As campuses surge with protests calling for an end to the war in Israel, a naked truth is laid bare, antisemitism is alive and well in the U.S. 

By: James J. Berreth 

Editor in Chief 

05/28/2024 

It would seem the Oct. 7 attacks by the terrorist group known as Hamas, along with the subsequent invasion of Gaza by Israeli forces, have had a polarizing effect on college campuses nationwide. Hamas, for their part, raped women, burned anything they could get their hands on, and murdered over 1,163 innocent men, women, and children. In retaliation, Israel has launched an unceasing barrage of bombs and sent ground troops into Gaza, killing men, women, and children. As of March 28th, the Palestinian death toll was around 32,552; this according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. According to the Antidefamation League (ADL), antisemitic incidents rose a whopping 360% after the Oct. 7 violence in Israel. What’s more is that the Students for Justice in Palestine, one of the groups facilitating the demonstrations on various college campuses, called the Oct. 7 attacks a “historic win” for the “Palestinian resistance.” 

Instead of sympathy for the Jews who were raped, tortured, and murdered, college campuses have rallied to the aid of Palestinians with little more than vitriol. On the surface the student protests appear to be reasonable. They see the death and destruction in Gaza, and they feel compelled to protest to make their voices heard and impart change in the world. It is the basic formula for nearly all protests, student led or otherwise. Where these most recent protests have strayed is in ideology and in their complete and total condemnation of, not just Israeli actions taken during their bombing campaigns, but in their existence in summa. The heavy label of “settler colonialists” has been coopted to great effect and believes Jews to be the occupiers in their own land. They claim Jews are Europeans who, with the help of the United Nations, stole the land of Israel from Palestinians in the War of 1948.  

With these beliefs as a grounding and uniting theme, chants and slogans such as “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “by any means necessary” and “globalize the intifada,” common rallying cries calling for the destruction of Israel, can be heard on college campuses across our country. But what these slogans demonstrate is that what is being proposed by these protesters is the complete and total elimination of the State of Israel and in the same manner, Jews themselves.  

Part of the problem is the professors on college campuses who exist in echo chambers of their own like-minded, short-sighted world view and the DEI programming they push on their students. At Stanford, Columbia, Yale, the University of Virginia, Albany Law School, and New York University occasions where professors and faculty either shamed Jewish students, called for the destruction of Israel, or championed the cause of Hamas were common. A bit closer to home at the University of Minnesota, chants could be heard from demonstrators calling for the murder of Jewish people. Here at Metro State, I experienced a small portion of this antisemitic rapport between a professor and a student. The two shared remarks about how they were both in attendance for a pro Palestine demonstration the night before prior to and in front of the class.  

It is time for us to stand with our Jewish friends here at home. The current state of the war and the actions taken by Benjamin Netanyahu are deplorable and the innocent of Gaza do not deserve what has quickly turned into a war of attrition, but that doesn’t mean Jews should suffer antisemitism here, or anywhere else.