Students Taught to "Stand Up for Israel"
By Jennifer Gilbart, FedConnect Editor
In recent months, on college campuses worldwide, students and others have mounted campaigns for waging economic war on Israel, with the goal of destroying the Jewish State.
In mid-April, the Doctoral Students Council at the City University of New York (CUNY) overwhelmingly endorsed an academic boycott of Israel, and the University of Chicago student government voted (also overwhelmingly) that the university should divest itself from companies that profit from “apartheid” in military-occupied Palestine.
In addition, on April 22, the graduate student union at New York University voted to support a resolution against Israel, calling on NYU to divest from Israeli companies and close its program at Tel Aviv University.
In many cases, school faculty and administrators are not supportive of the student actions. The University of Chicago administration stated that it will not divest from companies doing business in Israel, and CUNY chancellor and the graduate center president both denounced the vote on their campus. As well, NYU president Andrew Hamilton rejected the graduate students’ BDS resolution, saying the demand to cut ties with Israel is “contrary to our core principles.”
At other schools, anti-Semitic faculty members and departments do exist. An Assistant Professor at Oberlin College posted blatant anti-Semitic statements on Facebook that went viral last month, and a May 2 article in The Algemeiner claims that the Peace Studies Department at the University of Missouri sponsors anti-Semitic campus events.
The rise of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment at colleges and universities is an obvious challenge for Jewish students, especially those whose support for Israel is strong. Students who wish to promote and defend Israel can get help from organizations including StandWithUs – an international nonprofit that has supported, trained and provided resources to pro-Israel student groups since 2001.
StandWithUs will be coming to the Rockland Jewish Community Campus on June 8 for an educational session geared toward teens heading to college. High school students in 11th and 12th grades are invited to attend (with or without parents), to learn about the BDS movement and gain the tools and resources necessary to respond to difficult challenges on college campuses. The event includes dinner; for more information please contact JCC’s Melinda Goldberg at 845-362-4200 ext. 165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.