New Report on Campus Anti-Semitism
A new report by AMCHA Initiative sheds light on Israel-related discrimination and denigration of Jewish and pro-Israel students on American campuses. Published in July 2020, Understanding Campus Antisemitism in 2019 And Its Lessons for Pandemic and Post-Pandemic U.S. Campuses is an important resource for understanding the threat posed by anti-Zionism and more classical anti-Semitism on campus.
The report finds that in 2019, 297 incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault targeting Jewish students were recorded on 118 U.S. campuses. The number of incidents identified as expressing classic anti-Semitism decreased by 49%, from 20310 in 2018 to 104 in 2019, while Israel-related anti-Semitic acts increased by 59%, from 121 to 192.
Among the many revelations contained within the report, it documents a marked increase in challenges to the International Holocaust Remembrance Authority (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism which has been adopted by three dozen countries. Efforts by non-Jewish individuals and organizations to suggest that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism sets a double standard by allowing for outside groups to dictate to a minority what is and is not discriminatory towards the targeted group.
The notable rise in challenges to the definition of anti-Semitism is troubling and the lack of action taken by various university administrations to protect Jewish students is even more so. AMCHA’s new study has shown that Israel-related harassment continues to be the dominant and steadily increasing form of behavior targeting Jewish students for harm and is easily adaptable to the online platforms that are likely to play a major role in the 2020-2021 academic year, and perhaps longer. Now, more than ever, it is important that universities consider taking a new approach to combating all forms of intolerance, including both classical and Israel-related anti-Semitism. All students should be equally protected from efforts to limit their self-expression and deny their participation in campus life.