Written by Daniel Ottolenghi Sanders
It is once again a dangerous time to be Jewish in America.
In the days after the start of the war, a violent new wave of antisemitic rhetoric across the United States left many Jewish people wondering how it’s possible that nothing is being done to put an end to it. From students getting beaten and harassed on campuses across America to pro-Palestine protests rejoicing in the death of the Jewish people, the situation has gotten far worse than many people expected.
On October 9th, a pro-Israel protestor was punched and kicked in the street for speaking out against terrorist acts. Two days later, a student at Columbia University was beaten with a stick for putting up signs of Israeli hostages taken to Gaza by Hamas. As hateful demonstrations have become the new normal in cities and on college campuses across America, students are fearing for their lives.
A message put out by the joint Deans of Columbia University acknowledging that the campus atmosphere is “extremely charged and many are concerned for their personal safety.” The email cited the incident in front of a campus library on Wednesday as an example of “intimidation and outright violence.” She continued, “Community members are observing and experiencing disturbing anti-Semitic and Islamophobic acts, … with some students being targeted based on their religious identity or political speech”.
A gathering of Pro-Palestine advocates at the University of Washington unleashed a torrent of emotions, leaving around 1,500 Jewish students with tearful pleas directed at their administration. “How are you allowing this? They want our people dead, they want us killed”, they cried out to the administration, imploring, “Why aren’t you putting a stop to this?”. Regrettably, their pleas fell on deaf ears.
“How are you allowing this? They want us dead!”
— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) October 13, 2023
Meanwhile, at NYU, a university home to a 12 percent undergraduate Jewish population, a powerful message from the President of the NYU Bar Association resounded: “Unwavering and unyielding solidarity with the Palestinian people in their courageous struggle against oppression, in their pursuit of liberty and self-determination.”
At Rutgers University, a wave of concern washes over the 7,000 Jewish and Israeli students, as they grapple with their safety. Their unease was ignited when an anonymous student employed the cloak of anonymity provided by the YikYak app to post a chilling message: “Palestinian protestors, there is an Israeli at AEPi, go kill him.”
UCLA’s campus witnessed a scene of anxiety as approximately 2,500 Jewish students looked on in trepidation while a throng of students organized and paraded through the grounds, chanting “Intifada Intifada, Intifada Intifada.” This chant, laden with aggression, denotes hostilities directed at Israeli soldiers and civilians alike. To the dismay of Jewish students, university administrations that refrained from condemning these actions only deepened the fears they harbored.
Harvard, where Jewish students make up 10 percent of the student body, saw a joint statement endorsed by 34 student groups that sharply criticized the Israeli government, placing the full weight of blame squarely on their shoulders for the ongoing violence. The statement adopted classic anti-Israel rhetoric, characterizing Gaza as “an open-air prison”.
Students at UNC Chapel Hill decided to take their rhetoric and turn it up a notch when one of the leaders of the protest took the microphone to say, “Hamas are Palestinians. WE ARE HAMAS” Later, a University professor walked through the crowd holding up an Israeli flag, when confronted with this the vile girl who spouted words of hate just a few minutes before, took the opportunity to go and try to violently push and shove a professor out of the way.
At the University of Wisconsin Madison, all 5,200 Jewish students were met with a hatred they had never seen before when a female student at a pro-Palestine protest shouted, “Glory to the murders! We will liberate the land by any means necessary.” The School has yet to even comment, all we know for now is that the people responsible have yet to be admonished or condemned.
University Wisconsin Madison – “Glory to the martyrs”.
These “martyrs” beheaded babies, raped young women, and kidnapped the elderly.
Splash their faces everywhere and ensure future employers are aware of their evil stances.
— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) October 12, 2023
Perhaps, the most vile of these incidents was a pro-Palestine protest in Philadelphia. When a man named Michael Wilson took the stage he started by saying: “I think that we should all give an applause right now to Hamas for a job well done.” He continued by screaming that when the people of Israel woke up Saturday morning they found terrorists in their homes “with a knife ready to cut their f*ucking throats!” As the crowd’s cheers got louder and louder, he finished his speech by saying, “250 innocent Israelis are dead, FUCK EM! Again a swear, I salute Hamas, a job well done”
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Jewish students are expected to sit back and take these blatantly anti-Semitic acts as acts of free speech, but how can they do that when many of their fellow students openly support violence and murder against the Jewish people?
Organo ufficiale di stampa dell’Unione Giovani Ebrei d’Italia. Fondato nel 1949, dal 2010 è una testata online e inserto mensile di Pagine Ebraiche.