As our article in White Rose Magazine details, in the nearly 21 years since the Durban Conference, American Jewry’s alphabet soup of organizations has yet to counter campus anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism effectively.
While anti-Semitism, often masquerading as progressive anti-Zionism, has crescendoed on college campuses, Jewish organizations have largely played defense.
The ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu said, “Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.” In other words, you don’t win a war by playing defense.
Major Jewish and pro-Israel organizations have reacted to specific campus incidents of anti-Semitism (usually masquerading as anti-Israelism), such as student government boycott resolutions, but have consistently failed to counter the growing narrative that Israel and Jews are racist colonialists. That false narrative has now been joined by a related one, that Israel and Jews are white, anti-people-of-color oppressors, a narrative often promulgated by anti-Israel activists deeply embedded within “social justice” and Black Lives Matters movements.
Both narratives have become primary weapons against Israel. Rather than disarming the narratives, establishment groups too often simply deny the former and pledge support for the latter “anti-racism” movement out of a sense of progressive solidarity—solidarity that is not reciprocated. Below we explore the trajectory of these narratives, and how groups like the ADL, which promotes progressive solidarity, have made the problem worse instead of better.
The article details the rise of BDS anti-Semitism during and after the racist 2001 Durban “anti-racism” conference, which peddled unhinged, slanderous attacks against Israel. We illustrate the spread of anti-Semitism (usually disguised as anti-Israelism) to colleges and universities across the US. The article explores anti-Israel and anti-Semitic tactics employed by BDS advocates. Rather than simply advocating for Palestinians, BDS supporters often actively suppress pro-Israel speech and harass Jews.
Most importantly, we discuss how the Jewish community has responded to these incessant, increasing attacks. “Responded” is the operative word. Established Jewish organizations have generally failed to take the offensive. We particularly draw attention to the Anti-Defamation League’s absence from the field since current CEO Jonathan Greenblatt took the helm in July 2015 – although this may now be changing, given some recent statements by Greenblatt.
That’s the nutshell version. We encourage readers to read the entire piece, as well as the other fine articles in the magazine’s current issue. The overall theme of the issue is Jewish leadership’s failure to address the problem of campus anti-Semitism.
Bringing Palestine apartheid week to campus, exposing the shameless bigotry against Jews in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas
Video: Students Supporting Israelhttps://t.co/MyRPhtwIDk
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) April 14, 2022
The good news is that, at long last, a Jewish group has emerged that is beginning to think out of the box and go on the attack. Back in 2016, the grassroots Students Supporting Israel set up a large inflatable Pinocchio doll at Columbia University during “Israel Apartheid Week” to call attention to the dishonesty inherent in the Israel-bashing exercise. It was later ordered taken down.
For the first time ever on campuses, our movement will be highlighting the apartheid policies of the Palestinian government, including the systemic ethnic discrimination against Jews in Palestinian-controlled territories, in a campaign that begins today…
This is our time to take control of the conversation and control the narrative on campus. It is time for us to start talking about real Apartheid, not in Israel, but the Apartheid that is practiced by the Palestinians against the Jews…
Why are we hosting these events? Those who care about protecting human rights should be shocked by the abuses taking place within the Palestinian-controlled territories…
For starters, the significant sign of an apartheid society is the physical separation of groups. Unlike in Israel, there is no mixing of Arabs and Jews in Palestinian-controlled territories. Palestinian officials have instituted policies to ensure that Jews do not live beside Arabs in any of their territories, and if Jews do, they will be chased out.
Jews cannot own land in Palestinian-controlled territories. Under Palestinian law, selling land to a Jew is considered treason and is a punishable act…
And so on.
“We want to move from defense to offense,” explained SSI’s president and founder Ilan Sinelnikov. “We want to be the organization that controls the narrative and controls the conversation.”
Bravo. We wish SSI much success, and hope many other Jewish organizations and community members will join their project.DONATE
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