Anti-Israel demonstrators march at the University of Berkeley. (AP/Ben Margot) (AP/Ben Margot)
Anti Israel campus demo

Anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity on US campuses is becoming more aggressive and vicious, a report by the ADL shows.

There has been a 30% increase in anti-Israel activity and anti-Semitic activities on US campuses over the course of the 2014-2015 academic, the Anti Defamation League revealed in a report last Wednesday.

“Over 150 explicitly anti-Israel programs have taken place or are scheduled to take place on US campuses so far this academic year, marking a 30% increase from last year when there were 105 similar programs scheduled to take place during the same timeframe,” the report stated.

Student groups sponsored at least 520 anti-Israel programs on US campuses, a 38% increase from the 375 anti-Israel campus programs during the previous academic year.

“Many of these programs promoted false claims about Israel, including that Israel is an apartheid state or that it is not interested in achieving peace with the Palestinians,” the ADL stressed in the report.

The ADL pointed to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement as a key factor in generating the anti-Israel activity.

anti-Israel protest

Anti-Israel protesters. (Alan Popely/flickr)

“The founding goals of the BDS movement and many of the strategies employed in BDS campaigns are anti-Semitic. While not all advocates of BDS are anti-Semitic and may be driven by perceived legitimate criticism of certain Israeli policies toward Palestinians, many individuals engaged in BDS campaigns are driven by opposition to Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state.” In the ADL’s view, “denying solely to the Jewish people a universal right– that of self-determination – is fundamentally anti-Semitic.”

The ADL named Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as among the most active and harmful anti-Israel groups on campus.

In addition to organizing anti-Israel programs, student groups also initiated 29 BDS campaigns on US campuses over the past year, a 21% increase from the 15 BDS campaigns in the previous academic year.

Student governments or student bodies actually voted on and sometimes debated 19 of the 29 campaigns. From those 19 votes, there were ten campaigns that received endorsement from either their student government or student body, compared to five from the previous year, marking a 100% increase in the number of BDS campaigns that received endorsement. These resolutions may not be binding, but stir up anti-Semitic sentiments and activity on campus.

While data collection is not yet complete for the 2015 calendar year, ADL reported a total of 47 anti-Semitic incidents on 43 different college campuses in 2014, compared with 37 such incidents in 2013.

“While there has been an overall decline in recent years, this represents a 27 percent increase from 2013, or nearly one incident per week. These statistics only represent what is reported to ADL. Many other incidents still go unreported,” the report concluded.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel