At one level, you could put this post in the “tell me something I don’t already know” category.

For several years I have been documenting anti-Israel activity on campus, typically part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and carried out by groups like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

At the same time, I’ve pointed out many instances where such anti-Israel activity crossed-over into overt anti-Semitism, including at places like Oberlin and Vassar. (And that’s putting aside whether the radical extremist anti-Israelism itself is anti-Semitic.)

So the correlation between anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism seems obvious. When the only Jewish-majority nation in the world is demonized and dehumanized based on factual falsehoods and distortions under standards applied to no one else, it is no surprise that the hate manifests itself in hatred not just of Israel, but of Jews.

[Vassar College Students for Justice in Palestine social media post, 2014]

[Vassar College Students for Justice in Palestine social media post, 2014]

The relatively new concept of intersectionality has made things even worse, as Israel and Israel alone is held up as the link between evils committed by others in distant locations. The international Jew is held up as a unique cause of evil in the world.

At another level, it’s helpful to have statistics and analysis taking the dozens and dozens of incidents and putting them in an analytical context.

And that’s what just happened with the release of a new study by the AMCHA Initiative, a human rights organization foundation in California to fight campus anti-Semitism. AMCHA is run by co-founder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

http://www.amchainitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Antisemitic-Activity-at-U.S.-Colleges-and-Universities-with-Jewish-Populations-2015-Full-Report.pdf

The study is titled: Antisemitic Activity in 2015 at U.S. Colleges and Universities With the Largest Jewish Undergraduate Populations Report. The Executive Summary and Full Report are available at the links.

Since I almost failed high school math, I’m happy to quote *liberally* from the summary at the AMCHA website. First, the overview and conclusion (emphasis added):

Unlike previous studies, which assessed levels of campus antisemitism by measuring student attitudes and subjective reports, the current study assessed antisemitic activity by focusing on verifiable incidents compiled from media accounts and eyewitness reports. The report serves as the first empirical study of its kind providing objective confirmation of student reports of widespread antisemitism, as well as evidence that the primary agents of antisemitic activity are anti-Zionist students and faculty boycotters and that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is the strongest predictor of anti-Jewish hostility on campus.

The report includes many charts, including this one:

http://www.amchainitiative.org/antisemitic-activity-schools-large-Jewish-report-2015

Here are some specific topline findings:

  • Strong correlation between anti-Zionist student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and antisemitism.
  • Strong correlation between anti-Zionist student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and antisemitism.
  • Strong correlation between the presence of faculty who have expressed public support for an academic boycott of Israel and antisemitism.
  • BDS activity strongly correlates with antisemitic activity.
  • Presence of SJP, faculty boycotters and BDS strong predictors of antisemitism.
  • Anti-Zionism permeates and is inseparable from contemporary campus antisemitism.

I am particularly interested in the faculty connection, as I long have argued that anti-Israel and pro-BDS faculty are the prime factor (“the faculty, the faculty, the faculty” I once put it). Pages 9-10 of the Full Report provide the data back up.

So, like I said, tell me something I didn’t already know.

[Facebook posting by Oberlin Colllege professor Joy Karega]

[Facebook posting by Oberlin Colllege professor Joy Karega]

[Featured Image: Vassar College Yik-Yak message]