Last fall, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)—one of the most vicious organizations of its kind—sought to introduce an anti-Israel referendum at Tufts University. Max Price tried to use his role on the student government to combat the effort, with sadly predictable results, as Jonathan Tobin recounts:
Price’s treatment—not just by SJP but also others in student government—was outrageous. Not only was he subjected to profane insults but he was also forced to sit through student-government meetings in which he was questioned about his Jewish background and beliefs. At a Zoom meeting during which the referendum was discussed, he was muted and literally prevented from speaking. The message from the student government and from a university administration that stood by silently as Price suffered these insults was clear: if you are a pro-Israel Jew, you are going to be treated as a racist advocate of white supremacy who must be marginalized, rather than respected and heard.
While this sequence of events is hardly exceptional, Price’s reaction was not. Rather than simply resign from student government, or relent under pressure, he got legal representation from a nonprofit specializing in such matters, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which accused the university of a Title VI violation:
What followed was what usually happens when bullies are challenged. Rather than face a lawsuit or the escalation of this fight into something much bigger than a simple case of successful intimidation, SJP gave up. It withdrew its effort to throw Price out of his student-government post.
Not every student can be expected to be as tough or to suffer the kind of opprobrium to which Price was subjected by BDS supporters. But if we are to end the idea that it’s always open season on Jews who care about Israel on college campuses, then we are going to need more young men and women who can learn from his example.