At an Elite New Jersey High School, a Jewish Student Was the Target of Systematic Anti-Semitic Harassment

On her first day at a public magnet high school with a focus on marine biology, Paige (her last name has been kept private) experienced bigotry for the first time in her life, as Sharon Otterman reports:

[Paige] came home in tears because two teachers had laughed when pronouncing a student’s last name, Guiffre, as “Jew-Frey.” “I wouldn’t want a last name like that,” she recalled one teacher saying. The same teacher would later recommend Mein Kampf to her class as a great book. Late that school year, Paige’s mother complained about some of the incidents to the school district, including that one student had identified himself on social media as a member of the Hitler Youth. Nothing seemed to change.

This sort of thing became commonplace over the next two years, but the following incident nonetheless stood out:

The letters stretch over 30 feet, written into the sand on a beach in New Jersey. The teenager in the photo rests casually on his side above the words, smiling, his head propped up in his hand. “I h8 Jews,” the words read. The anti-Semitic picture, taken on a junior class trip and texted to a group of classmates at a high school on the Jersey Shore in 2018, was portrayed to the group as an edgy joke.

“Yearbook cover,” the boy in the picture texted. “Oh yea,” responded one girl, active in the yearbook club, adding that she had already submitted the photo to the faculty adviser. “It’s gonna be great.”

Paige, who was among the many students receiving the picture, complained to her parents, who then brought up the incident with the principal, who took some limited disciplinary action. After that, the harassment grew worse: Paige was not just Jewish but a “snitch.” When her parents went to the principal again, he “recommended she worry less about friends at school and find friends in her synagogue.” Unsurprisingly, perhaps, other parents rallied around the offending students, who insisted that they weren’t anti-Semites at all—just teenagers with a healthy sense of humor.

Read more at New York Times

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Education

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