We are gravely concerned with the recent growth of antisemitic incidents on college campuses in the United States and across North America. Sadly, both students and faculty have engaged in extreme anti-Israel activities that venture beyond mere political opposition to the modern state of Israel, crossing over to behavior that is both racist and antisemitic.
Jewish students are being targeted because they are Jewish – not only because of their pro-Israel beliefs.
It is time to take action! We must prevail upon our university officials and censure those responsible. We are petitioning the United States Office for Education to put an end to antisemitism on campus.
The AMCHA Initiative (Hebrew for “Your People”), a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting and combating antisemitism on North American campuses, illustrates what has taken place so far this year.
They have recorded 171 antisemitic incidents between January and April 2016. That number has climbed to over 300 at this point in time.
The following examples are typical of the kinds of attacks on Jewish students we see today:
May 18, 2016 – University of California, Irvine
In May of 2016, there was a violent protest at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in response to the screening of “Beneath the Helmet,” a documentary film about the lives of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers.
The anti-Israel protestors shouted, “long live the intifada … displacing people since ‘48 – there’s nothing here to celebrate,” and much worse! Jewish students, and among them a few IDF veterans, barricaded themselves inside the building for safety. Unfortunately, the protest turned violent when a female student was harassed and finally chased into a nearby building.
Recently, allegations have been made that UCI has been stalling the investigation or, worse, burying the incident. Ilan Sinelnikov, founder and president of Students Supporting Israel (SSI), whose UCI chapter was the target of a violent protest, said, “The school’s administration hasn’t really been in contact with us. They’ve supposedly been in contact with some students — a few questions here and there — but not much more.” He went on to say, “We want transparency and the public has a right to know.”
UCI spokesperson Cathy Lawhon responded by saying that the investigation of the “incident is still underway, guided by formal policies and due process procedures, as outlined in the student handbook.”
We consider this response to be weak and indecisive.
February 24, 2016 – University of South Florida
Approximately 25 Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) supporters waving Palestinian flags and banners disrupted a lecture by two Israeli students. According to one of the lecturers, the anti-Israel protestors would continuously leave and return to the debate room – intending to disrupt the lecture and screaming at the students, calling the speakers “murderers and child killers” before being removed by police. When the speakers left the hall and walked to their cars, the protesters were waiting outside and shouted at them: “Murders, immoral, terrorists, how do you sleep at night?”
The speakers had to be escorted to their cars by police fearing for their personal safety.
April 19, 2016 – The University of Maryland
Two dozen protesters attended a combined Hillel and Jewish Student Union event called, “Israel Fest” and, for about an hour, chanted, “Fight the power; turn the tide; end Israeli apartheid.” Some held signs saying “Zionism kills.” The school newspaper reported that police were called to keep protesters from blocking walkways.
Once again, there has not been any update on what actions have been taken by the university.
These universities and many others across the country where such incidents have taken place are not addressing the underlying anti-Jewish nature and tone of these protests. This growing antisemitism on campus is being ignored!
We cannot remain silent while these acts of aggression against Jewish students persist!
Let us raise our voices together and call upon the leaders of our universities and colleges to put an end to antisemitism on campus.
We must oppose antisemitism and keep our students safe.
Please sign the Every State for Israel “Oppose Antisemitism on Campus” Petition today and let your voice be heard!
This petition will be directed to the Secretary and Under Secretary of Education, as they lead the governmental office that has the ability to influence policy at our colleges and universities.
Stand with Israel and the American Jewish community and help us protect the people and the freedoms we cherish.
Thank you for signing the petition,
The Every State for Israel Oppose Antisemitism Team
Dear Dr. King and Dr. Mitchell,
As followers of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, we are disturbed by the growing number of overt attacks against Jewish students studying on U.S. campuses. We simply cannot stand by and remain silent while Jewish students fear for their safety because of the continued rise of antisemitism and hostile anti-Zionism on U.S. campuses.
Often, Israel-related events are disrupted – even violently – by fellow students and outside agitators. We are confident you are familiar with this growing concern within the Jewish community. The Christian community is also very concerned about the ways in which Jewish students are being treated on today’s campuses.
We ask you to help protect Jewish students and enable them to study at our universities safely and without intimidation. We believe that all students, regardless of their personal beliefs, should be free to focus on their academic and personal growth rather than being concerned for their daily safety and civil rights.
We believe it is the obligation of our university leadership to create an educational environment where academic and political debate is devoid of racism, prejudice and violence.
Allowing anti-Zionist groups to stir up racial hatred against Jewish students, simply because they are Jewish, is a violation of the First Amendment. These perpetrators, whether they are students, faculty or administration, should be sanctioned for their antisemitic statements and acts – even when guised in seemingly sincere political aspirations.
As concerned Christians and those who sympathize with the Jewish community, we are asking you to exercise your influence and help protect the Jewish students attending universities across our great nation.
We are asking you to create policies and accountability structures to which the administration and Boards of our universities and colleges must adhere. Additionally, we ask that you encourage universities, which tend to “bury” these incidents within their internal policies, to be quicker to involve law enforcement and the courts in protecting the first amendment rights of all students.
We must protect all of our students at all costs!
Thank you for your consideration.
See the assigned list of petitioners