This week we have heard from scores of students on our country’s most elite university campuses. We have heard from those enrolled at Rutgers, NYU, Columbia, Barnard, Princeton, Binghamton, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Cornell, not to mention Harvard and yes, even Brandeis. Students on all of these campuse have experienced real Jew-hate as pro-Palestinian messages and support for Hamas continues unchecked in classes, in public and online. In some cases, the terrorist actions of Hamas on October 7 have been outright cheered on university campuses.
It’s with the twin feelings of horror and sadness that we realize that when our community’s most high-achieving students signed up for the secular college experience, they were forced to relinquish their naiveté about the existence of true Jew hate and xenophobia, and the grotesque double standard to which Jews are held in life. Jewish vigils and rallies for those lost and kidnapped have been interrupted by people screaming “Gas the Jews.” Signs depicting the kidnapping of babies and retirees have been ripped down. Some students have been physically attacked, and in most places they have been physically intimidated and threatened into removing visible identifying signs of their religion.
If there’s one issue this year that we hope reaches our elected officials, it’s this one. We direct you to pages 50-56 where we begin special coverage of Jew hate on campus. We hope our leaders in government see what has happened in New York and New Jersey and take decisive action to curb these out-of-control demonstrations and physical steps to ensure our students’ safety. No student in our country should fear for their lives on campus, and when Jews are forced to take their mezuzot off doors and hide their kippot under baseball caps, no one is safe. This is not the America, founded on the roots of religious freedom, that we love.