At Harvard, an Education in Anti-Semitism

After a stint as president of Harvard University’s Hillel exposed her to the harassment and hostility endured by many of her fellow Jewish students, Sabrina Goldfischer decided to write her senior thesis about the experiences of Jews on campus. She highlights some of her findings:

I interviewed 60 Jewish Harvard students, Harvard Hillel staff members, and students and Hillel staff members at nearby Massachusetts schools. . . . What I learned was concerning: the most acute examples of discrimination involved Harvard’s Israeli students. One student faced backlash for his involvement with Israel Trek, an Israeli student-led trip to Israel for Harvard students who do not identify as Jewish. He reached out to organizers of the anti-Trek movement on campus, hoping to begin a dialogue and potentially incorporate their feedback. They refused to speak to him.

Indeed, social alienation is unavoidable for Harvard’s Israeli students. Students recall moments of feeling like their “humanity was questioned.” One student said to an Israeli peer, “I can only imagine the war crimes you have committed.” Another explained that his friend was not allowed into a social organization when the leadership discovered he was Israeli. At Harvard, students face obstacles—social and otherwise—simply because of their nationality.

Anti-Zionism . . . has become the norm in most social and intellectual milieux on campus. This affects how Harvard’s largest Jewish institution is perceived. For instance, another student recalled a first-year orientation program that purported to show incoming students the “bad parts of Harvard.” The tour guide stopped at Hillel, suggesting it was a hostile environment for Palestinian students.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Harvard, Israel on campus

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University