The Problem Starts at the Top

Responsibility for American universities’ failure to confront anti-Semitism rests with administrators and faculty.

Flickr/James F. Clay.

Flickr/James F. Clay.

Last Word
May 26 2015
About the author

Ruth R. Wisse is a research professor at Harvard and a distinguished senior fellow at the Tikvah Fund. Her most recent book is No Joke: Making Jewish Humor (2013, paperback 2015).


As an image for countering anti-Semitism, I once used to keep tacked over my desk the Polish proverb, “It’s lousy to swim upstream in a filthy river.” Happily, upstream swimmers who now overtake me seem better shielded from the pollution. I’m enormously grateful to Ben Cohen, Douglas Murray, and Bari Weiss for essays that make it feel as though we are within sight of the open sea.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Israel & Zionism, Israel on campus