
There is a “whole new campaign directed against Birthright programs” — free trips for American Jews to Israel — and there is heckling at lecturers, such as happened when Hebrew University Prof. Moshe Halbertal spoke at the University of Minnesota late last year.
Rossman-Benjamin’s comments came as her group released a database chronicling some 302 acts of antisemitic incidents at 109 college campuses across 28 states, over the past academic year. Rossman noted that most incidents fell into one of two categories: attacking Jewish students with discriminatory treatment, defamation or racism, and “defamation of the Jewish state.”
For the latter, she noted so-called Apartheid Wall installations — usually a part of “Israel Apartheid Week” — which are made to mimic the Israeli security wall erected beginning in the Second Intifada to stop the flow of Palestinian terrorists from the West Bank into Israel.